Migrant Student Program honors graduating seniors on April 15
4/10/2013High school migrant students from across the state will be recognized at a special ceremony at 12 noon, Monday, April 15, during the 26th annual Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony at The University of Texas at Austin.
The ceremony at the Texas Union’s Ballroom honors students who have completed distance learning courses through the university's Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program in the K-16 Education Center, a department of the Division of Continuing & Innovative Education. The program provides flexible courses and support services that enable migrant students to earn high school credit at any time and any place in order to meet and often exceed high school graduation requirements.
Texas has the second-largest migrant education program and the largest interstate migrant student population in the nation. Students and their families migrate annually from Texas to 47 other states to work in agricultural and other seasonal jobs.
“One of the highlights of my year is learning about the success of our exemplary migrant students and meeting these inspiring students in person at our annual ceremony,” said Jeff Treichel, executive director, ad interim, of Continuing & Innovative Education. “These exemplary students have already made an impact on their schools and communities as high achievers, student leaders and community volunteers, and each one of them aspires to continue learning and achieving at institutions of higher education. I look forward to learning of their future contributions in their chosen fields of study.”
Forty exemplary migrant students will be recognized at the ceremony. Dr. Juan C. González of the university’s College of Education will provide a welcome address and Dr. Judith G. Loredo of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will be the keynote speaker. College scholarships to five students including the two "Exemplary Migrant Students of the Year" and the winner of the program’s Creative Award will also be presented during the ceremony. Submissions for the Creative Award will be on display at the ceremony. The entries students submitted for the Creative Award include drawing, piano playing, writing and sculpting. All five scholarships are a gift from ExxonMobil, which has provided annual scholarships to the program since 2002.
About 100 migrant students and 70 parents and 60 educators will attend the ceremony. Twenty school districts will be represented including Brownsville, Donna, Eagle Pass, Edinburg, El Paso, Fabens, La Joya, La Villa, Magnolia, Mission, Olton, Plains, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, Robstown, San Benito, San Felipe-Del Rio, South San Antonio, Taylor, Tornillo and Ysleta. About 75 guests from The University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Legislature will also attend the event, which will feature a performance by the Tex-Mex Conjunto Ensemble from the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin.
With funding from the Texas Education Agency and gifts from ExxonMobil and the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation, the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program has enrolled over 26,000 students in its mission to increase the graduation rate of high school migrant students in Texas. During the past 26 years, thousands of migrant students have earned high school credits through the program’s distance learning courses to help them reach their goal of high school graduation. Many of these students are the first in their families to reach this educational level, and a number of the program’s high school graduates are now attending college in Texas and across the nation.
Activities taking place before and after the ceremony will provide these students with an opportunity to learn more about The University of Texas at Austin and the admissions process. The day will conclude with a tour of the university campus.