Colloquium Speaker

Speaker:Andrew Bernat
University of Texas at El Paso
Topic:Improving the Success of Undergraduate Students
Date:Friday, February 12, 1999
Time:3:00 PM
Place:Kiva Auditorium

Refreshments will be served in the lobby outside of Kiva Auditorium after the talk.


While students are ultimately responsible for their learning and success, faculty and staff are responsible for providing the best possible environment for enabling student success. The Model Institutions for Excellence initiative at UTEP is designed to provide such an environment within the constraints of an urban, commuter institution -- with all of the baggage that this description implies. The initiative is divided into six components which are designed to work together:

1) The Entering Students Program which provides a supportive social and intellectual environment for students as they move towards a major
2) The Research and Professional Enrichment Experiences Program which provides non-structured and motivational experiences for students in their major field
3) Leadership opportunities for talented students through the opportunity to become peer facilitators in the Entering Students Program
4) The Academic Center for Engineers and Scientists which provides a home for students to study, meet and obtain information
5) The Center for Effective Teaching and Learning which provides faculty and instructional staff the support they need to become better teachers and facilitators of student learning
6) Serious evaluation of all components, both formative and summative, to provide feedback for both modifying the elements and understanding their value

This talk describes the components, how they work together, how well they work and how much they cost.

Andrew Bernat received a Bachelor's degree in Physics (1970) from Harvey Mudd College and Master's (1973) and Ph.D. (1976) degrees in Astronomy from The University of Texas at Austin. He has been at the University of Texas at El Paso since 1982, where he is currently Professor of Computer Science. From its founding in 1995 until this January he served as Project Director of UTEP's large, NSF-funded Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) program. In 1997 he received the Computing Research Association's Habermann Award for outstanding contributions to aiding members of underrepresented groups in the computing research community.