UTB sees increase in freshmen retention rate

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POSTED: Monday, February 10, 2014 - 6:17pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 9:17am

UTB can now brag that it's freshmen retention rate for the first semester as its own independent university is 91 percent.

This number marks about a ten percent increase from when the university and Texas Southmost College were merged last year.

"There's actually two factors," said UTB's learning enrichment center co-director Dr. Leslie Jones. "One, we have a new admission standard/criteria to get into the institution, so you must be college ready, um, and then the second one is an initiative that Dr. Garcia and Dr. Artibise supported and that's called Link2Success."

Link2Success was started two to three years ago and is regarded as one of the primary reasons UTB has such a successful retention rate for the first half of the school year.

"What Link2Success is, are built in study sessions for courses that have a traditional high failure rate for in the first year," said Dr. Jones.

Before the Link2Success program, some classes had very mediocre passing rates, but after the program was implemented, most freshmen saw immediate benefits.

"We have our class after our tutoring so we're like a little more prepared for the class," said UTB freshman Maria Garcia.

"It's great that we're having after, like after class some time to go over the stuff we didn't understand and we have some great tutors so I think it's a great program," said UTB freshman Martin Espinoza.

"If they are here, they know that we are here to help them," said Link2Success tutor Alberto Avila.

The Link2Success program has proved to not only improve retention rates, but also students' grades and comprehension in the first year.

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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