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2006 Winners and Finalists

Presented by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

For this year's competition, the Board received 52 applications, from which eight finalists were chosen. Selection of the five Star Award recipients was based on the recommendations of a nine-member panel made up of three Coordinating Board members; three Texas business, education, and community leaders; and three out-of-state educational experts.

2006 Winners

Austin Community College
College Connection Program

Stephen F. Austin State University
Academic Assistance and Resource Center

Tarrant County College District
SureStart Program

The University of Texas at El Paso
Chemistry Peer Leader Program

YES College Preparatory Schools

Austin Community College – College Connection Program
PowerPoint presentation
Through this partnership between Austin Community College (ACC) and 15 school districts, with support from private industry and foundations, high school seniors receive admission and enrollment services on their high school campuses. As a result, virtually all of Central Texas’ 6,400 high school seniors received an admissions acceptance letter to ACC with their high school diplomas. ACC’s enrollment from College Connection school districts increased nearly 38 percent on average from fall 2003 to fall 2005. The increase was nearly 100 percent for two school districts. In addition, the program is an effective tool for encouraging students to go to other colleges and universities. Overall college-going rates for participating high schools increased more than 9 percent during the same two-year period.
Contact: Mary Hensley, (512) 223-7618

Stephen F. Austin State University – Academic Assistance and Resource Center
PowerPoint presentation
The Academic Assistance and Resource Center (AARC) offers one-on-one peer tutoring, student-led study groups, supplemental instruction, and related services leading to increased intellectual development and academic success among participating students. Average grades for student participants were nearly half a grade point higher than for other students, and college persistence rates for participants improved as well. Students benefit from these services throughout their years in college, and earn degrees at higher rates. For the university’s Class of 1999, the six-year graduation rates for students who received services from the Center was 48 percent, compared to 35 percent for other students – who had higher SAT scores on average.
Contact: Robin Redmon Wright, (936) 468-1463

Tarrant County College District – SureStart Program
PowerPoint presentation
SureStart is a learning community for under-prepared, first-time-in-college students, offers early intervention to students who are at risk of dropping out of college. Through the program, students who need better reading skills take a developmental education reading course. They take their first college classes together, allowing them to bond and support each other. As a result, SureStart students are more successful in college. On average, they complete 29 semester credit hours of courses annually, compared to only 21 for a control group. In addition, on average SureStart students have earned a 2.19 grade point average, compared to 1.78 for the control group.
Contact: Penny Matthes, (817) 515-3575.

The University of Texas at El Paso – Chemistry Peer Leader Program
PowerPoint presentation
“Two Plus Two Workshops” are a key element of this effort, which has increased student success in science, engineering, and math at UT-El Paso. Two hours of workshops – small-group, peer-led, team-based activities – are substituted for one hour of a large-section lecture per week in a first-semester general chemistry course. Since the program was implemented in fall 2000, the “C-or-better” passing rate has improved from the historic average of nearly 53 percent to nearly 74 percent. As a result, an additional 150 students are passing this “gatekeeper” course annually, allowing many more students to continue their education into science, engineering, and math majors.
Contact: James E. Becvar, (915) 747-7563.

YES College Preparatory Schools – YES College Preparatory Schools
PowerPoint Presentation
Admission to a four-year higher education institution is a high school graduation requirement at YES College Preparatory Schools, based in Houston. A comprehensive college counseling program is a key element, beginning in middle school with college campus visits, which total more than 20 by the time students are seniors. During their junior year, students take a SAT/ACT preparatory course. As seniors, students are enrolled in a “college seminar” course, which allows them time to work on college applications, financial aid applications, and discuss related issues with college counselors. Parents also participate in college-preparatory seminars and workshops. First-generation-in-college students account for approximately 86 percent of YES graduates, who have been accepted to 190 colleges and universities nationwide. Approximately 76 percent of YES graduates persist in college, compared to approximately 50 percent of all students nationwide.
Contact: Ryan Dolibois, (713) 574-7595.

2006 Finalists

Amarillo College – Amarillo College disAbility Services Program
PowerPoint presentation
Contact: Brenda Rossnagel, (806) 371-5436

Austin Community College – College Connection Program
PowerPoint presentation
Contact: Mary Hensley, (512) 223-7618

Stephen F. Austin State University – Academic Assistance and Resource Center
PowerPoint presentation
Contact: Robin Redmon Wright, (936) 468-1463

Tarrant County College District – SureStart Program. SureStart
PowerPoint presentation
Contact: Penny Matthes, (817) 515-3575

The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College – Office of Pre-Medical Education Programs
PowerPoint presentation
Contact: Shanta Goswami, (956) 882-5059

The University of Texas at El Paso – Chemistry Peer Leader Program
PowerPoint presentation
Contact: James E. Becvar, (915) 747-7563

University of North Texas – Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Recruiting and Retention Program
PowerPoint presentation
Contact: Krishna Kavi, (940) 565-2767

YES College Preparatory Schools – YES College Preparatory Schools
PowerPoint presentation
Contact: Ryan Dolibois, (713) 574-7595


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