A&M International's "Bridge to Success" and TexPREP Programs Draw Talented Students

Local and area high school students are flocking to Texas A&M International University's campus this summer to gain valuable experiences through two programs designed to familiarize them with higher education.

The Texas Prefreshman Engineering (TexPREP) and "Bridge to Success" Programs have drawn a total of 177 students eager to learn what a university can offer them to strengthen their future.

The two summer programs provide talented local and regional high school students with University-level educational experiences at no cost to the students and are part of the University's outreach commitment to its service communities, said program director Dr. Julio F. Madrigal.

"The two programs have also received additional funding so that we can serve additional students while continuing to help participants expand their educational horizons," Dr. Madrigal said.

The TexPREP program has received $15,000 from the State of Texas, $12,500 from NASA and $4,000 from the Texas Department of Transportation, Madrigal said. The "Bridge to Success" program has received

new funding from the South Texas Workforce Development Board, which will provide funding for 40 additional students.

Now in its 16th year of operation at A&M International, the TexPREP program has served over 800 students. The program offers special classes, field trips and lectures for 155 talented middle and high school students interested in science, math, engineering and technology careers.

The "Bridge to Success" program, launched in 1998, is a 10-week residential program allowing participants to enroll in courses to earn nine semester credit hours over two summer sessions while living on campus at University Village. Currently, 22 students are participating, with 40 more students joining next week. Total participants come from Webb,

Dimmit, Zavala, Kinney, Maverick, Edwards, La Salle, Real, Uvalde, Zapata, Starr, Jim Hogg, and Val Verde counties.

Madrigal said both programs provide an outreach service to the University's growing service area while preparing students for the rigors of University life.

"The two programs have seen a marked success in students' pursuit of higher education," Madrigal said, "For example, over 95 percent of Bridge Program participants are continuing on to pursue higher education. Our TexPREP program has seen 67 percent of college eligible participants pursue degrees in math, science, engineering or technology. Also, of those college- eligible respondents, 97 percent have completed undergraduate degrees."

For further information on the TexPREP or "Bridge to Success" programs, please contact Martha Treviņo, program coordinator at the University's Office of Special Programs, at 326-2765 or e-mail to mtrevino@tamiu.edu. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu