Migrant Student Program Celebrates 25 Years of Helping Students Graduate from High School

March 28, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas — High school migrant students from across the state will be recognized at The University of Texas at Austin on April 2 during the 25th annual Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony.

The ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center to honor 40 Texas high school students who have completed distance learning courses through the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program, an initiative of the university’s Division of Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE). In addition to the honorees, 110 migrant students, 40 parents and 60 educators from 19 school districts are expected to attend. These additional migrant students are attending the ceremony to support their honored peers and learn more about the program and the university. Approximately 75 guests from the university, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Legislature are also expected to attend.

Texas has 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. With the help of the university’s Migrant Student Program, Texas migrant students enroll in flexible, distance learning courses to keep up with their school work and graduate high school on time.

"This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program, and I am so proud of everyone who has supported this program through the years. I am especially proud of the students,” said Linda L. Glessner, executive director of CIE. “Many of these students are the first in their families to graduate high school and then go on to attend college, where they have studied to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers and community leaders. Time and again, these students all share a common trait: a strong belief in the value of both education and hard work to achieve their goals. It is my sincere pleasure to honor these students and congratulate them on a job well done.”

Throughout the month of March, CIE has been celebrating 25 years of the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program. Updates on past students have been posted on the CIE website, and a special video commemorating the occasion is available. Please visit the CIE website to read these updates and further news of CIE programs and events.

With funding from the Texas Education Agency Distance Learning for Migrant Secondary Students grant, the Migrant Student Program has enrolled more than 26,000 students during the past 25 years in its mission to increase the graduation rate of high school migrant students in Texas. Since its inception, thousands of these students have graduated from high school after earning high school credits through the program’s distance learning courses. A number of these graduates have earned college degrees or are now attending college in Texas and across the nation.

During the 2012 ceremony, 40 exemplary migrant students from throughout Texas will each be recognized and presented with a 25th anniversary medal. State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. will be in attendance to present college scholarships to five students, including the two Exemplary Migrant Students of the Year. All five scholarships are a gift from ExxonMobil, which has provided annual scholarships to the program since 2002.

Activities before and after the ceremony 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.

For more information, contact: Wayne Wenske.