Comprehensive Student Success Program
UTPA’s Comprehensive Student Success Program (CSSP) is a project funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board designed to improve the success of first-generation Hispanic students in freshman level courses. The freshmen level courses our CSSP focuses on are MATH 1340 (College Algebra) and CHEM 1301 (General Chemistry). Stage one of the planned interventions began in Fall 2012 and targeted student engagement in selected sections through student outreach, including an early alert system in which faculty identify students who are showing early signs of failure, and individualized academic coaching for these students.
The academic coaching role is headed by Mark Burson, a professional guidance counselor at UTPA. CSSP Co-Directors include Mr. Nam Nguyen and Dr. Chris Smith, faculty in the departments of Math and Chemistry respectively. Beginning in Spring 2013, stage two of the intervention targeted student engagement through improved teaching by creating a professional development program which included individualized assessment of teaching strengths and weaknesses, targeted professional development, and individual mentoring. Student assistants, hired through the CSSP, were available during the associated Math and Chemistry pilot sections to improve the faculty-student ratio and increase student engagement with instructors. Dr. Jessica Raley, a Communications faculty member, oversees the professional development of the faculty. To learn more, please feel free to contact Program Coordinator, Mr. Mauricio DeLeon, or read this news story about the program.