University of Texas at Austin                Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

About SPURS

Mission

  • Through enhanced writing curriculum developed for university undergraduates, the mission of the Students Partnering for Undergraduate Rhetoric Success (SPURS) Program is to improve, the college readiness of students from Texas high schools that are underrepresented in postsecondary institutions.

Program Goals

  • Improve college-level writing skills of students at high schools that are underrepresented at postsecondary institutions.
  • Provide to participating high school students interactive experiences and resources that promote a college-going culture.
  • Develop skills to teach college-level writing among faculty at high schools that are underrepresented at postsecondary institutions.

SPURS consists of five main elements:

  • A web-based, dual credit (high school/university) Rhetoric and Writing (RHE 306) course
  • University of Texas at Austin Course Instructor/Curriculum Coordinator who provides the course curriculum to partner high school teachers
  • A weeklong summer teacher professional development workshop at The University of Texas at Austin
  • A two-day winter teacher professional development workshop at The University of Texas at Austin
  • High school student visitation to the University of Texas at Austin

Professional Development

  • Participating high school teachers attend two semiannual professional development workshops that focus on course curriculum and procedures.
  • The SPURS Program is certified as a provider of Gifted and Talented professional development by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented.
  • The Texas Education Agency recognizes the SPURS Program as a provider of Continuing Professional Education. Teachers who attend the two semiannual professional development workshops will receive a certificate that documents their clock hours for the purpose of teacher certification renewal.

Download theĀ 2011-2012 Report.PDF.

SPURS Sample Memorandum of Understanding

SPURS Schools

Austin ISD

  • Crockett High School
  • Reagan High School

Beaumont ISD

  • Central Medical Magnet High School

Houston ISD

  • Madison High School
  • Yates High School

IDEA Public Schools

  • IDEA Mission College Preparatory
  • IDEA San Benito College Preparatory
  • IDEA Quest College Preparatory
  • IDEA Frontier College Preparatory

San Antonio ISD

  • Brackenridge High School