Office of Student Access

Maria Martinez, Interim Associate Vice President for Student Access
College Hall Room 230

The purpose of the Office of Student Access is to promote the completion of high school, the pursuit of college and the acquisition of higher education degrees for first generation and low income students. The Administrative Office of Student Access is located in College Hall, second floor. The following programs are housed within the area of student access. These offices are located in Eckhardt Hall.

The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC)/The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC Rural)

The Educational Opportunity Center Program (EOC) is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. EOC provides counseling information on college admissions to qualified adults who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. An important objective of EOC is to counsel participants regarding financial aid options and to assist in the application process; guidance on secondary school re-entry or entry to a GED program; academic advice and career counseling. The goal of EOC is to increase the number of adult participants who enroll in postsecondary education institutions. EOC provides post-secondary education and training information and application assistance to low income first generation adults who reside in the following counties: Jim Wells, Duval, Brooks, Kleberg, and Nueces. EOC Rural serves participants in the following counties: Hidalgo and Willacy.

Talent Search (TS)

The Talent Search Program (TS) of Texas A&M University-Kingsville is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The TS program identifies students who demonstrate an interest or desire to attend college and provides them with the motivation and support to enroll in a program of post-secondary education after high school graduation. TS encourages and prepares students for post-secondary enrollment by providing assigned students in grades 9-12 with the following services and activities through group workshops and individual appointments. Talent Search program is held at designated target schools (HM King/Robstown/San Diego/West Oso High Schools): academic advisement, college awareness activities, career exploration activities, financial aid awareness activities, scholarship information, college and career fields trips and individual assistance with college admission, scholarship applications and financial aid forms.

Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP)

The Texas A&M University-Kingsville GEARUP program (TKGU) provides a broad and strategic array of services that result in the accomplishment of several objectives: increasing the academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education, increasing the rate of high school graduation and enrollment in post-secondary education, and increasing students’ and their families’ knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation, and financing. GEAR UP provides seven year grants to states and partnerships to provide service at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) G-Force

Collegiate G-Force is a federally funded program through the THECB. The program selects TAMUK students to serve as mentors to area high school students, promoting higher education and work with federally funded TRIO programs in the same capacity. Go Centers provide students with access to information about higher education, while also reaching out to those who may not have previously considered continuing their education beyond high school. The Go Center is the physical hub of energy for college preparation activities and creating a college-going culture within the school. In order to reach out to the student body, a group of students is selected on each campus to be trained as peer educators regarding the career exploration, college preparation, and financial aid processes. This group of students is referred to as the G-Force and is responsible for conducting campus outreach activities as well as working one- on-one with their peers in the Go Center. In addition, higher education institutions have formed their own G-Force teams to assist area high schools with their Go Centers.

Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

The mission of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Scholars Program is to prepare and increase the number of juniors and seniors in the fields of Math, Sciences and Engineering to pursue doctoral studies. The program is named after the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair and is one of 155 McNair program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education under a TRIO grant. McNair Scholars are a talented and unique group of students that, through their participation in the program, receive advising, academic skills enhancement opportunities, faculty mentorship, research experiences, counseling, tutoring and other scholarly activities in preparation for their enrollment in graduate school. Students who participate in the program come from disadvantaged backgrounds, show strong academic potential and are committed to pursuing a doctoral degree. The McNair Scholars Program works closely with the College of Graduate Studies in increasing the number, quality and diversity of Master’s and Ph.D. graduates across all disciplines by identifying opportunities for talented students to pursue graduate education, fostering opportunities for fellowships and assistantships and producing new faculty to help close the gaps in higher education in Texas.

President’s Undergraduate Research Scholars (PURS)

Texas A&M University-Kingsville PURS is a project designed to increase the number of individuals conducting undergraduate research. PURS is funded to serve 10 students for the spring and summer semesters and eligible to receive up to $2,000. PURS will provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in high level research with a faculty mentor and prepares them well for graduate education. Students will have the unique opportunity to interact with TAMUK University Administration in a pre and post research session. Research proposals are submitted through the Office of Sponsored Research Services. Students are assisted and trained in proposal submission and related compliance procedures. Recipients are selected by the research committee based on the quality of the research and the value of the research experience provided for each student.

Student Support Services (SSS)

The mission of Student Support Services (SSS) is to facilitate a climate supportive of academic success and personal enrichment through proactive and individualized services available to the student from their first semester through graduation. SSS students are challenged to take charge of their learning and develop skills that will enable them to enhance their lives and become well rounded citizens of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville community. SSS staff initiate and develop partnerships with students that are academically based and also strive to lead students down a path towards cultural growth and awareness. The program serves 240 students and provides opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and servers to motivate them toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.

Student Support Services-Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (SSS-STEM)

The SSS-STEM program provides opportunities for academic development, assists 120 students with basic college requirements, and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. The goal of SSS-STEM is to increase college retention and graduation rates of its participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next. It fosters an institutional climate supportive of the success of low income and first generation college students and individuals with disabilities through services. SSS-STEM students are challenged to take charge of their learning and develop skills that will enable them to enhance their lives and become well rounded citizens of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville community.

Upward Bound Program/Upward Bound Rural

The goal of the Upward Bound Program is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. The program provides support to participants in their preparation for college entrance and opportunities for participants to succeed in their pre-college performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from a first generation background and/or low income families. The TAMUK Upward Bound Program serves 55 high school students each year in the target areas of Alice, San Diego, and H.M. Kingsville High Schools. The services provided by the program are as follows: academic instruction and tutoring in various curriculums, preparation for college entrance exams, academic/financial advisement and counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment events and work study programs. The TAMUK Upward Bound Rural Program serves 60 high school students each year in the target areas of Premont and Raymondville High Schools.

Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS)/ Upward Bound Math & Science-Rural (UBMS Rural)

The objectives of the Upward Bound Math and Science Programs are to increase the number of low income and first generation students, traditionally underrepresented, in institutions of higher education. To prepare students for college, the program provides an intensive six-week summer residential/research program in math, science, engineering and computer skills. Faculty and graduate student mentors assist with the research and help increase student competency in challenging subject matters. In addition, the Upward Bound Math and Science Program also provides the students with year-round college preparation workshops in ACT testing, financial aid, college admissions, career seminars and academic advising. The program’s goal is to encourage students to pursue programs that will lead them to careers in mathematics and science. This UBMS program serves 60 students each year in the target areas of Alice, San Diego, and H.M. Kingsville high schools. UBMS Rural serves 60 students in target areas of Robstown and Premont high schools.

TAMUK Council for Undergraduate Research (TCUR)

The TAMUK Council for Undergraduate Research (TCUR) is encouraging all TAMUK faculty and students to get involved in undergraduate research. Undergraduates who aid graduate students, work with a professor on his/her research, or perhaps are just interested in furthering their knowledge in a certain area are much more likely to finish their bachelor’s degree, go on to graduate school, and tend to have a better idea of what they want to do as a career. Freshmen and higher undergraduates are eligible, and are encouraged to apply in conjunction with faculty. Fifty thousand dollars have been allocated by the office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies for undergraduate research. The funds are to support undergraduate student wages, research material and supplies for the student to conduct the research. Proposals will be funded between $2,000 to $5,000 each, for approximately 10 to 15 grants total. Each undergraduate student will have to conduct a presentation, or poster, and each faculty mentor will have to provide simple periodic status reports, and will need to submit a final report indicating how the TCUR project assisted the goal of undergraduate research.

Javelina GOLDS – Generation Of Leaders Destined to Succeed

Javelina GOLDS’s comprehensive program was created to specifically address the development of first-generation students throughout their college experience. Our program delivers multiple levels of support, including student development, coaching, academic advising, mentoring, leadership and community engagement opportunities for eligible grant recipients to help address the unique challenges first-generation students face. The Javelina GOLDS Program accepts (100) students each year to participate in this special cohort. Students are welcomed into the program upon admission to Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Students selected to the program will receive an annual $1,000 scholarship. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive a number of social, academic, and leadership activities designed to guide Javelina GOLDS through key transitions pivotal to their success.

Javelina Teacher Preparation Enhancement Project (JTPEP)

The Javelina Teacher Preparation Enhancement Project (JTPEP) at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) will implement services and activities that increase the capacity and effectiveness of TAMUK’s University-Based Educator Preparation Program (UBEPP). JTPEP will provide services and activities that remove or reduce many of the barriers to persistence, graduation, and certification that TAMUK’s UBEPP students (especially those students from low-income households) commonly encounter. This includes providing stipends for undergraduate students preparing for teaching careers. By providing these services and activities, JTPEP will increase the rate at which UBEPP seniors complete their baccalaureate degrees and become certified to teach in Texas at the more than 1,000 public schools across South Texas.