The University of Texas-Pan American is looking for 20 high school students to live on campus and take a college-level biology course - for free.
The Advanced College Experience in the Biological Sciences (ACEBS) program will be offered for the first time this summer.
ACEBS allows students to get a feel for campus life while earning four hours of college credit in a general introductory biology course through the UTPA Concurrent Enrollment program.
"The goal of the program is to encourage students (especially low-income, first generation students) to enter a career in the agricultural and food sciences," said Dr. Hudson De Yoe, biology associate professor and project director. "To my knowledge this is the only program of its kind in the Valley."
The majority of the program - which will focus on the agricultural sciences, particularly in the laboratory curriculum - was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Although the Wornick Company of McAllen has donated funds to help pay for textbooks, additional funding is needed, said Candi Roxas, executive director of Development at UTPA.
Students will be introduced to important agricultural concepts and research. Innovative technology utilized in the food produce processing and packaging industries will also be studied through on-campus seminars and field trips to area facilities.
"In addition, students will be given training on how to excel in college," said De Yoe. "I imagine the students will develop close friendships with each other during this intensive program."
Students need to apply and be accepted into both Concurrent Enrollment and ACEBS to participate. Applications for the program will be accepted through mid-May. Contact the Concurrent Enrollment Office at 956/388-2703 if you would like to participate.
For more information or to become a sponsor, call De Yoe at 956/381-3538 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Felipe Salinas at 956/381-2521.