Grants Totaling $490,000 to Improve College Readiness, Developmental Education

Aug. 16, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin School of Undergraduate Studies have received $400,000 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to improve college readiness and developmental education.

The Developmental Education Demonstration Project grant provides funding for new and innovative approaches to developmental education. The grant will offer students required to take developmental education the opportunity to participate in an innovative learning community, a summer bridge program and non-course-based remediation options.

"By developing and testing innovative approaches to developmental education, we can positively impact the future success of not only University of Texas at Austin students, but students across the state," said Dr. Cassandre Alvarado, co-director of the grant and assistant dean.

The two-year grant, which is co-directed by Alvarado and Dr. Larry Abraham, associate dean, is worth $200,000 each year. The innovations developed with the grant funds will be administered through the Texas Success Initiative program in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

"We are delighted that the coordinating board will help us better address the unique college readiness problems that a number of students face in the transition from high school to The University of Texas at Austin," said Abraham.

Dr. Harrison Keller, vice provost for higher education policy and executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, who has worked with Alvarado and Abraham on the development of these proposals and related institutional policy initiatives, said, "These grant funds will support groundbreaking work to help many more Texas students understand and meet the expectations of The University of Texas at Austin. Students across the state will benefit from this unique collaboration among the university's School of Undergraduate Studies, colleges and departments."

Alvarado received an additional grant of $90,000 for her work examining the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards in the context of a research university. Research funded by both grants will enhance college readiness across the state.

For more information, contact: Cassandre Alvarado, assistant dean, School of Undergraduate Studies, 512-232-3997.

3 Comments to "Grants Totaling $490,000 to Improve College Readiness, Developmental Education"

1.  Elinor Donnell said on Aug. 19, 2010

This is a wonderful concept for those graduating who really are not ready for the academic life of a large university--I applaud this concept.

2.  Joseph P. A. Villescas, Ph.D. said on Aug. 19, 2010


I am an alumnus of UT (RTF MA 02, RTF PhD 05) and I am very interested in learning more about how I can get involved with this initiative, particularly as it relates to the college readiness of students from border counties. I am available to meet at the University and can be reached at or 915.543.0847

3.  Harry Harelik said on Aug. 30, 2010

I am involved at a community college in Waco, Texas and we in the planning stages to initiate an early testing and intervention program for our county to not only determine what students are missing in required knowledge well before their senior year but also to reduce the number of students required to take developmental coursework when they reach college. We believe there is also a potential correlation in this work to helping students determine what educational and career paths they should take when the enter college. I would be interested in information developed by UT in this initiative.