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March 12, 2012                                                        Spring 2012 No. 3

Description: Description: Dr-Juliet-V-GarciaDear Colleagues,


Since The University of Texas at Brownsville was established 20 years ago, we have felt an urgency in our work. We knew that if we were going to improve the quality of life in the Rio Grande Valley, we had to begin by raising the educational attainment in our region. We could no longer meet the needs of our rapidly growing population by importing our teachers from the Midwest and our health care professionals from abroad. We had to be able to grow our own.


Two decades later, we are beginning to see the results of this focused effort. In a report recently released by Excelencia in Education, our university was listed among the top 25 institutions graduating Latinos. We were ranked eighth in the number of associate degrees awarded and 24th in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Latinos. During the 2009-10 academic year, we awarded 927 associate degrees and 963 bachelor’s degrees.


This is a significant achievement made possible by our dedicated faculty and staff, our generous donors and the many advisory board members who lend us their wise counsel, as well as the energetic members of our community who have been persistent in their advocacy for higher education.


Lest we think, however, that we have the luxury of slowing our pace, all indicators signal that it is critical that we continue to build upon our momentum. The same publication reports that Hispanics are projected to account for 75 percent of the growth in the nation’s labor force over the next decade, yet there remains a large gap in their education attainment. While for the first time in history more than 30 percent of adults in the U.S. hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, the percentage for Hispanics is less than half that at 14.1 percent.


With the strength of the UT System behind us, the recent synergy created by last fall’s Vista Summit and an experienced and enthusiastic campus community working together, we are poised to continue our trajectory in closing the gap in student success.

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the university of texas at brownsville
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