UHCL gets $1 million from Houston Endowment to launch freshman class

To prepare for its first freshman and sophomore students, the University of Houston-Clear Lake has received much-needed support through a $1 million grant from Houston Endowment for a proposal highlighting the university’s four-year initiative.

The payments will be presented in two $500,000 increments in March 2013 and 2014 and will assist UH-Clear Lake by extending services and support for the first- and second-year students.

“We are always happy to hear when a grant is funded, but this grant came at a special time in our university’s history making the news even more exciting for us,” says UHCL President William A. Staples. “This grant will allow UHCL to provide the valuable programming and activities necessary to welcome and sustain our new students.”

The grant proposal requested funds for adding new activities and expanding existing programs in enrollment management and student services. It included academic advising, transition services and tutoring needs. Specifically, the grant explained the need for a centralized academic advising structure to allow for freshman and sophomore students to meet regularly with advisers. Components of the transition services include orientation, which is now optional for upper-level students but would be mandatory for first-year students and would include a parent/family program. Other portions of the transition services would be the addition of a mandatory first-year seminar course that provides skills for student success.

Tutoring services provided will include additional programs for the Student Success Center to help students be successful in the classroom and a peer mentoring program that allows “seasoned” students to mentor new and returning students. The request contains information about extended programs, services and tutors in the Math and Writing Centers as well.

The proposal also highlighted the addition of a Veterans Services Office to provide advising, counseling, career information and educational assistance to those who have served in the military but are now ready to begin their education.

UHCL received approval in 2011 to allow the addition of freshman- and sophomore-level classes to its roster in 2014 and has been working to prepare for them since that time. This much-needed financial boost will help during the second most significant event in the university’s 39-year history, with the first being its creation as a university in 1974.

This latest grant from Houston Endowment follows recent grants from the foundation of $400,000 for the arts and $200,000 for the university’s Neumann Library archives and JSC History Collection.

“UHCL is grateful to Houston Endowment for their support in making our transition to a traditional four-year university a little smoother,” says Staples.

To find out more about educational opportunities at UHCL, visit www.uhcl.edu or call 281-283-2500.

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