UT Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications

UT Tyler Charter School Recognized for Empowering Students to Succeed

May 14, 2020

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Senior Director of Media Relations
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler announced today that its University Academy charter school has been recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished District for providing students broad access to transformative learning opportunities through its PLTW programs.

One of just 24 districts across the US to receive this honor, the University Academy is a public university charter school that incorporates the Project Lead The Way STEM curriculum into daily classroom education and utilizes a hands-on learning approach. The charter school is operated by the UT Tyler College of Education and Psychology and has campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

Each charter school campus also has been recognized by PLTW as a Distinguished School.

“We are proud of the great work of our charter schools, and this honor acknowledges that our K through 12 students are receiving an exceptional education,” said Dr. Wes Hickey, UT Tyler College of Education and Psychology dean.

The PLTW Distinguished District recognition honors districts committed to increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, the University Academy must have 20 percent or more of its students in each grade participate in a PLTW program during the 2018-19 school year.

"Research shows that students decide as early as elementary school how they feel about math and science,” said Dr. Jo Ann Simmons, University Academy superintendent. “The Project Lead The Way curriculum allows students to engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.”

“It is a great honor to recognize the UT Tyler University Academy for their commitment to providing students with an excellent educational experience,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, president and CEO of PLTW. “They should be very proud of their work to ensure students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a mission-driven organization that is transforming the learning experience for millions of pre-K – 12 students and thousands of teachers across the US. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.

A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered to nearly 10,000 students. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News and World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.