UH-Clear Lake STEP Program named Texas Star Award Finalist
HOUSTON — University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Success Through Education Programs has been named one of eight finalists for the Texas Star Award by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The award recognizes exceptional contributions toward meeting the agency’s established goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015 in areas of higher education. The winners will be announced at the board’s annual conference in October.
“STEP serves not only the students and the community, but the state, as well,” says School of Education Dean Dennis Spuck. “It’s a prime example of what can be accomplished when school districts, community colleges and universities work together.”
Closing the Gaps by 2015 is a state initiative to help strengthen Texas’ economic base, and overall work force for the future. Among its goals are increasing student participation and success in higher education.
The STEP Collaborative, a UH-Clear Lake School of Education program, was established in 1993. Its partners work together to identify first-generation, diverse, and capable students who show great potential to become effective, certified teachers. The partnerships include four area school districts, six high schools, and four local community colleges. Since the program’s inception nearly 20 years ago, more than 680 students have graduated as certified teachers, many of whom have been the first in their family to graduate from college.
STEP provides participating students a seamless progression from high school, to community college, to UHCL by establishing a network of support and continuous advisement for six years. Upon graduation many of these students return to teach in elementary, middle and high schools they attended as children.
“We’re proud of our STEP students, many of whom may not have seen college as possible without the encouragement and support of this program,” says Nancy Wright, STEP faculty liaison. “As leaders and achievers, these students become highly qualified teachers for Texas and positive role models in our communities.”
The UHCL STEP partners are Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District and Lee College, Galveston Independent School District and Galveston College, Galena Park Independent School District and San Jacinto North Community College and Houston Independent School District and Houston Community College-Southeast.
University of Houston-Clear Lake offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a doctoral program, from its four schools, which include the School of Business, School of Education, School of Human Sciences and Humanities, and School of Science and Computer Engineering. For more information about the university, visit http://www.uhcl.edu.