More than 300 Rio Grande Valley students and parents converged Saturday, Dec. 8 on The University of Texas-Pan American campus for a firsthand look at the premier higher education institution in South Texas and to meet University faculty and staff during UTPA Day.
UTPA Student Outreach Services gave prospective students the opportunity to learn more about the University programs and obtain other information about financial aid, concurrent enrollment and foreign travel.
"We hope with the students and parents took with them a fresh look at the University," said Sam Diaz, assistant director of Student Outreach Services. "For the past five years, changes have been going on. We see it, but our primary audience has had limited opportunities. This way, both groups have a greater appreciation for the campus and what we have to offer."
Representatives from each of the six UTPA academic colleges also gave presentations and discussed the variety of programs and opportunities the University offers in the students' fields of interest.
UTPA Day was a learning experience for students and parents in attendance who were grateful to find out about the requirements and costs of attending the University.
"It's been very interesting and helpful," said Gladys De la Cerda of PSJA Memorial, who attended UTPA Day with her mother, Yolanda. "Now I know what the requirements are for a degree in education and I know what I have to do."
Diaz said another UTPA Day is planned for next year, and they hope to bring in more than 1,000 students and parents.
"We feel this will result in more referrals when it comes to UTPA enrollment," Diaz said. "More importantly, we want to tell these students and parents that we want them here at UTPA and we have the premier programs at your disposal and in your own backyard to support their academic endeavors."
Free food and refreshments were offered in library lobby along with campus and library tours throughout the day. Students and parents then attended the "Night of Lights" celebration the same evening on campus.