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TWU Home > Marketing & Communication > News Releases


MEDIA ALERT

Arlington’s Bowie High School to host Grand Opening of TWU Go Center Nov. 29 at 9:30 a.m.

11/27/06



WHO:

Texas Woman’s University and Bowie High School in Arlington will host the Grand Opening of the TWU Go Center at Bowie High School on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 9:30 a.m. Scheduled to attend and/or speak are: Arlington Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Mac Bernd, various Arlington ISD board members, Bowie High School Principal Darrell Sneed and other school representatives, TWU Vice President for Student Life Dr. Richard Nicholas, Director of TWU Intercultural Services Becky Rodriguez and several TWU student G-Force members, who will staff the center.

WHAT:

The Grand Opening Celebration will officially open the TWU Go Center at Bowie High School for the 2007 spring semester. A Go Center is a physical space in a high school that offers students admission and financial aid application assistance and other information to encourage greater participation in higher education by potential first-generation college students. Go Centers are part of The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s First Generation College Student Program designed to encourage greater participation in higher education. TWU opened five Go Centers during the 2005-2006 school year and has received requests to open 20 centers in 2006-2007. This is the first year that TWU has operated a Go Center at Bowie High School.


WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Bowie High School, 2101 Highbank Dr., Arlington, TX 76018

BACKGROUND:

See below for a recent news release on TWU Go Centers for background information.

Peer Educators Driving Force of TWU’s First Generation College Retention Programs

June 12, 2006 - DENTON – “If I can go to college, you can too.” This is the message that the students in the Texas Woman’s University’s First Generation College Student Program and the student organization G-Force deliver to their high school peers as part of TWU’s efforts to increase higher education enrollment for first generation college students.

“These TWU students serve as mentors to high school students, participate in college enrollment workshops and help to staff TWU sponsored high school Go Centers,” said Becky Rodriguez, director of TWU Intercultural Services.

Currently TWU operates five Go Centers in four North Texas counties. A Go Center is a physical space in the high school that offers students admission and financial aid application assistance and other information to encourage greater participation in higher education by potential first generation college students.

About 100 TWU students participate in the TWU First Generation College Student Program and G-Force. These students must meet G.P.A. and leadership requirements and then receive scholarships, ranging from $400 to $1,000, for their participation. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded TWU a $50,000 First Generation College Student grant to fund the project.

“Each week (during the school year) I talked with high school students about going to college,” said Stephanie Ozuna, a TWU business management senior and the founder and immediate past president of the G-Force student organization. “I would talk about my college experience and offer guidance on admissions and financial aid applications.”

According to Ozuna, the high school students who came to the Go Center seemed to relate well to their peer educators and had an enthusiastic response to the advice they were hearing. She added that the most common obstacle to college for these students is financial.

“They feel that they can’t afford to go to college, and since they are potentially first generation college students, going to work immediately after high school or quitting high school to earn money is all they know,” Ozuna said. “Many aren’t even aware that financial aid exists or that they are eligible to receive it.”
Rubi Trevino, a TWU dance senior and current G-Force president, added, “The students seem more open to going to college after they talk with us. We are examples of what they can do, and by sharing our stories we can motivate them to apply to college.”

Rodriguez added, “G-Force members are there to encourage post high school education. Whether its community college, a four-year college or university or trade school, we want the students to think beyond high school in order to go on to have successful careers.”

G-Force was started at TWU in Spring 2004 and the first TWU Go Center open in Spring 2005. The university opened five Go Centers during the 2005-2006 school year and has received requests to open 20 centers in 2006-2007.

“We have loved the opportunity to work with TWU in the Go Center,” said Donna Carpenter, career and technology campus coordinator with Coppell High School in Dallas County. “With our partnership with TWU, we have been able to bring a new dimension of college planning for our students, and our counselors have welcomed the assistance the TWU G-Force members provide.”

Though no hard numbers on program participants are yet available, those involved with the project believe it is having an impact.

“Anecdotal data seems to indicate that the Go Centers are a success,” Dr. Richard Nicholas, TWU vice president for student life, said. “TWU has seen a remarkable increase in college applicants from the high schools where we had Go Centers, and we aren’t the only university to experience an increase in applications from these schools.”

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has been so impressed with TWU’s Go Centers, that they have cited the program as model for other universities to emulate throughout the state.

“We have been asked to provide trainings to other universities in Texas about our Go Centers/G-Force success,” Dr. Nicholas said.

According to the Coordinating Board’s Closing the Gaps – The Higher Education Plan, “a large gap exists among racial/ethnic groups in both enrollment and graduation rates from the state’s colleges and universities.”

The main goal of the initiative is to increase higher education enrollment in Texas by 500,000 students by 2015. The report goes on to add that, “Reaching the goal will also require increasing participation from every population group, but especially Hispanics and Blacks.”

“TWU has played a key role in increasing Hispanic student retention through their use of the First Generation College Student grant to fund the G-Force and Go Center, as well as leverage other funding sources,” said Natalie Coffey with the Division of Outreach and Success at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. “The support from Dr. Nicholas and TWU Chancellor and President Dr. Ann Stuart has been crucial to the success of the program, because Hispanic student retention was established as an immediate priority and the necessary resources were dedicated to these efforts. We will continue to work closely with TWU to track the progress and success of Hispanic students who are and will be served by these programs.”

Chris Alvarado, senior program director for outreach for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, said, “TWU has been a stellar partner in helping close the gaps in higher education as exemplified by their development of a successful collegiate G-Force model and their strong sense of collaboration with other local institutions of higher education.”

Dr. Nicholas said, “TWU is strongly committed to our partnerships with area high schools in order to increase the college-going rates necessary to meet the state’s Closing the Gaps goals.”

More information on TWU’s G-Force and Go Centers is available at www.twu.edu/o-sl/intercultural/GoCenter.html. For more information on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Closing the Gaps visit www.thecb.state.tx.us.

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For Further Information Contact:

Amanda McKeen Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu
 

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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