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UT Tyler Earns State Award for Partnership Providing High School Students College, STEM Career Readiness

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February 4, 2014

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

February 4, 2014

The University of Texas at Tyler has been recognized by the Texas Association of Partnerships in Education for an innovative partnership with Waxahachie Independent School District, Dr. Michael Odell, UT Tyler Ingenuity Center executive director, announced.

Each year, the Texas Association of Partners in Education recognizes exemplary partners and partnership programs across the state. Award winners represent volunteers, community organizations, government agencies, institutions of higher education, businesses and school districts whose commitment to education partnerships have made a positive impact on youth. To view the complete list of awardees, visit www.tape.org/awards.

UT Tyler and WISD earned the 2014 “Partnership Program Innovation Award” for their commitment to help prepare Waxahachie Global High School students in college coursework and career readiness in the areas of science, technology, education and mathematics through UT Tyler’s Ingenuity Center. This partnership delivers an innovative way in which high school students receive dual credit towards a specific degree plan.

“Global High School is the first public high school to have this type of partnership with a four-year university. With this partnership, we are leading the way in changing how the traditional high school offers courses, especially for higher education credit,” Odell said.

Through the partnership, UT Tyler offers Global High School students university college credit in STEM courses including pre-calculus, calculus, biology, chemistry, engineering and computer science. The high school students enrolled in the STEM courses have the same syllabi and labs as UT Tyler students, with equal rigor and expectation.

UT Tyler has provided teacher professional development and trainings to the STEM teachers at Global High School, which is open to Ellis County students who wish to receive an education in a STEM field and earn both college and high school credit.

To date, 215 of the 400 students enrolled in the STEM/Early College High School are taking UT Tyler courses. That number is expected to grow to almost 300 next year, Odell added.

The UT Tyler Ingenuity Center, a component of the Texas STEM Initiative, is designed to build on national, state and local efforts to improve STEM achievement among Texas students. It provides a number of services to schools and education institutions across Texas and throughout the nation.

The center also focuses on increasing the number of students who study and enter a STEM career pipeline by providing programs to teachers and students. It utilizes a four-pronged strategy to address the quality and quantity of Texas STEM teachers. Its mission is to ultimately prepare students to be “STEM College Ready” by improving the STEM preparation of teachers through research, professional development, curriculum development and technical assistance. For more information, visit www.ingenuitycenter.org/.

Winners are selected based upon criteria established by the TAPE Board of Directors, with emphasis on impact and measured change in student progress and outcomes. All awardees are included in TAPE’s signature publication, Soaring to New Heights in Education: Powerful Partnership Practices Across Texas.

The Texas Association of Partners in Education provides leadership and expertise for schools, families, businesses and communities to build partnerships that enhance student success. The central purpose is to strengthen student success through volunteer, community and business/school partnerships.

The association has a 30-year track record of supporting its members in creating effective partnerships to enhance student success. Originated in 1979 as the Texas School Volunteer Program, the association served as one of the original 12 affiliates of the National School Volunteer Program. In 1992, the name was changed to reflect the diversity of membership, and the group was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. A state office was opened in Austin in 1996.

For more information, visit www.tape.org.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 7,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.
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