Sunday, September 7, 2014


Below is the message from Dr. Diana Natalicio.  I do not remember what position she held when I first arrived at UTEP in 76', but I distinctly remember her putting her arm around me and saying, "we will make sure you have what you need and graduate."  This moment is why every year during the holidays I donate to the general scholarship fund - for a promise kept.

Parents are beginning to think about a university for their children.  I say to those parents, make sure your kid is ready for the university.  I am a big advocate of parents sending their children to the community college for the first year.  The courses will transfer.  This allows the parent to monitor their child.

But if you decide your child is ready for the university, UTEP is the only real option.  The Army trains their nurses at UTEP for their masters and doctorate.  Yale still sends it doctoral geology student to UTEP for a semester.  The labs range from the best to some of the best in the country.

When I was there all of my friends who went on to medical school - went to top notch medical schools.  In the field of biology UTEP is known for its research.  The students get a lot of hands on experience.

From Dr. Diane Natalicio

"Once again, UTEP was ranked by Washington Monthly magazine among the Top 10 of all U.S. research universities, and for the third consecutive year, UTEP was ranked #1 nationally for fostering student social mobility – enabling students from modest backgrounds to set and attain the highest educational and life aspirations.

The complete list of rankings is available here. To read the magazine’s introduction to the rankings, click here. You may also enjoy reading the Texas Monthly analysis of these rankings within a Texas context by clicking here.

The bright spotlight that Washington Monthly has placed on UTEP’s success in impacting the lives of our students and the surrounding region is a huge validation of our access and excellence mission. We offer students not only an opportunity to pursue a broad range of higher education opportunities, but also the assurance that the high quality of their UTEP degrees will enable them to compete successfully with their peers across the globe.

These top national rankings confirm that UTEP is playing in the Tier One arena, together with many of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. What’s especially exciting is that among these top universities, we are in a league of our own, authentically adhering to our UTEP values of ensuring both affordability and excellence.

Go Miners!

Diana Natalicio

No university can promise your child will succeed.  A friend of mine had a sister join us in 77'.  She turned down a scholarship to MIT.  She failed her first year at UTEP.  She was not ready.  In a secure environment at home, school is a lot easier.  Just because your child is smart and has excelled in high school, does not mean they are ready for the university.

The question for the parent is, does the university have the resources and programs your child needs to succeed? 

The one place I would never send my child is to UT Austin.  A child is lost at UT.  Your child's future is more than the name of the university.  If your child intends to go on to graduate school, find out about recruitment at the university where you intend to send your child for their undergraduate studies.  Also find out about their graduate programs.  If your child intends to be a nurse, there is no better university in Texas than UTEP.  So too for education.


UTEP alum who have gone to space are numerous - there is a reason.

"Since 2009, Hurtado’s Earth-bound expertise has been used to help train astronauts in the field of geology, to test new exploration technology and to explore independent research on exploiting resources from the moon. The latter is done in cooperation with UTEP’s Center for Space Exploration Technology Research – a project funded through NASA and overseen by the College of Engineering."

Click for Story


Juliet Garcia never understood this.  UTEP started as the "School of Mines"  They built programs in geology and petroleum engineering.  This lead to more engineering programs - now to include space.

UTEP understands bilingual education is important to the community so it became the heart of the School of Education.  On that note, from the top floor of the education building you can look south and see in black and white the North South phenomenon.  What you see is a modern campus on the north side of the Rio Grande and then upon visually crossing the Rio Grande you see the sprawling barrios of Ciudad Juarez.

When I was there, there was a student from Holland working on his PhD in Holland who came to UTEP for a year to study the maquiladoras.  UTEP built a reputation for border politics, economics and international studies and trade.

It is sad Juliet Garcia never saw the importance of building UT Brownsville based on the community and its needs and then expanding out from there,


Anonymous said...

I would generally agree with your comments on college selection for students, but I would consider the Plan 2 program at UT as an unparalleled resource within the state. It's a school within a the UT campus, with smaller classes, and greater resources allocated to those students.

Second, as clarification MIT does not offer scholarships. It (as is the policy of the Ivy League schools) does offer financial aid based solely on need. At the end of the day, the end result is the same in that it's free money to the student.

BobbyWC said...

Please tell my readers how you get into Plan 2 if you know.

If you want to write something longer than a mere comment on Plan 2, I will copy and paste it as a free standing story.

On MIT I cannot respond - because that was 1977. But I have a nephew who had an offer from Harvard which sounded like a scholarship to pay for half of his tuition. He ended up graduating from Fordam - a Jesuit University in NYC

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Plan II Honors is a major at UT. It is an interdisciplinary program that grants a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The program is notable for its relative selectivity, as most students come from the top 5% of their graduating high school classes while the average SAT score is over 1400 (out of 1600). Approximately 330 applicants are admitted each year, with an entering freshman class of 180. The program is particularly attractive to many for its extremely broad core curriculum.

Anonymous said...

Ivy League schools such as Harvard do not offer any merit aid based scholarships. All financial aid is "need" based; ie, based on income levels. MIT falls in this camp as well.

The end result to the student is the same, but there is a distinct difference in that any kind of aid phases out for families with incomes at roughly over $125k at these schools. This has been the policy since the early 1960s for these schools.

Hope this helps.

BobbyWC said...

I am glad you are providing my readers information they can consider when choosing a university for their children.

But Plan II is nothing like what I am talking about.

UTEP tried to initiate such a program when I was there in 1980. I openly worked against it. I left in 1980, and never heard what happened.

It is wrong to make special smaller classes for the advanced students while the average students get no extra help and must deal with overcrowding.

This is not what I was talking about.

It is certainly not student centric - it is for the advanced students to the detriment of the average student.

UTEP puts a lot into making it happen for the average student. SO if your child is average at UT they will be lost among the numbers - hence why I would not send my child to UT.

But if your child is advanced - Plan II is a good program for them, but not the average student is trying to learn in an overcrowded classroom.

But nonetheless the information is important to the parents while trying to decide where to send their children

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

There's no doubt UTEP is a good school, but it's endowment pales in comparison to the one at UT. UT can, and does, offer help to the "average" student. Here's a good read...