UTSA to receive $1.1 million for new TRIO program
(July 15, 2015) -- UTSA has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive a five-year, $1.1 million TRIO Student Support Services grant to support UTSA students.
The funding will allow UTSA to provide 140 students with opportunities for academic development, assistance with basic college requirements and motivation to help them successfully complete their postsecondary education.
Building upon the successful strategies of the Graduation Rate Improvement Plan, the Office of P-20 Initiatives will facilitate a collaborative approach toward student success. Through the GRIP, UTSA students will have access to University College’s first-year experience peer mentor program, the Early Alert Retention Network (EARN) system, and proactive advising strategies. The Office of P-20 Initiatives will utilize existing TRIO programs and the UTSA Ready program to identify students for the new TRIO cohort, which will focus on student persistence, academic standing and graduation rates. The TRIO program will also offer personal, financial and academic counseling.
Barbara Smith, UTSA Executive Director of Advising, said the grant provides a great opportunity for UTSA students and she looks forward to working with the team on this initiative.
Joseph Kulhanek, UTSA Assistant Vice President for P-20 Initiatives, views the program as a truly collaborative approach to addressing student success at UTSA.
The Office of P-20 Initiatives submitted its proposal to the Department of Education in early February. It was one of 1,700 grant applications submitted to the federal government. The proposal included contributions from the UTSA Tomas Rivera Center, University College, Office of Advising, Office of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services, and Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
Transfer Academy for Tomorrow’s Engineers (TATE)
The UTSA College of Engineering has formed a collaborative partnership with the Alamo Colleges predicated on intervention strategies designed to increase the academic success of first-generation students who have been traditionally underserved. Both institutions have implemented a variety of program initiatives over the past decade to address the decline of engineering-oriented majors between their respective student populations; however, there is still significant work to be done to cultivate a highly skilled workforce of engineers. Both institutions are committed to preparing students by creating paths of study that provide a seamless transition from Alamo Colleges to the College of Engineering at UTSA. They acknowledge the fact that this partnership represents an unprecedented opportunity for a select cohort of transfer students and will require ongoing collaboration.
Under the direction of the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives, the TATE program will provide a cohort of 25 eligible students access to a clearly defined pathway bridging their academic work at Alamo Colleges and at UTSA.
- Form a collaborative partnership between UTSA College of Engineering and Alamo Colleges to increase the number of first-generation students who pursue an engineering major.
- Address Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships as they pertain to engineering education at UTSA.
- Recruit, educate, and graduate more first-generation engineering majors.
2012-2013 TATE Cohort
UTSA Ready is an early assessment and academic preparation program that is conducted in collaboration with local school districts. The goal of this unprecedented partnership is to ensure that high school students have the English and mathematics college readiness skills required by UTSA.
The assessment and academic preparation provided under this program allows teachers, parents, and UTSA to know exactly how well a cohort of students are prepared for college-level work. The students are given a diagnostic assessment and are assigned an instructor who assists them with their individual learning paths and is responsible for identifying any additional tutoring needs. The students are able to participate in Saturday Academic Enrichment Seminars (SAES) that are designed to improve their college readiness skills in either mathematics or English. Additionally, eligible students will be provided the option to take a credit by exam for College Algebra courses offered at UTSA.
The mission of UTSA Ready is to have the students prepared to enroll in credit-bearing courses and not spend time and money on remedial work.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP 2)
The GEAR UP 2 program is a collaborative partnership between UTSA & San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and is administered by the Office of P-20 Initiatives. As the university partner, UTSA is responsible for creating a college going culture in the community by way of a combination of innovative outreach activities and academic programming. The initial mode of outreach was through the use of the Mobile Go Center (MGC), which is a “lab on wheels”. The project team visited specifically low-to-moderate income families and economically disadvantaged students from the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). This approach is premised on “taking the classroom to the neighborhood” to ensure that students, parents, and teachers are exposed to college and career readiness materials in both English and Spanish. We are in the second year of a seven-year grant initiative.
San Antonio Mentoring Forum
The San Antonio Mentoring Forum (SAMF) serves as an informal organization for mentoring organizations and advocates to share mentoring information, promote mentoring awareness, learn of mentoring best-practices and foster collaboration in the mentoring community. The focus of the SAMF is one-to-one mentoring for youth in the Bexar County area - http://utsa.edu/mentoring/.