MS in Environmental Science Named Finalist for 2022 Examples of Excelencia | UTSA today | UTSA
Beginning in 2015, the program’s practices were intentionally developed to serve Latino students through an assessment of success metrics and consulting with leading experts on how to improve Latino student success in STEM fields.
These measures led to results that included the creation of professionalization opportunities designed explicitly for minority students, the recruitment of minority model professionals, and the development of workshops for professors to specifically address the unique need for mentorship and validation. Latino participants.
“The Masters in Environmental Science is proud to be recognized as a 2022 finalist by excellence in education,” said Janis Bush, director of the Department of Integrative Biology. “We are committed to ensuring a diverse natural resources and conservation workforce. This honor is the result of the dedication of staff and faculty, but most importantly of students eager to learn and develop the skills necessary to become successful scientists.
The number of Latino students in the program has steadily increased. Of the 53 students currently enrolled in the Environmental Science graduate program, 60% are Latino. Three years ago, only 32% of students were Latinos. Additionally, retention of Latino students increased from 91% to 98%, and Latino participants who completed the thesis track increased from 33% to 45% over those three years.
One of the main ways the program achieved its mission of accelerating Latino student success was by building an interdisciplinary team that included faculty from UTSA’s English Department and the Department of Educational Leadership and political studies to focus on increasing its enrollment of Latino students. . In 2018, the program also received funding from the National Science Foundation‘s Innovative Higher Education Program to implement and test a model to improve the achievement and success of Latino participants in their graduate theses.
“Congratulations to the hard-working UTSA faculty, staff, and students in the social work and environmental science graduate programs for their recent recognition by excellence in education,” said UTSA Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Spy. “As a founding member of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities (HRSU), UTSA is committed to becoming a thriving Hispanic university. The recognition by Excelenica in Education strengthens our momentum to support our Hispanic students and the community at large with high-quality programs in support of our dual mission of access and excellence.
In 2020, UTSA obtained the prestigious seal of excellencea comprehensive certification recognizing the university’s commitment and ability to accelerate Latino student success.
The seal demonstrates the university’s momentum in becoming a successful Hispanic institution, a model Hispanic Service Institution which provides the highest quality education to advance social mobility and economic opportunity for Latino students and their communities. The university is currently ranked No. 2 among the 20 founding members of HRSU, based on the percentage of master’s degrees awarded to Latino students.
“excellence increases national awareness of efforts effectively engaging the growing Latino student population,” said Sarita Brownco-founder and president of excellence in education. “We are relentless, as are these program leaders, in promoting the benefits to institutions and this country by intentionally serving Latino students and other post-traditional students.”
examples of excellence was established in 2005 and is the nation’s only national effort to recognize and promote evidence-based practices accelerating Latino student success in higher education.