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TWU Receives Texas Star Award

TWU Receives Texas Star Award


HOUSTON — The Texas Woman's University Nursing Success Program for at-risk students has received the 2002 Texas Higher Education Star Award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

At-risk students in the Nursing Success Program take courses in time management, study skills, English usage, test taking, computer usage, medical calculations, understanding the role of nurses in American professional culture, managing stress and thinking critically. The program's goal is to retain valuable nursing students.

Nearly three-quarters of the 74 students admitted into the program during the past four semesters are under-represented minorities, and for 38 percent of the students English is a second language. Sixty-seven continued as nursing students, representing a 91 percent retention rate. Without the Nursing Success Program, historical data suggests about one-half of those students most likely would have dropped out of the nursing program.

Students enter the Nursing Success Program as juniors who have completed their core classes and are beginning intensive nursing instruction and clinicals.

The Star Award was established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to recognize exemplary contributions toward the goals of the state's Closing the Gaps by 2015 education plan. Other 2002 Star Award recipients are: Baylor College of Medicine, Lamar University, San Jacinto College-North Campus, University of Texas-El Paso, University of Texas-San Antonio, University of Texas-Pan American.

"I think it's noteworthy that we're the only nursing program to receive the award," said Dr. Lene Symes, who established the program on TWU's Houston campus two years ago. "We plan to have the program online next semester so other colleges and universities can use it as a blueprint for their own similar programs. By sharing the program, TWU is taking another step toward addressing the state's nursing shortage and addressing the issue of cultural diversity in nursing education."

Earlier this year, the Nursing Success Program received a $163,016 award from the Nursing Innovation Grant Program to expand the program to TWU's Dallas campus and to extend the program's length from two to five semesters. Dr. Symes, assistant professor of nursing, and Dr. Suzanne Carr, assistant professor of nursing in Dallas, received the Nursing Innovation Grant Program grant.

“These programs represent the best of the best efforts to close the gaps in education that challenge Texas,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Don W. Brown. “The Star Award is a prestigious honor for the people and the institutions that develop and carry out these efforts, as well as to the private organizations and people who support them.”

For this year's competition, the Coordinating Board received 83 applications, from which 15 finalists were chosen. Selection of the seven Star Award recipients was based on the recommendations of a nine-member committee made up of three Coordinating Board members, three Texas business and community leaders and three educational experts from other states.


For Further Information Contact:

Roy Kron
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456