Student Success Initiatives (SSI) and the Office of Admissions at The University of Texas at Austin (UT), both of which are part of Enrollment Management, are collaborating with Houston-based organization EMERGE Fellowship to connect with prospective Longhorns and support enrolled EMERGE students on their paths to timely graduation. The mission of EMERGE, which serves students from five school districts in Houston, is to empower and prepare high-performing students from underserved communities to attend and graduate from selective colleges and universities across the nation.
The goal of the collaboration is to create critical and seamless communication with and connections for the students EMERGE supports. The majority of students served by EMERGE are African-American or Hispanic, two populations that have made significant gains in four-year graduation rates over the last five years at UT. These increases can be attributed to the creation of a range of student success programs and resources offered across campus, as well as the use of predictive analytics to identify ways to proactively support timely graduation.
“We are excited to enter into a collaboration with EMERGE that will allow us to make early and continuing contact with incredibly talented EMERGE students poised to thrive at UT. We look forward to supporting these students throughout their four years, serving as a dedicated point of contact to identify and remove barriers to graduation for these students,” said Anneke Chy, Deputy Director of SSI.
The collaboration also aligns with UT’s continued efforts to support first-generation college students, for which the university was nationally recognized last year. More than 9,000 UT undergraduates are first-generation students, and first-generation students are enrolled in every college and school at UT. Over the last several years, UT has placed an emphasis on ensuring first-generation students receive the support they need to succeed both during their time on the Forty Acres and in their next steps after graduation. New programming specifically for first-generation students includes new student and family orientation sessions, a First-Gen Living Learning Community, and a weeklong, campus-wide celebration of first-generation students each November.
In addition to working closely with SSI, EMERGE will serve on the Office of Admissions’ Community Based Organization (CBO) Advisory Board.
“We are fortunate to have EMERGE as part of our CBO Advisory Board. Their experience, perspective, feedback, and recommendations will be critical in ensuring our institution continues to provide the right support to prospective students,” Veronica Pecero, Associate Director for Access and Inclusion in UT’s Office of Admissions, added.