(May 7, 2018) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has received a nearly $1 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to increase diversity and student success in computer science. Led by Turgay Korkmaz, UTSA associate professor of computer science, and Larry Clark, a computer science lecturer, the program will support high-achieving, low-income students and engage underrepresented female and minority students by offering 62 undergraduate scholarships. The new program, funded by the NSF S-STEM program, will be known as Increasing Financial Opportunities and Co-curricular Utilities for Success in Computer Science (I-FOCUS-CS).
“UTSA is one of the largest minority-serving institutions in South Texas, and increasing the diversity of perspectives in our nation’s pool of computer science professionals is vital to our country’s prosperity,” Korkmaz said. “With this new program, we’ll connect with underrepresented female, minority and financially disadvantaged students to remove the implicit bias in the STEM field.”
The I-FOCUS-CS project will offer scholarships for high-achieving, low-income undergraduate students. Each qualifying student will receive a scholarship of up to $10,000 per year. Furthermore, to increase the diversity of UTSA computer science majors, the faculty members will develop new methods and surveys to better identify the academic needs of individual students, monitor the academic progress of each participant and integrate multiple activities based upon the learning needs and progress of individual participants.
“We are aiming to increase the retention of students majoring in computer science by at least 20 percent and improve the student graduation rate in computer science by the same measure,” Korkmaz said.
To support student engagement and success, UTSA will implement an increase in faculty and peer mentoring, individual tutoring and a new, week-long orientation “jump start” program, biweekly group study meetings, opportunities to attend research conferences and involvement in faculty research projects.
Additionally, each student’s progress will be closely followed so that individualized, early interventions will be initiated, if needed, to keep all scholars on track to complete their degrees. Students will also be encouraged to participate in recruiting and outreach events to share their own stories as role models for younger students.
“This combination of activities has the potential to significantly improve the retention and graduation rate of high-achieving, low-income students, and provide sustainable solutions to advancing STEM education,” Korkmaz said. “This program will open our exceptional computer science program to a broader student body.”
Students interested in applying to the program may do so online. The first group of students will receive funding in the Fall of 2018.
Learn more about the UTSA Department of Computer Science.
In honor of UTSA's 50th Anniversary in 2019, the university is hosting Roadrunner Days Spring Edition - two weeks of semester-launching activities built around our deeply held values of student success, student involvement, community service and fun!Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
Opening Reception got exhibit featuring artists Miguel Aragon, Aaron Coleman, Sandra Fernandez, Annalise Gratovich, Marco Hernandez, Kristen Powers Nowlin, & Patricia Villalobos EcheverriaMain Art Gallery, Arts Building (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
Tracy Cowden, Roland K. Blumberg Endowed Professor in Music and chair of the UTSA Department of Music launches the UTSA 50th Anniversary Scholars Speaker Series with Music as Medicine: The Power and Influence of Music on our Health.Radius Center, 411 E. Martin, San Antonio
UTSA African American Studies Program presents this series featuring Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus)
Join fellow Runners to walk for 10 minutes on the Main Campus. The event reminds us of the importance of exercise, diet and healthy habits in protecting our hearts.Outside the North Paseo Building, Main Campus
The annual event features authentic foods, music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games and entertainment from China, to the Indian Sub-continent, and the island nations of the Pacific. The Festival features two stages, a martial arts demonstration area, children’s hands on crafting area, anime activities, bonsai and ikebana displays, mahjong table and more.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
UTSA Libraries will host Bryan Gervais, UTSA assistant professor in the Dept. of Political Science & Geography, for his presentation "Political Incivility in the Digital Age." Pizza will be provided to UTSA students while supplies last.John Peace Library Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22)
Level up your career with a graduate business degree from the UTSA College of Business. Join us for this Open House to learn which of our 13 degree programs is right for you.Business Building (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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