Entering Student Program (ESP)

The University of Texas at El Paso
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support


The goal of the Entering Student Program (EST) is to increase the success and retention of first-year students. An additional goal is to help foster an important paradigm shift at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from a focus on teaching, to a focus on learning.

Program Description

ESP is designed to assist the UTEP student population with transitioning into the university environment. The program consists of academic components, such as the University 1301 first-year seminar, learning communities, and peer leader program. Components which are critical to the success of UTEP's first-year students. Students establish connections with the university community, develop skills necessary for academic success, gain familiarity with campus resources, develop leadership and teamwork skills, access and apply information, and become independent learners.


In Fall 2014 alone, 2,134 students enrolled in the University 1301 sections. 317 students enrolled in learning communities. 94 students trained and were employed as peer leaders.

Additionally, approximately 40 instructors attended an ESP faculty development workshop.

The average one-year GPA for students enrolled in University 1301 (2003-13) was 2.74, compared to 2.66 for students who never enrolled in University 1301.

The average one-year retention for students who took University 1301 (2003-13) is 71%, compared with 48% for students who never enrolled in University 1301.

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