Students Partnering for Undergraduate Rhetoric Success (SPURS) is a web-based, dual-credit program that allows high school juniors and seniors to earn 3 hours of college rhetoric and writing credit upon successful completion of the course. With curriculum designed by UT faculty, the college coursework is facilitated by an English teacher on each participating high school campus. Concurrently, students earn two semesters of high school credit for an English Language Arts elective course. High school students will receive instruction in writing and critical thinking to prepare them for college-level writing. Skills in communication and analysis are crucial for students in the workplace and in their contributions as responsible citizens. The curriculum is designed also to provide students with enhanced instruction and practice in the kinds of writing on which some standardized tests are based. Additionally, the program affords participating high school students the opportunity to collaborate online and in person with University Instructors, thereby further acquainting them with college culture and the expectations they will meet to achieve academic success.Mission
- Through enhanced writing curriculum developed for university undergraduates, the mission of the Students Partnering for Undergraduate Rhetoric Success (SPURS) Program is to improve, the college readiness of students from Texas high schools that are underrepresented in postsecondary institutions.
- Improve college-level writing skills of students at high schools that are underrepresented at postsecondary institutions.
- Provide to participating high school students interactive experiences and resources that promote a college-going culture.
- Develop skills to teach college-level writing among faculty at high schools that are underrepresented at postsecondary institutions.
SPURS consists of five main elements:
- A web-based, dual credit (high school/university) Rhetoric and Writing (RHE 306) course
- University of Texas at Austin Course Instructor/Curriculum Coordinator who provides the course curriculum to partner high school teachers
- A weeklong summer teacher professional development workshop at The University of Texas at Austin
- A two-day winter teacher professional development workshop at The University of Texas at Austin
- High school student visitation to the University of Texas at Austin
- Participating high school teachers attend two semiannual professional development workshops that focus on course curriculum and procedures.
- The SPURS Program is certified as a provider of Gifted and Talented professional development by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented.
- The Texas Education Agency recognizes the SPURS Program as a provider of Continuing Professional Education. Teachers who attend the two semiannual professional development workshops will receive a certificate that documents their clock hours for the purpose of teacher certification renewal.
- Crockett High School
- Reagan High School
- Central Medical Magnet High School
- Madison High School
- Yates High School
- IDEA Mission College Preparatory
- IDEA San Benito College Preparatory
- IDEA Quest College Preparatory
- IDEA Frontier College Preparatory
- Brackenridge High School