(May 14, 2012) -- The UTSA Learning Communities program announces "The Devil's Highway" by Luis Alberto Urrea will be the 2012-2013 Summer Common Reading for all first-year UTSA undergraduate students. Urrea will be the keynote speaker at the UTSA Fall Convocation Aug. 27.
A UTSA Learning Community is a group of students who share common interests and majors. During the fall semester, students are enrolled in two or three core curriculum classes together and actively engage in collaborative learning. The Summer Common Reading program is an opportunity to build an academic and social community and provides a common subject to engage in meaningful discussion with peers and colleagues.
New UTSA students will learn about the common reading program this summer in freshman orientation sessions and are required to read the book in time for UTSA's Aug. 27 Fall Convocation. The entire UTSA community is encouraged to read the book and participate in the Summer Common Reading events. Learning Communities students will continue to discuss "The Devil's Highway" throughout the fall semester. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use or refer to the book in courses, events and activities.
"The Devil's Highway" follows the journey of 26 men who in May 2001 attempted to cross the Mexican border into the Arizona desert, commonly referred to as The Devil's Highway. The journey would end in the largest United States-Mexico border death event in history. Through the lives of these men, Urrea details the unspeakable courage and the true spirit of humanity in their pursuit of the American dream.
"The Devil's Highway" is a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist and a winner of the Lannan Literary Award. Urrea is a best-selling author of 13 books and a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. Urrea is the Fall Convocation keynote speaker and also will host a meet-and-greet event for the UTSA community.
As part of the Tomas Rivera Center for Student Success, the UTSA Learning Communities mission is to cultivate an environment where students can learn and apply the academic skills and knowledge critical to their success in college. Learning Communities creates opportunities for students to develop a sense of belonging and connection with the greater university community.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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