University's "Bridge to Success" and TexPREP Programs Awarded $425,000

Texas A&M International University's "Bridge to Success" program and Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP) have received new funding totalling $425,000.

The two summer programs provide talented local and regional high school students with University-level educational experiences. Both "Bridge to Success" and TexPREP are provided 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.

"These programs have the potential to enable students to better their lives through higher education. We are therefore delighted with the new funding because it signals new opportunities for students to expand their educational horizons, enriching their minds and lives," Dr. Madrigal explained.

He said the funding will provide access for additional students to participate in the programs, plus provide summer housing and, in some instances, an academic enrichment salary for selected students.

Launched in 1998, "Bridge to Success" is a 10-week residential program that allows participants enroll in courses to earn 8 semester credit hours over two summer sessions while living on campus at University Village. This summer the Middle Rio Grande version of the "Bridge to Success" program targets 50 selected students from Dimmit, La Salle, Zavala, Valverde, Real, Kinney, Uvalde, Maverick, and Edwards counties. The Middle Rio Grande Workforce Board provided $393,997 in support of the program.

TexPREP is now in its 15th year of operation at A&M International and has served over 800 students. The summer program annually offers special classes, field trips and lectures for over 160 high-ability middle and high school students interested in science, math, engineering and technology careers.

Madrigal said both programs provide an outreach service to the University's growing service area that has long-term ramifications.

"Over 95% of Bridge Program participants are continuing to pursue higher education. Our TexPREP program has seen 67% of college eligible participants pursue math, science, engineering or technology degrees. Of those college eligible respondents, 97% have completed undergraduate degrees. Some have even returned to the program to be guest instructors for the summer," he noted.

For information on admission to the "Bridge to Success" or TexPREP summer programs, please contact Dr. Madrigal at the University's Department of Special Programs at 326-2765. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - 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