UTSA program is finalist in Higher Education Coordinating Board Star Awards

ADP team members

At the Star Awards ceremony in Austin are (from left) UTSA Tomas Rivera Center team members Phillip Casarez, academic adviser I; Venesa Matthews, academic adviser II; Cynthia Rodriguez, ADP director; and Jessica Williams, academic adviser IV.

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(Nov. 27, 2012) -- The Academic Development Program (ADP) in the UTSA Tomas Rivera Center for Student Success was one of eight finalists for the 12th annual Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Star Awards presented last month in Austin. The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Raymund Paredes, Texas commissioner of higher education.

"Congratulations, Academic Development Program at The University of Texas at San Antonio," said Paredes. "Your program and the students, faculty, administrators and other staff who have created, developed and carried it out are providing valuable services to Texas and its people by helping us close the gaps in education. The Coordinating Board and I commend everyone who has contributed to the program."

The ADP team was represented at the event by Cynthia Rodriguez, ADP director, and academic advisers Jessica Williams, Venesa Matthews and Phillip Casarez. The UTSA staff members hosted an elaborate display highlighting the program’s services and successful initiatives.

ADP was established in 1996 to assist students provisionally admitted to UTSA. The program housed in the Tomas Rivera Center originally served an average of 100 students through an optional five-week summer bridge program. In 2004, the admissions term for provisional students moved from summer to fall, and the program grew to an average of 500 students. Because of the program's success, the university now requires all provisional students to participate in the ADP until they clear provisional status. There is no additional cost for students to participate in the program.

The program facilitates the transition between high school and UTSA for provisionally admitted students by providing support through academic advising, specialized programs and enhanced campus affiliation. In keeping with the university's aspirations toward Tier One research status, the ADP centers on helping to improving freshman retention and, in turn, the graduation rate.

"Provisional students often come to the university academically and socially under-prepared for the college experience," said Leticia Duncan-Brosnan, executive director of the Tomas Rivera Center. "These students are given the opportunity to adjust to college life, while improving their academic skills. From orientation to program completion, ADP offers many ways to assist in student success."