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UTSA receives $2.6 million grant to research Hispanic student retention

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Graduates at Convocation Center, UTSA Main Campus
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

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(Sept. 4, 2014) -- UTSA President Ricardo Romo, along with Congressman Joaquin Castro, today announced a five-year $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education that will go to the UTSA Academy for Teacher Excellence (ATE). The Sustainable Support System for Student Success (S5) grant will be used to support research on Hispanic student retention.

More than 70 percent of students at UTSA are minority and more than 50 percent are first-generation students, giving the university the unique opportunity to provide educational experiences that help these groups succeed academically.

The grant will allow ATE to work with community colleges and high schools in the surrounding area to ensure Hispanic students are college ready upon graduation. The new research will support work the academy already is doing, including developing culturally responsive support systems for underserved students.

ATE will be tasked with several goals. The grant will increase the number of Hispanic students who major in critical teaching shortage areas, as well as help at least 75 percent of students graduating from the program find employment or enroll in graduate school. Research and best practices in Hispanic retention found will then be disseminated.

Other goals for the grant include developing a task force to align the ATE vision with the UTSA Graduation Rate Improvement Rate (GRIP).

Lorena Claeys, executive director and research associate for the Academy for Teacher Excellence; Margarita Machado-Casas, associate professor in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies; and Guadalupe Carmona, associate professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, developed the proposal on the university’s behalf and will conduct the research.

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For more information, visit the UTSA Academy for Teacher Excellence website.

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