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If a student has not met the graduation requirement for Language Proficiency through college coursework, the student may meet the Graduation Requirement for Language Proficiency through one of the following exams or WebCAPE placement test:

(AP) Advanced Placement – This is a test taken while a student was in high school.   If a student obtained appropriate scores, he/she could have been awarded up to 12 credits for a Modern Language at UTPA.  Check your UTPA Transcript or Degree Works to see if you were awarded the appropriate credit for your AP exam.

(CLEP) (College Level Exam Program) ($100)– After high school, students can take the CLEP Exam to earn college credit.   Depending upon the test score, a student can earn up to 12 college credits in a particular language acceptable at UTPA.   A variety of college credits can be earned through CLEP Exams.

WebCAPE  ($10) – Students can also use the WebCAPE to meet the Language Proficiency Requirement.  The reason the WebCAPE costs less than the CLEP is because it is a placement test and cannot be used to earn college credit and cannot be transferred to another higher education institution.  It is a placement instrument used by UTPA to indicate a student has proficiency for up to 6 college credits.

TOEFL:  If a student is an international student and was required to take the TOEFL in order to meet admission requirements, the TOEFL can also be used to meet the Language Proficiency requirement.  It cannot be used to earn college credit at UTPA.

1)      Visit the UTPA Testing Services Website to obtain more information about the CLEP, TOEFL and WebCAPE assessments.  UTPA University Testing Services
Click on the Testing Services link in the left column and then choose Computer-based Exams
2)      You can check important information regarding the Language Proficiency Requirement on the University Academic Advising Center website.  Language Proficiency Requirement Guidelines
Click on the Language Proficiency Requirement link under the Resources heading.

The Spring 2014 term is almost over.  You’re ready for finals and the summer.

But, wait a minute, you forgot something…

You rush to your computer to register for Summer 2014 and Fall 2014 classes, but can’t register because you have an advising hold.  Yes, all current Freshmen and Sophomores must be advised before registering for classes.  All students in the Colleges of Engineering & Computer Science and Business Administration are also required to be advised each term.  Even if you do not have an advising hold, you will find it helpful to meet with a staff or faculty advisor before registering for Summer and Fall classes.

Where do I get advised?

1)      Freshmen and Sophomores (with majors other than Political Science, Engineering and Computer Science) are advised by advising staff through the University Academic Advising Center.  To schedule an advising appointment with a University Academic Advising Center advisor, you can:

  • Schedule online by clicking on the Advising Icon located on your myUTPA  applications,
  • Call (956) 665-7120, or
  • Visit the University Academic Advising Center main office in Southwick Hall, Room 101A

2)      All Juniors and Seniors and those Freshmen and Sophomores with majors in Political Science and in the College of Engineering and Computer Science are advised by Faculty in their Major Department.    If you have difficulty contacting your major department, the University Academic Advising Center staff can assist you in locating your major department and the needed contact information.  We are located in Southwick Hall, Room 101A or call (956) 665-7120.

Are you undecided about your major?

If you have decided your current major is not a good match, but you don’t know what major is right for you.  Schedule a career exploration appointment with Marilyn Hagerty at the University Academic Advising Center.  She will walk you through a career decision making process in order to identify a career and the appropriate major to fit your interests, values and abilities.  To schedule a career exploration appointment, you can:

  • Schedule online by clicking on the Advising Icon located on your myUTPA  applications (Select the Division for Career Advising A-Z),
  • Call (956) 665-7120, or
  • Visit the University Academic Advising Center office in Southwick Hall, Room 101A


Good things happening with Guerra Honors Program.  We have made selections for the upcoming 2014-2015 academic year.  Honors sweeps the selection with Carmen Cisneros, Suchita Jahveri, Claudia Lemus and Luis Perez.  The selections for student participating in the 2014-2015 Harvard Latino Leadership Initiative include David Garza, Natalie Gonzalez, Efrain Rodriguez, and Mariella Zavala.  Mariella is a member of the GHP.  Additionally, there will be five thesis defenses occurring this week and one later in April.  The Guerra Honors Program will be graduating thirteen students total.  All students well be given special award and medallions at the GHP Recognition Ceremony on May 1, 2014 in the IT2 at 6:00.  Early that afternoon, the Coca Cola Scholars First Generation Program will recognize its cohorts at the same venue beginning at 11:00.  This years cohort of GHP Study Abroad Students will be leaving for Vienna, Prague and Budapest on May 11 and returning in time for Summer I on June I.  Dr. Buckman and Dr. Keller took three students to the Great Plains Honors Conference in Fort Smith AR, March 27 – 30: Luis Basurto, Daphne Garcia and Erika Hernandez.  Preparations and planning for the GPHC to be held on South Padre Island April 10 – 12, 2015 and hosted by the Guerra Honors Program are in full swing.

The University Writing Center offers one-on-one and group tutoring on writing assignments at all levels and in all subjects.  Whether you’re confused about how to get started, need some pointers on how to develop your paper, or need a tutor to look for patterns of error so you can avoid repeating the same writing problems, the University Writing Center is the place to get help!

We also offer tutoring sessions on reading and critical thinking strategies and techniques.  If you’re overwhelmed with a lot of reading, our tutors can teach you how to locate and learn the most important information in a lengthy or multiple texts.  If you’re confused about how to apply or analyze what you’re reading, we can teach you some excellent strategies to help accomplish your academic task.

Got a group project and wondering what to do next?  Your whole group is welcome to come to the University Writing Center for guidance on all stages of your group project.

Even though final exam time is still several weeks away, you may wish you knew how to synthesize all those chapters, articles, web pages and class notes so that studying would be easier.  The UWC tutors can guide you with some helpful tips and tricks for studying lots of information efficiently.

We also want to remind all UTPA freshmen and sophomores about the UTPA Researched Essay Contest.  Prizes include a Nexus 7 tablet, lots of Bronc Bucks and bookstore credits, as well as the chance to have your essay included in a campus publication.   The deadline for submission is Friday, April 4, and the submission process is easy!  Just read the information about the contest at www.utpa.edu/writingcenter for complete directions.  Be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions carefully.

Finally, don’t forget about our new Wednesday afternoon training sessions on Web 2.0 tools which will jazz up and streamline your coursework.  The training sessions are free, but seating is limited to 24.  Sessions will be held in the University Writing Center from 3:00-4:00 each Wednesday.  The session topics are as follows:

  • W, April 2 – Glogster   Come learn how to make interactive, virtual posters for your projects
  • W, April 9 – Diigo   Come learn how to use this tool to annotate, highlight, and share, and store digital texts, including readings on Blackboard Learn
  • W, April 16 – Google Drive & Google Hangouts – Learn how to save, share, and collaborate on documents on an icloud, or have a virtual meeting with real-time video chat and collaboration with up to nine group members
  • W, April 23 – Prezi – Jazz up your presentations with Prezi, which allows you to create 3D slides that move, zoom, and embed video clips
  • W, April 30 – Glogster  Repeat of April 2 session


The University Writing Center is located in the Academic Services Building (ACSB) room 2.130.  Our hours are Mon.-Thurs., 8:30am-8:00pm and Fridays, 8:30am-1:00pm.  Come see us!

The Guerra Honors Program moved into its new temporary location in POBL #1, between SBSC and ARHU, in anticipation of moving into more permanent facilities later this year.  The Guerra Honors Program serves academically talented and ambitious students who value intellectual growth and want to make the most of their undergraduate education. The program provides students a flexible, challenging, and innovative curriculum that helps them develop academically, personally, and professionally. Students of all majors at UTPA may join the Guerra Honors Program. In fact, no one particular academic major or career goal is more suited to the program than any other. Membership in the Guerra Honors Program is a privilege and a commitment, but previous graduates of the program have found it a tremendous source of enrichment as they move through and beyond UTPA into various avenues of success. The Guerra Honors Program is always interested in students who wish to think big when it comes to their academic and professional ambitions.  The following are just a few of the important opportunities the Guerra Honors Program avails to students in all colleges and disciplines.

Undergraduate Archer Fellowship: UTPA has been a participant in the Bill Archer Undergraduate Fellowship Program since 2006.  We just welcomed back three Archer Fellows who spent the Fall semester in Washington D.C.: Ms. Alexis Bay, Mr. Luis Briones, and Ms. Haley Hodge.  This year’s UTPA cohort includes Ms. Daniella Diaz (interning with NBC News in Washington, D.C.); Ms. Vanessa Garza (interning with the U.S. Supreme Court); and Mr. Edward Guerra (interning with the Human Rights Campaign and specifically as a graphic designer for The DC Center for the LGBT Community and also The Consumer Marketing Department).  The Guerra Honors Program has received applications and will be selecting next year’s cohort by the end of March, 2015.

Graduate Archer Fellowship: UTPA placed a graduate student in the Graduate Archer Fellowship Program for the first time in the Summer of 2013, Mr. Michael Odum.  This year’s search, under the auspices of the Guerra Honors Program, interviewed five candidates and the search was concluded with the selection of Mr. Alberto Espinoza, who will begin his Fellowship in Summer 2014.  Congratulations Mr. Espinoza.

Harvard Latino Leadership Initiative: The Guerra Honors Program was pleased to hear from Harvard University that the Harvard Latino Leadership Initiative will go forward for the Summer of 2014.  This year’s effort is entitled Harvard LLI on the Road and will be held June 8 – 13 in Laredo Texas, generously hosted by President Ray Keck of Texas A&M International University.  Andy Zelleke, Marshall Ganz, Allison Shapira Catherine Otis-Cote will teach and organize the program.  The Harvard Kennedy School for Executive Education has agreed to award certificates with the Harvard insignia for students who participate in this “On the Road”

Great Plains Honors Council:  There are two items of note concerning the Great Plains Honors Council.  The first item of note concerns this year’s council in Fort Smith Arkansas.  The conference is sponsored by The University of Arkansas, Fort Smith.  Each year the GPHC hosts a regional conference that includes universities from Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas.  Due to the largeness of the state of Texas, the conference alternates years between Texas and one of the other participating states.  This past year, the conference was hosted in Canyon, TX and sponsored by West Texas A&M University.    Coordinating its activities with the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the Great Plains organization promotes the flow of information, ideas, fellowship and professional encouragement throughout its member programs. Our spring regional conference always emphasizes student presentations and the region-as-text.  The second item of note is that the University of Texas Pan American is scheduled to host the 2015 GPHC conference on South Padre Island at the Isla Grand Resort April 10 – 12.  Dr. Buckman and Dr. Keller have been in the process of finalizing contracts for hosting the conference.

The Guerra Honors Program invites all UTPA students who have at least 24 hours at the university and maintain and institutional GPA of 3.5, eligible high schools students, and eligible transfer students to become a part of the Guerra Honors Program and the Honors Community here at UTPA.

The Office of Undergraduate Research & Service Learning has many exciting things going on to support students engaged in academic experiences. We encourage students and faculty to look to us for resources to support students seeking opportunities for supervised research, to present academic research at national conferences, and to participate in community-based learning opportunities.


The Annual Undergraduate Research Conference was held this past November 25-26th. Over 200 students presented their academic research in oral and poster sessions. Students from every college participated in this two day event, and we even hosted 12 students from UT Brownsville. All research was supervised and sponsored by university faculty, and students got the opportunity hone their research skills as well as their presentation skills. We will be offering workshops later this spring and summer in preparation for next year’s conference, but we can also help you find places to present research in the meantime.


We are excited to announce our upcoming Service Learning Showcase, which will be April 16th 4-6pm at the CESS building. This event will be a celebration of students who completed service learning activities and projects this semester. Students will exhibit their work in creative ways, including posters, scrapbooks, short videos, and other innovative presentations. There will be food and mingling throughout the event. If you want to display a project related to a service project you participated this semester, you will just need to register with our office in March.


We hope everyone will visit our webpage (utpa.edu/ursl), “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We regularly post opportunities for internships, volunteering, scholarships, and conferences, and we are here to support you. We would also like for you to come visit us in our new space, Portable Building 2, just east of the Education Complex at Jody Ramsey Field. Contact us at any time for questions, directions, and comments.


Phone: 956-665-3461

Email: danika@utpa.edu


The University Writing Center is the perfect place to visit so that you can work on writing assignments and projects of all kinds.  We work with students at all levels and in all subjects, from developmental through graduate, from history or English class assignments to writing in the health sciences, business, engineering, or any other discipline.   Our certified tutors can assist you with all stages of writing, from helping you understand your assignment’s directions to brainstorming ideas, organizing and developing your first draft, revising for accuracy, depth and clarity, and editing for submission to your instructor.  Tutors can work with you one-on-one for up to two tutoring sessions per day (each session is 20-30 minutes).  We also have computers where you can work independently.  Our tutoring services are free, and no appointment is necessary!

You may be unaware, though, that the University Writing Center does so much more than “just” tutor writing.  If you have challenging reading assignments (textbooks, articles, or web-based work), our tutors can teach you excellent strategies for helping you to understand, remember, and apply material that you’ve studied.  We have a variety of materials—hand-outs, books, and recommended websites—that can help you master even the most difficult or lengthy reading assignments.  In addition, our tutors are ready to help you with critical thinking about your reading and writing assignments so that you can get beyond merely trying to memorize facts.  Our critical thinking tips can help students analyze, synthesize, and evaluate multiple, complex sources and viewpoints.

If you are working on a group project, you’ll be glad to know that your group can come to the University Writing Center for group tutoring on projects of all kinds.  No appointment is necessary, but all the members of your group must be present for the tutoring session.

Finally, if you’re taking classes in which many of your assignments and readings are posted on Blackboard Learn or another online site, please ask the tutors to work with you to learn how to use diigo or another appropriate social bookmarking tool for marking, annotating, highlighting, and sharing digital texts.  Applying these active reading tools and strategies will help you master all your online readings.

We are located in the Academic Services Building (ACSB), room 2.130, on the second floor.  Our hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:30-8:00; Friday, 8:30-1:00. Come see us!

Academic Support

How Are You Doing in Your Spring 2014 Classes?

You’ve been in class for three weeks.  Do you know how you are doing?  If you are a first year college student, a critical skill college students learn is how to monitor their progress in each class.  Check your syllabus.  Do you know how much each assignment, test, and quiz is worth towards the calculation of your final grade?

The University Academic Advising Center advisors will begin advising students for the summer and fall terms on February 17th.  At their advising sessions, advisors often ask students, “How are you doing in your current classes?”  Many times students say, “I’m doing fine.”  After talking further, we often discover students don’t really know the grades they are getting in their classes.  We can help you learn grade and GPA calculation skills

What you can do:

Check Your Syllabus:  Your faculty/instructor includes how grades are calculated on the class syllabus.  Locate this section of the syllabus.  If you don’t understand how to calculate your class grade, ask your instructor.  Can’t find your syllabus?  You can search for all class syllabi at:  Spring 2014 Syllabi

Predict Your Grades:  Use the GPA Calculator found on the University Academic Advising Center website to calculate your grades for the semester.

Ask Your Academic Advisor:   At your next advising session, bring your class syllabus, ask questions on how to calculate your class grades and your semester GPA.

Schedule Your Academic Advising Session:  Contact the University Academic Advising Center to ask questions or to schedule an advising appointment.  Note:  In February, we will begin online scheduling of advising appointments for the Summer and Fall terms.  Watch BroncNotes and your Bronc Email for more details.

Academic Advising Service Desk: Southwick Hall, Room 101A
Phone #: (956) 665-7120
Send Us A Question or Make An Appointment: Make An Appointment
University Academic Advising Center Website: http://www.utpa.edu/advisement

The University College is proud to announce that one of our UNIV 1301 instructors, José Saldivar, has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 McGraw-Hill Excellence in Teaching First-Year Seminar award!  This annual award is jointly sponsored by McGraw-Hill Higher Education and the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition (at the University of South Carolina).  It recognizes one instructor nationally who has “achieved great success in teaching first-year seminars and who inspires student learning, development, and success.”  Mr. Saldivar is a truly excellent teacher and is an asset to UNIV and to UTPA.