The Graduate School at The University of Texas-Pan American was recently awarded $1.75 million by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) grant program.
The funds will be used over a 5-year period to implement the "Transforming Graduate Education at UTPA" initiative, which includes several activities intended to strengthen the graduate school and improve the educational experience for graduate students.
A major component will be the Graduate Resource Center (GRC), which will serve as a clearinghouse for resources and best practice ideas. Through the GRC, graduate students will have more access to training and resources to guide them to the successful attainment of their degree. Faculty will participate in professional development to support their role as mentors to graduate teaching and research assistants.
Additionally, scholarships and stipends to encourage participation in research and conferences will be provided to Hispanic students studying in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduate programs.
Dr. Cynthia Brown, vice provost for Graduate Studies, Academic Centers and Continuing Education, said the UTPA Graduate School is currently experiencing tremendous growth.
"This semester's increase in graduate student enrollment at UTPA resulted in the highest number of graduate credit hours in the history of the university. This new partnership with the Department of Education could not have come at a better time," Brown said.
"With almost 95 percent of the funding for the new initiative provided by the grant, UTPA will now be able to provide graduate students with increased academic support resources as well as new scholarships to attract even more Hispanic students to our graduate degree programs in STEM fields," she added.
Implementation of the GRC is currently underway and is expected to begin providing services in January 2010.
For more information about the GRC or graduate school, contact Sylvia Aldape, project co-director, at 956/381-3661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about UTPA graduate programs can also be found at www.utpa.edu/gradschool.