November 30, 2015
The University of Houston Board of Regents presented the Regents’ Academic Excellence Award to the Scholars Academy at the University of Houston - Downtown. The award recognizes University of Houston System institutions’ programs and initiatives that exemplify excellence in teaching, research, and/or public service.
Part of the University of Houston – Downtown’s College of Sciences and Technology (CST), Scholars Academy focuses on scholarship and student success for minority undergraduates in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors. The program, now in its 15th year, has seen over 700 graduates since its inception, and represents 17% of CST STEM majors at the university.
“One of the Scholars Academy’s greatest strengths is the unique relationship between our Ph.D. faculty and our STEM undergraduates through discipline-based small learning communities. This connection was recognized by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in their FY14 Accomplishments Report for bringing together teachers/students and research scientists in the Watershed Wonders: Summer Research Camp project” said Edward Hugetz, Interim Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost for University of Houston – Downtown.
The program encourages students to pursue STEM majors through scholarships, mentoring, exposure to research practices and career opportunities, graduate school preparation, and hands-on experience in research labs. The university further supports its students by disseminating student research findings at professional conferences, leading to increased co-authorships of published research.
“The Scholars Academy receives this year’s prestigious Academic Excellence Award for its commitment towards student success and the enriched bond between students and faculty members” said Paula Myrick Short, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Houston System. “By supporting scholarship research opportunities both on- and off-campus, the University of Houston – Downtown has increased the rate of students continuing in STEM fields through graduate and professional programs or by entering the workforce.”