UTB/TSC Distance Education and Instructional Technologies Department Assistant Director Rene Sainz, right, and designer Guillermo Ramos pause from their work on the MyUTBTSC Blackboard. Sainz, a Matamoros native, is currently working on a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction at UTB/TSC.
Rene Sainz is an example of how far a student can go to accomplish one’s educational goals at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.
Sainz, born in Matamoros and raised in Mexico City, has family on both sides of the border. He moved to Brownsville in the late 1980s to learn English and enrolled in a vocational radio and television repair program. He went on to earn an associate degree in electronics technology, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Spanish and a second master’s degree in educational technology – all at UTB/TSC.
Sainz, assistant director of the university’s Distance Education and Instructional Technologies Department, is currently working on a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in bilingual education.
He decided to pursue degrees at the university because of the region’s cultural and linguistic diversity with its mixture of Spanish and English.
“This institution reflects the opportunities we can find here,” Sainz said. “It was a perfect match for me. It gave me the opportunity to use both languages because both languages were evaluated, respected and used.”
The School of Education’s diversity includes certificates, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and opportunities for field teaching, traveling to conferences and conducting research along the border.
The school’s graduates have a 96 percent passing rate on state accreditation tests.
“I always thought our students were great, but you know who tells us they are great? The principals,” said Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez, chairman of the Curriculum and Instruction Department. “The principals out in the schools take pride in the university producing excellent candidates to choose from.”
The school is based at the Education and Business Complex but also has space at the International Technology, Education and Commerce Center, where the Alternative Certification Program is located, and the soon-to-open Recreation, Education and Kinesiology Center, which will house the Health and Human Performance Department.
“I would say our program is very solid, very current, up to date,” said Dr. Gayle Brogdon, the school’s assistant dean. “Our instructors are doing an excellent job to prepare our students to go into the teaching field.”
The School of Education also has the Raul J. Guerra Early Childhood Center, where students pursuing child care and development certificates of proficiency can work with children. The center is certified by the National Association for Education of Young Children.
The School of Education is also home to the Mathematics and Science Academy, which allows qualifying high school sophomores to take college-level courses concurrently with their junior and senior years of high school to earn two years of college credit and a high school diploma.
For more on the School of Education, contact (956) 882-7466 or visit http://soe.utb.edu/.