The Department of Special Education’s (DSE) mission is to diversify the special education teacher population and special education teachers’ responsiveness to Latino student’s language and culture as well as exceptionality. Following the end of a federal grant that funded a Bilingual Special Education program (BiSped), the DSE integrated the components into the Special Education curriculum.

Developed in 2001, the UTRGV/UT- Austin College of Pharmacy Cooperative Doctoral Program in Pharmacy (CDPP) encourages students from the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo regions of South Texas to pursue pharmacy as a career, and provides recruitment, training and retention of proficient pharmacists that understand the language and culture of the largely Hispanic South Texas community.

Opening its doors in 2008, BECHS is partnered with The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) and offers an accelerated educational experience where students can earn a high school diploma and up to 60 college credit hours simultaneously. BECHS also provides support to students through academic mentoring, counseling, and innovative academic support programs both at the University and on the BECHS campus.

The Ph.D. Program is one of only about 25 such programs worldwide accredited by the AACSB International and is designed to prepare new generations of faculty from diverse backgrounds to meet critical research and teaching challenges projected in business and in particular, international business education.

Since Fall 2008, the MESA Program at Rio Hondo College has enabled disadvantaged students to prepare for and graduate from a four-year college or university with a calculus-based degree in STEM.

Math Jam program provides new students with an engaging, no-stress environment in which to experience success before they begin their fall math course. Collaborative activities, competitions, guest speakers, out-of-classroom activities, and community building help students feel comfortable in a college math class, understand the benefits of advisement and tutoring, and make friends with their teachers, classmates, and tutors.

Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez is a Hispanic-Serving Institution that offers the only Dual Language Accelerated Program for adults in the nation. Each course is developed and facilitated 50% in Spanish and 50% in English. They accommodate the needs of students’ schedules by meeting just once a week for a period of four hours. Courses are scheduled mornings, evenings and weekends.

The Master of Bilingual Education (MBE) program prepares in-service teachers, over 90% of whom are Latino, to teach elementary level bilingual learners more effectively, enabling students to attain literacy in both Spanish and English while achieving at a high level academically.  Program participants are also prepared to assume leadership roles in the community and in their school districts.

The Department of Sociomedical Sciences (SMS) draws from anthropology, history, psychology, and sociology as well as applied public health to examine the cultural, social, environmental, and political forces that shape behavior and that produce health and disease in different contexts. SMS played a key role in instituting the NIH-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD).

Academy for Teacher Excellence (ATE) prepares culturally efficacious individuals, who are culturally competent, possess high teaching and/or mentoring efficacy, and can implement culturally responsive practices fostering individual and group transformation. ATE provides opportunities for disseminating best learning and teaching practices to serve and impact local school districts with over 90% Latino students.

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