University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Mitte Foundation Funds SPURS Pilot Program

February 3, 2012

The DDCE is pleased to announce that the Mitte Foundation has funded the pilot Web-based Rhetoric and Writing course (RHE 306) offered as part of the Students Partnering for Undergraduate Rhetoric Success (SPURS) program. The $15,500 grant will make it possible for SPURS to offer students at participating high schools the chance to earn college credit as well as high school credit for Advanced English Language Arts class.

Six Title I campuses in three districts are participating in the pilot. While curriculum is developed through faculty collaboration at UT, web-based curriculum delivery allows high school students to facilitate the course within the support network of their high school classrooms. As part of the program, the high school teachers participate in two professional development workshops. Also as part of the pilot, students visit the campus twice per semester to meet with the partner assistant instructors for the program and engage in a full-day of both academic and college awareness activities.

Dr. Kenya Walker, executive director for the Pre-College Academic Readiness Programs in the DDCE, said, “This funding will allow the program to assist in preparing a diverse population of first-generation and low-income students for the rigor of college-level curriculum.” According to Walker,  SPURS promotes both college access and success, and this pilot offers students an opportunity to experience both through their participation in the program.

The Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation is a Texas non-profit corporation created in 1994 by Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte. The foundation funds a number of community programs focused in three areas–education, community support of the elderly and therapeutic and rehabilitative services for those diagnosed with a physical and/or mental disability.

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