Social work program highlighted in Puerto Rico
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (956) 665-2741
Posted: 03/08/2012
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The first cohort of Laredo Master of Science in Social Work students from The University of Texas-Pan American was honored during a special hooding ceremony hosted at Laredo Community College on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. The graduates are, L-R, front, Rocio Jaramillo, Sandra Selina Vasquez, Susana K. Villanueva, Sandra Patricia Cobos-Treviño, and Susana Berrones. The students are flanked by college and university officials, including LCC Interim Vice President for Instruction Dr. Dianna Miller, UTPA Vice Provost for Graduate Studies Dr. Cynthia Brown, UTPA Department of Social Work Chair Dr. Hector Luis Diaz, UTPA Assistant Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services Karen Chandler, UTPA Assistant Professor Dr. Denise A. Longoria and LCC President Dr. Juan L. Maldonado. (Photo courtesy of Laredo Community College)

Drs. Héctor Luis Díaz and Denise A. Longoria, faculty members of The University of Texas-Pan American, received a top prize for a presentation they gave on the social work program they developed with Laredo Community College (LCC) and The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB).

Diaz, a professor and chair of UTPA's Department of Social Work, and Longoria, an assistant professor of social work, garnered first place in the Access track category for their presentation, "A Hybrid Distance Education Program to Increase Access to Social Work Education in South Texas" at the Hispanic Educational Technology Services (HETS) Consortium in San Juan, Puerto Rico recently.

The presentation highlighted the program UTPA formed with LCC and UTB in Fall 2009 to offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in social work to students living in the Laredo and Brownsville areas.

Currently, UTPA is the only university south of San Antonio and Houston that offers bachelor's and master's degrees in social work. Under the program, students in the Laredo and Brownsville areas can take UTPA courses at the higher education institutions near their homes and online.

Since its inception, 57 students have been admitted and the program has maintained a 95 percent student retention rate. In December 2010, UTPA graduated its first class in the hybrid program in which five people earned master's degrees.

For more information about the social work program, contact Díaz at (956) 665-3575 or Longoria at (956) 721-5290.