Dedicated to increasing retention and graduation rates through several academic programs, the Learning Assistance Center at The University of Texas-Pan American celebrated its 25th anniversary Oct. 12.
Located in the Student Services Building, the LAC provides academic advisement, tutoring, Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) workshops, counseling and veterans assistance. The tutorial unit and part of the Counseling and Advisement Center are coordinated with the Special Student Support Program of the U.S. Department of Education.
"At some point, all students are going to need some form of help, whether it's advisement, counseling or determining the right major," said Art Ramos, LAC director. "If they have the will and determination, we're going to be here for them and help see them through."
Through a special allocation from the Texas Legislature, the LAC was created in fall 1975 with the support of Pan American President Dr. Ralph Schilling and current President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez, who then was vice president for Student Affairs. The tutorial component was presented to the University community Sept. 10, 1975, with the counseling component announced a week later
During the celebration at the University Ballroom, Dr. Sylvia Lujan, former LAC director and current coordinator of academic assessment for Institutional Research and Planning, provided a brief overview of the program's history. She and Ramos also thanked the administration, office staff and students for their support through the years.
"We've provided a vital service to the University and created several services that have spun off from us, such as the Office of Services for Persons with Disabilities, the Orientation Office and others," Ramos said. "Any service we thought the students needed that was not available, we provided."