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This new college won't have any majors, faculty or graduates. But the new University College will touch all students to assure they have the tools they need to succeed in college and graduate on time. The University College, which opened Sept. 1, will offer services and programs for first- and second-year students and transfer students. It is led by Dr. Kristin Croyle, vice provost for Undergraduate Studies, and is split into two units – Student Success Initiatives and Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment – designed to increase student retention and graduation rates

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are the hottest thing in education right now, and UT Pan American is on trend this fall with the distance learning tool that Time Magazine said is "opening the door to the Ivy League for the masses." MOOCs are (usually) free college-level courses open to anyone around the world. An evolutionary product of distance learning and the increased use of the Internet in higher education, MOOCs allow connectivity to the instructor and other learners and offer activities and projects to better engage with the course content. To keep up with the demand for new online courses, UT Pan American launched its first MOOC in Legal Spanish this semester that can be accessed at www.coursesites.com. The course, offered in English and Spanish, and

and reduce the time to degree. “We all know that the high school-to-college transition can be a stressful one for anyone, and that is especially the case for many of our incoming freshmen who are the first in their families to go to college. To be able to provide them – and all of our undergraduates – a special place to call ‘home’ on campus is a dream come true,” said President Robert S. Nelsen. Students can expect guidance, mentoring, tutoring and support from the University College, particularly in the developmental education area, and academic advisement and career development services through programs such

tested this spring with 30 UTPA students, was developed for a broad range of people – professionals already working in the field, those seeking a career change or people of all ages simply seeking lifelong learning. New MOOCs are being developed each year through platforms such as Udacity, Coursera, and edX, with which The University of Texas System has affiliated. "Demographics show that the Latino community across the United States and, therefore, the Spanish-speaking population across the country, is growing, so people are going to need this kind of expertise," said Dr. Jessica Lavariega Monforti, an associate professor of political science and assistant dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, who was part of a team that worked to develop and implement the first UTPA MOOC.

as the Writing Center, Career Services and the University Academic Advisement Center. Students will not be alone on their journey to a degree as UTPA also plans to offer new programs that will include senior graduation check-out advising and first-year programming focused on academic engagement and success. The first-year program is a yearlong experience that will engage students in hands-on learning both inside and outside the classroom. To learn more about the programs and services of the University College, visit www.utpa. edu/universitycollege.

Presentations from 15 different highly qualified local and national experts on various topics such as language barriers in family law and domestic violence, how language affects the law in business contracts, and dialect differences across Spanish-speaking populations. A free course or certification for $50 through UTPA Continuing Education.

utpa.edu/los-arcos | 11

Los Arcos Fall/Summer 2013  

UTPA Los Arcos Fall/Summer 2013

Los Arcos Fall/Summer 2013  

UTPA Los Arcos Fall/Summer 2013

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