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University of Texas at Dallas/Mountain View College
School of Social Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas received
a three-year, $600,000 grant to partner with Mountain View and North
colleges within the Dallas County Community College District to
Hispanic and other students to UTDallas and other four-year
The grant was awarded under the direction of Dr. Rita Mae Kelly, then
of the School of Social Sciences at UTD, and now deceased.
Beginning in Spring 2001, El Centro College will participate on a
basis. This innovative outreach project will assist students in making
the transition successfully from two-year colleges to four-year
and attaining a bachelor's degree in the social sciences and related
UTD is providing $500 scholarships for qualified DCCCD students who
completed at least one of the two courses funded by the grant and who
on to complete the second course at UTD if they have not already
it before transferring.
at "Casa Guanajuato" in
Oak Cliff, Dallas
Bobby Alexander, director of the project, and Assistant Dean for
studies in UTD's School of Social Sciences, only about 6 percent of
Americans who enter college presently complete a four-year degree
The reasons for this include lack of finances, the perceived
and cultural distance of these students from the professional world of
work, the apparent lack of relevance of college education, and
academic preparation. The purpose of the three-year project is to
design and implement a family-based ethnographic model that will
involve the Hispanic communities and other local agencies and will help
students and their families confront and overcome those four barriers
academic and professional advancement.
close collaboration with Dr. Corina Gardea, former Executive Director
Educational Partnerships with the Dallas County Community College
Office, has partnered with DCCCD Schools to develop and offer two core
courses. El Centro College has offered "English 1302"; the
course delivers critical thinking skills needed to succeed at the
college. This course includes research in the social sciences,
and related fields. Mountain View College offers Cultural Studies."
course trains students in ethnographic methods needed to observe and
in the diverse cultures, people, and community organizations in
Hispanic community in Oak Cliff, a Dallas neighborhood with the city's
largest Hispanic population and Mexican migrant endure.
design field-based projects on topics of their choice ranging from
care to education. Students learn how to use a family tree and a
field journal to record information. A field site funded buy the
grant anchors the course in the community. Students can apply the
knowledge and skills they acquire in the field in future professions in
education, health, law, business, government, and other areas. These
also will be offered with a higher level of requirements at UTD for
who wish upper-division credit.
faculty, staff and students directly involved in the project are
and Research Scientist Dr. Laura Gonzalez; Dr. Bobby Alexander,
and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies in Social Sciences; Dr.
P. Kelly, educator and project Researcher; Dr. Victor Garcia, currently
an Associate Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a
Research Scientist, and Dr. Richard Scotch, Professor of Sociology and
Political Economy, who will evaluate the project so that it can be well
documented. Students involved in the project are Dr. Percy Galembertti,
Research Assistant and a student in the School of Social Sciences’s
program in Political Economy; and Norma Gonzalez, Research Assistant,
a graduate majoring in Sociology. Drs. Gonzalez, Garcia, V. and R.
and Alexander will assist Mountain View and El Centro Colleges in
and teaching the courses.
design, the project is expected to have a much broader impact since the
scope. All participating faculty are expected to disseminate the
not only Texas but also the nation. The importance of the grant to the
is partially evident from the fact that UTD received the largest grant
about $200,000 greater than that given other recipients.
Director and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of
Social Sciences at UTD
in Social Sciences at UTD and co-instructor "Cultural Studies"
in Social Sciences at UTD and co-instructor "Cultural
Mountain View College and co-instructor " Cultural Studies"
Professor of Sociology,
at UTD and project Evaluator
page was last modified on September 19, 2003,
is maintained by Dr. Geoffrey Grimes.