The General Electric Fund has awarded $75,000 to The University of Texas-Pan American to be used in creating a program for freshmen students majoring in engineering and computer science.
UTPA will contribute an additional $53,684 to the project, titled "The University of Texas-Pan American GE Scholars Program: An Industry Partnership for Mentoring and Community Outreach to Increase Retention and Recruitment."
Students participating in the UTPA-GE Scholars Program will receive a $600 stipend for books and fees. Weekly sessions with groups of 10 students will beheld throughout the year with both faculty and upper-level students working with the freshmen.
"We know from experience that creating small groups of students who meet regularly and work together not only enhances mastery of course content, but also serves to create the type of long-lasting relationships important in completing a degree," said Dr. Edwin LeMaster, chair of the UTPA Department of Engineering and one of the co-directors of the program.
Other co-directors of the program are Pearl Brazier, chair of the Department of Computer Science, and Dr. Richard Fowler, associate professor in the department.
"We expect to see a significant increase in the retention of students in their programs as a result of this project," Brazier said. "Job opportunities in these fields are outstanding at this time and the UTPA-GE Scholars Program will enable UTPA to offer support to students to prepare them to take advantage of these opportunities."
Participants must apply to the program and be entering freshmen with less than 15 hours of college credit with a major in Engineering or Computer Science. Applications are available by calling 956/381-3510.
Other activities under the project will include participant fairs and visits to area high schools. For information, call Monica Trevino at 956/318-5294.