Wednesday, August 05, 2015

UTSA Academy of Teacher Excellence named Excelencia Award finalist

faculty at ceremony

At the recent Excelencia ceremony in Washington, D.C., are (from left) Jeanne Reesman (UTSA professor of English), Lorena Claeys (UTSA Academy of Teacher Excellence director), Betty Merchant (dean of the UTSA College of Education and Human Development), U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzales, Betty Travis (UTSA professor emeritus) and Belinda Bustos Flores (UTSA professor and chair of the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies).

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By Christi Fish
Associate Director of Media Relations

(Oct. 22, 2012) -- The UTSA Academy of Teacher Excellence (ATE) was recognized as an Example of Excelencia Award finalist in the undergraduate school category. College of Education Dean Betty Merchant, ATE Executive Director Lorena Claeys, Professor Emeritus Betty Travis and Bicultural-Bilingual Studies Professor, Department Chair and ATE Founder Belinda Bustos Flores accepted the award on behalf of ATE at a recent event at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Excelencia in Education is one of America's top programs in increasing degree completion among Latinos at the associate, bachelor's and graduate degree levels. The organization aims to accelerate higher education success for Latino students by providing data-driven analysis of the educational status of Latino students and by promoting education policies and institutional practices that support their academic achievement.

Of the 500 programs that have been nominated since 2005, more than 100 have been chosen as outstanding models and resources for higher education success and contributions to continued research and education policy. This year, 159 programs were nominated and 16 finalists were chosen. ATE was nominated by Elvia Niebla, a soil scientist.

ATE was established as a hub for school districts, community colleges and UTSA to collaboratively research, design, implement and evaluate educational programs that address emerging, local and statewide educational issues associated with a growing diverse student population. The academy is a critical element of the UTSA College of Education and Human Development teacher education programs and has helped UTSA achieve national recognition as a leader in preparing teachers to teach in culturally diverse settings.

Last year, ATE was awarded a five-year Title V grant for Hispanic-serving institutions from the U.S. Department of Education for $4.2 million, bringing ATE's total funding to more than $17 million since it was founded in 2003. The funding is helping ATE increase the number of undergraduate students and teacher candidates majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), in addition to bilingual and special education.

Excelencia in Education honored ATE's efforts in Latino student's financial concerns, educator preparation, informed quantitative and qualitative research, and creating functional relationships between community, schools and higher education institutions.

"The Academy of Teacher Excellence has providing training to more than 2,000 teachers who seek to work with diverse student populations," said Merchant. "It is an honor to be named an Excelencia Award finalist for the work that we are doing to train teachers and to develop impactful relationships with K-12 and community supporters throughout San Antonio."

>> Learn more at the UTSA Academy of Teacher Excellence website.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

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6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

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Vaquerocation 2015

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Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
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