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TAMIU Names Dr. Hong Dean of University College, Professor of Special Education Posted: 7/09/20

TAMIU Names Dr. Hong Dean of University College, Professor of Special Education


Dr. Barbara Hong  

Dr. Barbara Hong has been named dean of Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) University College and Professor of Special Education.

TAMIU Provost Dr. Tom Mitchell shared news of Dr. Hong’s selection.

“TAMIU is fortunate indeed to gain the leadership of Dr. Hong as dean of University College, the college which provides academic support for all the other colleges,” he said, “Her expertise in student retention and support, her impressive record of research and teaching, and her dynamic and inspiring leadership style -- all make her a perfect choice to lead the college which launches our students on a successful educational journey.”

University College grounds students in early academic college experiences, through First Year Experiences. Simultaneously, students interact and become aware of campus services available to support them as they complete their degree, as well as exposure to campus activities and events.

Dr. Hong said her vision for University College is to communicate, collaborate and contribute with pivotal units at TAMIU in empowering students to complete their education in a timely manner. University College is also committed to helping students thrive by bridging gaps in their skills, knowledge, and dispositions as they transition to the University, she added.

“The mission of University College is to empower students to become competent, resilient, and self-determined, life-long learners,” she said, “Utilizing collaborative academic and support programs, we aim to enhance the outcomes of every student through a ‘Personal Empowerment Path’ (PEP) that fosters a learning community, critical thinking, and global citizenship.”

She continued, “Students will be nurtured to develop a growth mindset based on purposeful goals while embracing a sense of belonging as they navigate through their education at TAMIU.”

Hong said she is looking forward to harnessing the talents, diligence, and creativity of each University College faculty and staff.

“The integral work they do for this institution cannot be overstated,” she said, “Collectively, we will be vigilant in responding, aligning, and refining our Advising and Mentoring Center, Support Services, and teaching so that together, we shall optimize our students’ development and success.”

Prior to her appointment as Dean, Hong served as special assistant to vice presidents on Access, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity as well as 504/ADA coordinator for Brigham Young University (BYU) in Hawaii. There, she also served as professor and program coordinator of Special Education.

At TAMIU, Hong previously served as associate professor of Education Administration and Special Education, from 2005-2008.

Before her position at  BYU, she worked as education specialist for the Virginia Fairfax County Government, Department of Family Services, and Institute for Early Learning.

Her Ph.D. in Disability Studies was earned at Columbia University. She earned her Master of Philosophy in Education Leadership and Policy Administration, Master of Education in Instructional Practices for Diverse Learners and MA as a Learning Specialist for Diverse Learners degrees, also at Columbia University. Her Bachelor’s of Science in Special Education was obtained at BYU in Hawaii.

She was a three-time recipient of the prestigious Senior Fulbright Scholar, Senior Fulbright Specialist, Fulbright Hays awards and the First Honorable Visiting Scholar to Taiwan Municipal University of Education.

In 2014, Hong was appointed by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of International and Information Programs as a Speaker Specialist and Expert on Disability, where she consults with governmental agencies around the world.

She speaks Mandarin, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, and Malay.

Her research examines the cognitive science of teaching and learning and the development of self-determination through the ethics of caring. Her research has been cited in the Handbook of Adult Learning, Wiley Library of Higher Education, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Recommended Readings, the British Library, and the Hong Kong Institute of Education Library.

An author of the book, titled, “Failing Up: A Professor’s Odyssey of Flunking, Determination and Hope” (Columbia Publishing House, 2018), Hong has also held various editorial responsibilities for prestigious academic journals and is the author and co-author of numerous academic journals that span in subject areas from college students with disabilities to teaching and leadership.

She is the recipient of the International Teacher of Honor award by the Education Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi, and the University Exemplary Faculty Award.

Registration for Fall 2020 is now underway. TAMIUFlex, Hybrid, Face-to-Face and online courses will all have the same tuition rates. An online catalog containing a list of all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs is at

TAMIU ranks 5th in the nation among the 100 Most Affordable Public Schools with the Highest Return on Investment (ROI), according to ranking authority Great Value Colleges. U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Edition of its popular Best Colleges guide ranks TAMIU as the second highest-ranked Texas public university in its Best Regional Universities West category and the highest-ranked regional campus of the Texas A&M University System

Most recently, TAMIU earned a top tier ranking for its COVID-19 Pandemic response. The 2020 Educate to Career College ranking placed TAMIU in Tier I for colleges and universities that have responded to the pandemic in ways that benefit and protect students, especially in terms of available online learning resources. Some 1200 colleges across the nation were reviewed.

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAMIU’s campus is closed only to the general public. Entry to campus continues for students, faculty, staff and those having legitimate reasons to be on campus. Online and virtual services at the University continue, practicing all CDC Guidelines on gathering, masking and social distancing and with most staff working remotely.

Office hours are subject to change and it is recommended that phone or email contact be made first to determine the office’s schedule of operation. An online directory is here. Additional information on the University’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 Pandemic is available on its online COVID-19 Response Center, located at




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