A summary of noteworthy happenings on campus
A promise kept
College will become more affordable for some UT Arlington students this fall when the University launches an expanded Maverick Promise financial aid program. The program grants free tuition to eligible students whose household income is $65,000 or less, a $25,000 increase over the former threshold. Full tuition for an undergraduate student taking 12 hours is $8,000 a year. “We want to do our share to make higher education more affordable and accessible for a greater number of people in this region,” UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. “We hope more students will be encouraged to pursue their dreams at UT Arlington because of the Maverick Promise.” In addition to the $65,000 income limit, students must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. The program is open to undergraduates enrolled at least half time (six credit hours). Provost Donald Bobbitt says making higher education more affordable has rewards far beyond the students and their families. “Society as a whole will benefit by graduating students who are prepared to help this country compete in today’s global economy,” he said. “And given current economic conditions, increased financial aid is certainly needed.” For eligibility requirements, visit www.uta.edu/fao.
Caring for kids
The School of Social Work has received an $8.6 million federal grant to help children in state and tribal welfare agencies. By establishing a child welfare technical assistance implementation center, the grant will help develop and implement a program tailored to the needs of the organizations, children and families of children. The School of Social Work’s Judith Granger Birmingham Center for Child Welfare will take the lead and will partner with the University of Denver’s Butler Institute for Families and the Native American Training Institute in North Dakota. Awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, the grant will serve federal regions 6 and 8 (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Montana and Wyoming). The principal investigator is Associate Professor Joan Rycraft, who will be joined by Professors Richard Schoech and Maria Scannapieco.
The College of Education will help the Fort Worth Independent School District develop its own principals through a collaborative program announced last fall. Funded by a five-year, $3.5 million federal grant, the FWISD Leadership Academy’s Aspiring Principals Program will feature cohorts of 12-15 participants, with successful completion resulting in a Master of Education with Principal Certification. “This is a program to motivate leaders who are candidates for principal or assistant principal positions,” Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Melody Johnson said. “It allows school leaders who are educated in how we operate on a daily basis to concentrate more on educating our children.” Candidates must be committed to working within the FWISD for the next five years. Classes are scheduled to begin this summer at the UT Arlington Fort Worth Center.
Mentoring minority faculty
An agreement with Howard University designates UT Arlington as a partner in the Howard University Pre-Faculty Internship Program. The initiative prepares students to enter the professoriate through a range of activities, including career planning workshops and new technologies for teaching and research. At the end of the program, advanced doctoral students will experience a selection process similar to an academic job search that may pair them with programs at other partnering universities for a nine-month pre-faculty internship. The goal of the partnership is to bolster UT Arlington’s commitment to recruiting faculty of color. Philip Cohen, dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for academic affairs, says the University’s participation will better prepare the faculty of the future and perhaps attract some of them to UT Arlington. The agreement could expand to other collaborative opportunities with Howard University, which produces the largest number of African-American and other minority doctorate recipients from a single institution of higher education.