Saturday, September 05, 2015

UTSA Business Scholars Program provides services to first-gen college students

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UTSA Business Scholars

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(May 22, 2012) --- Established in 2002 as a program to help first-generation college students make a smooth transition from high school to college and on to graduation, the Business Scholars Program (BSP) in the UTSA College of Business celebrated its biggest accomplishment yet -- the graduation of 22 students from the program in one semester.

BSP provides academic, leadership and professional development services for first-generation college students through mentorship and community service activities. The program enrolls 150 undergraduates each year and boasts an 84 percent retention rate for participants.

"The Business Scholars Program serves as a community of support for academic achievement, friendship and professional development," said Rosa Garza-Girdy, director of undergraduate studies and the Business Scholars Program. "Participating in a community of like-minded students who face the same challenges enriches the college experience and makes students more likely to realize their goals."

BSP graduate Jamaal Hollingsworth is an example among many who have benefitted from the program. Raised by a single mother, Hollingsworth is a graduate of Sam Houston High School. As a member of the BSP, he was able to adopt a more professional mindset that prepared him for the post-college experience. Hollingsworth received a B.B.A. in management at UTSA's May 12 commencement.

"BSP has helped me to develop into the person I am today," said Hollingsworth. " I have been encouraged to attend conferences, obtain multiple internships and even land my first professional job."

Hollingsworth has served for the last three years as an ambassador for the City of San Antonio and completed internships with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Urban Housing and Development, the PM Group Advertising Agency and with his current employer, State Farm.

Academic adviser Cynthia Brown handles advising for the BSP members and notes the measures she takes to assist students like Jamaal.

"We offer personalized academic advising and mentoring throughout their college experience and make attaining a college diploma the top priority," said Brown. "Whether it be via email, phone, Skype or in-person, students know that I am available to help them through their journey at UTSA."

Other spring semester Business Scholars Program graduates were Crystal Aldrighette, accounting; Juan Cabrera, accounting; Esther Cole, human resources; Laura Cox, actuarial science; Jessica Figueroa, international business; Laura Galvan, management; Daysi Garcia, accounting; Angelica Garcia, accounting; Carmen Lafuente, international business; Patricia Lara, finance; Rochelle Mata, accounting; Rose Ornelas, marketing; Oanh Pham, accounting; Luis Reyes, marketing; Jo Rios, accounting; Courtney Skelly, management; Ryan Smith, real estate finance and development; Nadine Suh, international business; Christian Tijerina, accounting; Cynthia Urrea, human resources; and Joseph Valencia, actuarial science.

 

 

Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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