Pre-K – Graduate/Professional School Pipeline Strategic Goal: Create a successful pathway for first-generation and underrepresented students as they progress from pre-K through graduate and professional school.

On this page, you will find updated information and current activities within the Pipeline goal. For more information about the goal and specific objectives, click here.

By Dr. Thomas Darwin

The Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE) in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) launched the DiscoverLaw.org PLUS program on July 13, 2015. This program is a collaborative effort between The University of Texas at Austin and Huston-Tillotson University, funded by a three-year grant from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).

The program was designed and is being implemented by a joint UT-HT team, with strong participation from DDCE and the UT Law School. The DiscoverLaw.org PLUS program build team includes Drs. Paul Anaejionu and Lorraine Samuels from Huston-Tillotson, and Drs. Aileen Bumphus, Thomas Darwin, Eric Dieter, and Stella Smith from DDCE. Samuel Riley and Elizabeth Youngdale from the UT Law School have also been deeply involved. Special recognition goes to Suzanne Wallen in DDCE’s Development Office for securing the funding from LSAC.

The purpose of the program is to attract talented students who might not typically consider law school or a career in the legal profession. There is a strong emphasis of students who are under-represented, first generation, and economically disadvantaged. The focus of the program goes well beyond LSAT prep. Students are learning and developing the knowledge and competencies they will need to succeed in law school and in legal professions.

Our inaugural cohort is comprised of 15 rising sophomores and juniors from UT and HT, and they have hit the ground running. Participants are enjoying an intensive program of professional panels, field trips to courts and law offices, and LSAT prep. They are also learning how to do legal analysis and write legal documents, following a complicated case assignment that is exactly like cases assigned to first year law students at UT School of Law. And, they are participating in plenty of fun activities including brain games, “Legal Eagle” movie nights, and lots of pizza.

DiscoverLaw Inaugural Cohort (Photo by Dr. Stella Smith)

In Fall 2015, participants will be able to participate in the IE Pre-Grad Internship and be partnered with a law student, and then in the spring, they will have the opportunity to work in conjunction with UT Law School’s legal clinics to directly get involved with community issues and the law.

DiscoverLaw (6-13-15) Professor Sokolow UT Law Professor David Sokolow (Photo by Dr. Stella Smith)

Given the quality of exchanges and participation in the first week, we fully expect our first cohort to go on and do amazing work in the world of law.


By Paola Rabago

About Advise TX

UT Advise Texas, directed by Paola Rabago and Patrick Patterson, Assistant Vice President for The Longhorn Center for School Partnerships (LCSP) within the Division of Diversity & Community Engagement (DDCE), works to increase the number of first-generation college going, low-income, and/or underrepresented students who apply, enter, and complete college. We do this by placing recent college graduates from partner universities as full-time college advisers in some of America’s underserved high schools. We believe that every student deserves the opportunity to enter and complete higher education.

Advisers work to foster a college-going culture within the schools they serve, which is one of the best predictors of whether students will pursue higher education. Advisers become part of their school’s community. They collaborate with teachers and administrators to tie college-going into the life of a school, devise creative approaches to reach and connect with students, and most importantly, open the eyes of students and their families to the possibility of college. Equally important, advisers supplement, not replace, existing high school counseling staff, thereby reaching more students.

Partnering Schools

Students in grade level 9th through 12th and part of our partnering high schools listed below are eligible to participate in the Advise TX program. Each day, our advisers track activities that are key performance indicators for increasing college enrollment rates. These include:

  • Campus Visits
  • College Representative Visits and College Fairs
  • SAT/ACT Registration
  • College Workshops
  • College Application Submissions
  • FAFSA Completion
  • Scholarship Dollars Awarded




Our student demographic is 74% Latino/a and 19% African American.

Income Level

74% of our population reports to be on free or reduced lunch.


This year’s college advising corps impacted many seniors. Our results presented 93% out of a total of 5,572 seniors served by Advise TX applied to at least one university, 61% of seniors submitted a FAFSA application, and 72% of seniors met with advisers to determine a best fit best match life plan based on their needs. The data for each of our partnering schools is as follows:

Seniors with at least one College Application Submitted

College Applications Submitted

Partnering School Number of College Applications Submitted %
Travis 273 91%
Akins 272 91%
Reagan 215 99%
KIPP Austin 93 100%
                                        Manor 382 100%
Economedes 461 92%
Juarez-Lincoln 456 94%
PSJA High 399 100%
Madison 515 89%
De Soto 445 80%
Lancaster 376 100%
Socorro 472 80%
El Dorado 766 91%
Americas 447 95%
TOTAL 5572 93%

FAFSA Submissions

*This number is subject to increase as our last report will be received in July 2015

Partnering School Number of FAFSA Applications Submitted %
Travis 120 44%
Akins 158 58%
Reagan 95 43%
KIPP Austin 91 98%
Manor 241 63%
Economedes 314 68%
Juarez-Lincoln 237 52%
PSJA High 339 85%
Madison 458 89%
De Soto 227 51%
Lancaster 181 48%
Socorro 189 40%
El Dorado 421 55%
Americas 264 59%
TOTAL 3335 61%

Adviser Meetings

Students Adviser Has Met With

*This is a total of the number of seniors the adviser met with to educate them about their options in higher education and determining a best fit best match plan for their future.

Partnering School Number of Meetings Held With Students %
Travis 233 40%
Akins 404 72%
Reagan 225 100%
KIPP Austin 94 100%
Manor 260 68%
Economedes 595 52%
Juarez-Lincoln 323 66%
PSJA High 386 97%
Madison 115 20%
De Soto 556 100%
Lancaster 309 82%
Socorro 433 73%
El Dorado 626 75%
Americas 309 66%
TOTAL 4868 72%


Students who met with the adviser at their school were:

  • 14% more likely to visit a college campus
  • 21.5% more likely to attend a financial aid workshop
  • 24.6% more likely to submit their FAFSA
  • 13.5% more likely to take the ACT
  • 30.5% more likely to apply to 1+ colleges
  • 22% more likely to apply to 3 or more colleges
  • 77% more likely to be accepted to 1 or more colleges
  • 47.3% more likely to apply to a 4-year college
  • 53% more likely to be accepted to a 4-year college

Pipeline Initiatives

In retrospect, the Advise TX program promotes, supports, and enhances the pipeline initiatives in continuing to focus on one of our 2014-15 DDCE strategic plan priorities —encouraging first generation/underrepresented students’ matriculation through higher education. We look forward to continuing our partnership with CAC and High Schools in order to keep supporting students to continue their educational trajectory.


By Dr. Aileen Bumphus

Through coordinated efforts with our Pipeline programs, Academic Diversity Initiatives (ADI) is continuing to focus on one of our 2014-15 DDCE strategic plan priorities —encouraging first generation/underrepresented students’ matriculation through higher education, especially at the The University of Texas at Austin. Through Dr. Leonard Moore’s leadership, ADI has worked closely with our Outreach Centers and UT Office of Admissions to provide several opportunities to engage graduating seniors and their families as they make their college decisions. These included taking ADI staff members to targeted high schools across the state to work personally with the high school staff in creating programs and workshops designed to address specific college admissions questions that the students and parents have. As a result, the University has demonstrated a significant increase in the number of underrepresented students applying to UT. Additionally, there has been a substantial increase in the number of UT admission offers made to underrepresented students. This is due in part to an innovative initiative, Texas Advance, which is a major new scholarship opportunity aimed at supporting the success of economically disadvantaged individuals who have proven themselves by performing at the top of their high school classes. Pipeline Council sub-committee work also continues as we discuss the development of new strategies for engaging our appropriate partners.

Finally, we have successfully launched our prelaw program that is another pipeline opportunity for underrepresented students to matriculate into law school. This is a three-year pilot that will bring in 20 students each year. The DiscoverLaw.org Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) program is an initiative of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and is offered through collaboration between Huston-Tillotson University (HT) and The University of Texas at Austin (UT). The program is administered by the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE), a unit of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin. The five-week residential program will help students learn more about the legal profession and what is needed to earn a law degree. DiscoverLaw.org PLUS focuses on the skills required to get into and succeed in law school and successfully pursue a range of careers in the legal field. The program is free for students selected to participate, and is funded by a grant from LSAC. The 2015 DiscoverLaw.org summer session will begin on Monday, July 13, 2015.


By Dr. Eric Dieter

Thanks to the dedication and expertise of Suzanne Wallen, Associate Director of Development for the DDCE, the Educational Pipeline is happy to announce receipt of a substantial grant from Sooch Foundation.

Sooch Foundation, a privately funded charity based in Austin, describes their mission as making “positive and permanent change in the lives of economically disadvantaged people in Austin through increased educational opportunities.” When looking for projects to fund, Sooch Foundation focuses on “nonprofit organizations that implement innovative solutions to long-lasting problems in education.”

We believe the work done in the Longhorn Center for School Partnership (LCSP) fits that bill, and evidently Sooch agrees. Their generous grant of $55,000 helps LCSP carry on the Educational Pipeline’s stated strategic goal of providing “a continuous pathway for students to achieve their highest postsecondary goals.”

The Sooch Foundation grant specifically allows LCSP to “deepen our college access and readiness work at Reagan High School,” according to Ms. Wallen, who specializes in corporate and foundation relations. Reagan High School, located in northeast Austin, is part of the Austin Independent School District (AISD). In recent years the school transformed itself into an “early college high school,” where students can earn sixty college credit hours while earning their high school diplomas. Reagan is an important and longstanding participant in LCSP programs. With the help from Sooch Foundation, we look forward to growing our collaborations with Reagan.

A smaller portion of the Sooch Foundation grant is earmarked for another exciting opportunity, the piloting of a student data management system. Over the last couple of years, the Pipeline Council has explored the best way to integrate information about students from across Educational Pipeline units into a coordinated, longitudinal, and user-friendly data system.

The most comprehensive and appropriate student data system for Pipeline purposes appears to be CoPilot. CoPilot is the creation of another Austin-based nonprofit, College Forward, that offers intensive college “coaching” for students transitioning from high school to college using a “near peer” mentor model.

CoPilot is built on Salesforce, a customer relationship management platform common in the business world. But CoPilot was intentionally designed as a “cloud-based application for capturing a 360-degree view of student information.” It was designed to keep student data safe and clean.

LCSP Assistant Vice President Patrick Patterson is leading the CoPilot test. Simon Hughes, Director of Information Technology Services for the DDCE, has been integral to ensuring the secure and efficient implementation of the system. CoPilot allows LCSP staff, as stated in the Sooch Foundation proposal, “to track trends and measure progress” of students, at Reagan High, and at elementary, middle, and high schools served by LCSP units across Texas.

LCSP staff is currently starting the process of training with College Forward’s CoPilot team. The goal is to have the system operational for the next academic year. Depending on the results of the pilot period, perhaps CoPilot will eventually be commonplace across DDCE units.

Learn more:

Sooch Foundation



College Forward



CoPilot Student Information Application



Early College High Schools



DDCE Pipeline Council



By Dr. Tommy Darwin

The Pipeline Retreat on September 24th was an impressive reminder of the breadth and depth of DDCE’s efforts to get young folks into college and from college on to productive lives. Dr. Aileen Bumphus welcomed the 35 staff members in attendance and facilitated a teambuilding activity. This was especially helpful since a number of new staff members were present. Dr. Kenya Walker provided an update on the effectiveness of the Pipeline in 2012, and how well it is meeting its performance goals. Dr. Ge Chen discussed the Pipeline Council’s priorities for the 2013-2014 academic year and some steps that have already been made toward progress.

From there, the entire group had a chance to brainstorm different ways to build on the success of and expand the Pipeline’s efforts going forward.  This was done with breakout groups that worked on the calendar of events for the upcoming year.  In addition to filling in gaps on the calendar, it was a great opportunity for different elements of the Pipeline effort to learn what each unit does, and to get to work with each other.

As a newcomer to this element of DDCE’s efforts, I was very impressed by the breadth and impact of the Division’s efforts on a very wide range of youth throughout the state.  The other aspect of our Pipeline efforts that was very striking is the ways in which it as much a network as a pipeline – many overlapping and interlocking efforts to help as many youth as possible get to college and realize their potential.