The University of Texas-Pan American hosted the College for Texans Campaign Conference in the University Ballroom Wednesday, Oct. 22. South Texas educators met to discuss information regarding minigrants and the formation of information hubs, called "Go Centers," in high schools. Dr. John Edwards, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services said that UTPA plays an important role in the College for Texans Campaign.
"We deal with the very population that we need to encourage to go into higher education, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds that don't consider going to college. When we make a difference to one student we really make a difference," Edwards said. "They talk about us in Austin because of the wonderful work we're doing here in the Valley."
The College for Texans Campaign is a statewide effort to raise awareness among students and their families about the benefits of higher education and how to prepare for it academically and financially. The campaign was officially launched in November, 2002 through mandated Senate Bill 573 as part of the state's education plan, Closing the Gaps by 2015.
Natalie Woodward Correa, program director and regional liaison for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, described the resources available to promote the campaign.
"We offer a lot of materials to help schools, students and parents learn more about state programs to help prepare for college," Correa said. "Free downloadable resources are available from the College for Texans' website or they can call and order publications to help set up information kiosks or centers in their schools."
In an effort to address the issues and needs of the campaign, UTPA formed a committee of University staff and community leaders to deliberate ways of increasing access to higher education for South Texas students. Members of the UTPA College for Texans Committee include Nancy Smith, Monica Alvarado, Nilsa Guajardo, Jaime Olivarez, Cindy Valdez, Dr. John Edwards, Terrie Salinas, Gilbert Zepeda, Joni Thomas, Chelse Benham and Mark Saenz. Susie Miller and Dr. Mary Alice Reyes, co-chair the committee.
For more information contact Smith at 956/381-2147. For free downloadable resources visit the College for Texans website at firstname.lastname@example.org