Scholarship fund assists UHCL students still impacted by Harvey

April 10th, 2019

University of Houston System applied for and has received a $500,000 grant, called the Rebuild Texas Fund, to assist students still struggling financially with the aftereffects of the 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.

UH-Clear Lake has been designated to receive $200,000 of these funds, which can be applied to students’ financial aid package starting in the fall 2019 academic year.The UHCL scholarship is named the Qatar Harvey Fund Scholarship, in honor of the funds that Qatar has committed for this purpose.“These funds can be used for tuition, books, room and board, and anything related to completion of a student’s degree program,” said UHCL Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships Dwayne Busby.

In order to be eligible for funds, students must be currently enrolled or returning students who withdrew from a UH System campus in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They must demonstrate an unmet financial need and material or financial hardship due to the hurricane. Undergraduate students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and graduate and doctoral students must have a 3.0. They must be able to demonstrate via data or anecdotally, the impact of the hurricane on their financial circumstances.

Priority will be given to students who have exhausted all other forms of aid and who are nearing graduation based on credit hours remaining toward their degree.For more information, or to apply for the Qatar Harvey Fund Scholarship, visit www.uhcl.edu/scholarships.

UHCL, Freeman Library partner to foster reading and writing skills in small children

January 15th, 2019

Educators are always looking for new, creative ways to help small children become comfortable with reading and writing. For Elaine Hendrix, Heather Pule and Roberta Raymond, all professors in University of Houston-Clear Lake’s College of Education, facilitating a partnership with Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library so that future educators can help parents of small children fall in love with books is a step toward making that happen.

“The Freeman Library is such an excellent resource, and after meeting with (Assistant Branch Librarian Youth Services) Elizabeth Hunt and (Branch Manager) Christina Thompson, we decided to find a way to work together,” Hendrix said.

“Parents have already been bringing their children to the library to introduce them to reading,” she said. “We teach future educators reading methods classes. Students need the hands-on practice in the field, doing community-based, experiential learning. Setting up workshops for parents and our students to work together seemed like a perfect fit.”

There is so much information about how best to help a child learn, it can become overwhelming. “We often get questions from parents and caregivers who want to help their child along as they grow and learn, and they’re not exactly sure how to do that,” Thompson said. “As a library, our goal is to connect our community with the resources and information they need. We also believe that parents and caregivers are a child’s first and best teacher.”

Thompson said the library jumped at the opportunity to share Freeman Library’s resources with UH-Clear Lake’s expert faculty and rising educators. “We have already heard feedback that our families are finding the information they learned about child development to be very empowering,” she said.

“We have done three parent trainings, including a writing workshop for children ages 3 to 5,” Raymond said. “We explained to parents what emergent writing looks like, and gave them information packets. We suggested ways to encourage writing and let them know that those scribbles they’re seeing really mean something.”

Assistant Professor of Reading and Language Arts Heather Pule presented a workshop to parents about oral language development. “We discussed how oral language starts developing at birth and how it continues through everyday talk, through a baby’s environment, and through reading from birth,” Pule said. “It was wonderful to be able to talk with parents about something so important for their child’s development.”

Hendrix added, “We have done a reading workshop for 18 month to 3-year-olds, sharing a book and doing hand games to go along. We demonstrated how to be dramatic when reading aloud, and how much it benefits children to have something read over and over again.”

She said that they’d also discussed how much can be taught from a simple picture book, and how to go deeper than the story to encourage verbal interaction.

“It’s the goal of the Children’s Department to support families, child care providers and communities to help every child enter school ready to learn to read,” Hunt said. “Our partnership with UHCL connects local families to experts in early literacy that they might not otherwise have access to. Any community connection the library can make that supports families as they raise their children is a useful one.”

Raymond said creating the connection between future educators and the librarians at Freeman helps tap into each other’s resources. “We are certifying our students to become early childhood-6th grade teachers, and they have to be prepared to work at all levels since they’ll be certifying at all levels,” she said. “Both sides can benefit greatly from this experience.”

 

For more information about UHCL’s Interdisciplinary Studies B.S. with Core Subjects EC-6, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/interdisciplinary-studies-bs-ec-6-early-childhood-concentration. For more information about UHCL’s Reading M.S. with Reading Specialist Certificate, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/reading-ms-reading-specialist-certificate

Clear Lake Area Chamber gets update on education

August 1st, 2017

Dr. Greg Smith, Clear Creek ISD superintendent, San Jacinto College Vice Chancellor Teri Crawford and UH-Clear Lake President Dr. Bill Staples, from left, presented an update on education when they addressed the Clear Lake Area Chamber luncheon at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook.

By Mary Alys Cherry

We try not to brag but how many communities have education facilities on a level of those in the Clear Lake Chamber’s membership area?

Not many, we all know, and each year when education officials update the chamber membership, the news just gets better and better.

UH-Clear Lake President Dr. Bill Staples, San Jacinto College Vice Chancellor Teri Crawford and Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith were back for the second year in a row with some of the year’s highlights and what’s ahead at the chamber luncheon at Lakewood Yacht Club.

As he nears retirement, Dr. Staples reported that UHCL’s two new buildings on the Clear Lake campus will open in Fall 2018 with the new classroom building on the Pearland campus to open in Spring 2019, going on to praise Dr. Smith and San Jac President Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “You should be proud to have them heading their respective institutions,” he said.

And, as UHCL thrives as a four-year university and he completes his final year there, he said he got quite a thrill to see the students who initially started the bilingual classes years ago at McWhirter Elementary School – a UHCL/CCISD joint venture — graduate this past June.

He also took time to remind the community that “we must address the number of economically disadvantaged students. In 1995, 11 percent of the students were economically disadvantaged. Today that total is 27 percent.”

Teri Crawford proudly told the crowd that San Jac had recently been awarded a $100,000 prize as it was recognized as a Top Five Community College in the Nation and was a finalist for the third time for the coveted Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence for “achieving strong student success outcomes in learning, marketing and equity.”

This year, San Jac has 30,741 students enrolled – 6,598 full time and 22,400 part time – and awarded 4,139 degrees and 2,881 certificates.

And, UHCL is not the only one undergoing new construction. Seven new buildings are underway at San Jac, she said, including a Engineering and Technology Center, a Cosmetology Center and expansion of the Fire House on the South Campus and a classroom building, Welcome Center and Center for Petrochemical, Energy and Technology on the Central Campus with the North Campus getting a Cosmetology and Culinary Center.

Dr. Smith opened his comments by praising Dr. Staples for all his work and noting that he was instrumental in launching and Dual Language Immersion Program at McWhirter Elementary and how proud all were as the first bilingual class graduated. “The program continues to thrive and has expanded to four other schools.”

After noting that a record number of seniors had graduated this past June, and reporting on remodeling work at both Clear Lake and Clear Creek High Schools, he went on to tell of several students who had overcome incredible problems to become a success. “We work to instill a set of core values in our students. To be respectful, trustworthy and understand what it means to roll up your sleeves and give back.”

In his closing remarks, he had some very good news for taxpayers: Instead of a 4.5 cent tax increase for the year because of the recently passed school bond, “due to property value growth, it looks like we will not need to increase the tax rate for the year.”
That brought smiles all around the ballroom.

UH-Clear Lake names Houston interim provost

August 1st, 2016

Dr. Glen Houston

Dr. Glen Houston

University of Houston-Clear Lake President William A. Staples has named Associate Vice President for Information Resources A. Glen Houston interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, effective July 1.

The position was left vacant by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Carl A. Stockton who resigned from UHCL at the end of June to become chancellor for Auburn University at Montgomery in Montgomery, Ala.

“Dr. Houston has been with the university since 1985 and offers a breadth of knowledge and expertise to this interim role,” said Staples. “UHCL is fortunate to have someone like Dr. Houston ready to step into such an important position.”

Houston joined University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1985 to serve as founding director of the former Research Institute for Computing and Information Systems and as an assistant professor of computer science. From 1993 to 2000, Houston served as division chair for Computing and Mathematics. He was selected as associate vice president for information resources in 2000 after serving in that position in an interim role for four months.

 Dr. Carl Stockton

Dr. Carl Stockton

As associate vice president, he supervises six areas including University Computing and Telecommunications; the Alfred R. Neumann Library; the Environmental Institute of Houston; Online Programs; and UHCL Pearland Campus Operations. Houston continues to serve on the faculty in the School of Science and Computer Engineering as a professor of computer science and statistics.

Among his most recent accomplishments is his leadership with the OmniUpdate project and the development of the new UHCL website scheduled to launch later this year. A collaboration between University Computing and Telecommunications and University Communications, this university-wide project includes consolidating and updating many web pages and the creation of an intranet. Houston has also worked with the Office of Online Programs and University Computing and Telecommunications to migrate online programs and courses from the WebCT platform to Blackboard, while increasing the number of online courses offered for students.

In his role as associate vice president for information resources, he represents Academic Affairs on all construction projects including the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Building and the Recreation and Wellness Building at UHCL as well as the Health Sciences Building at UHCL Pearland Campus. His work with UHCL Pearland Campus has included oversight of operations for the satellite campus since its creation in 2010.

Houston holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mathematics from McNeese State University and a doctoral degree in mathematical statistics from Southern Methodist University.

Offices directly reporting to the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost include the Office of Academic Affairs; Office of Enrollment Management; Office of Information Resources; Office of Student Services; and Deans from the Schools of Education, Business, Science and Computer Engineering, and Human Sciences and Humanities.

“I look forward to taking on new challenges and expanding on plans that Dr. Stockton already has in place,” said Houston. “UHCL continues to present new opportunities. I’m excited about the future.”

Houston will serve as interim until a permanent replacement is found during a nationwide search.