The University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) has announced a partnership with Pearson in an effort to offer access an estimated 5,000 underserved students across the US.
Created in the hopes of allowing individuals to obtain an education while continuing to work, UTEP plans on reaching its students through UTEP Connect, which is a suite of bachelor's, graduate and certificate programs, offered entirely online, with the same level of academic rigor and instruction that students would receive in traditional classes at UTEP. The first eight programs, including health, education, criminal justice and communication, are set to launch in May 2015.
"Access and excellence are foundational to UTEP's overall mission, and the university has a successful track record of graduating an underserved, Hispanic market," according to a news release. "The new initiative will also provide adult learners who need to earn their degrees while working full-time or who have not had the opportunity to finish their degrees because of family obligations with the opportunity to improve their lives through higher education."
The curriculum for each program was created by educators and researchers from UTEP, in an effort to offer programs that employ innovative learning techniques to offer their students the skills and knowledge that they will need for personal as well as professional development. Students who participate in the online courses are encouraged to share their newfound knowledge with others.
The school enrolls students from across the globe, which allows for a diverse group to interact with.
The partnership will offer consulting in the areas of marketing and enrollment, technical services, customized digital content, online tutoring and student performance and outcomes analytics.
"UTEP is pleased to have an opportunity via this partnership with Pearson to extend our reach to current, prospective and former students whose employment and personal responsibilities may impede their pursuit of an on-campus degree or certification program," said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. "We look forward to working toward more efficient and effective strategies to streamline pathways for talented and motivated students to achieve their highest educational aspirations."
Every year, 23,000 students enroll at UTEP and has proven particularly successful at graduating Hispanic students. The university was ranked number one three years in a row by Washington Monthly for their ability to provide social mobility; first-generation students make up 60% of graduates from the school. The majority of its students, 79%, are Hispanic.
UTEP offers 75 bachelor's programs, 78 masters programs, 20 doctoral programs and 25 certificate programs in its seven colleges, with a research portfolio that has annual expenditures of over $83 million.