About 150 Hispanic middle school students from the Grand Prairie Independent School District, and their parents and teachers, visited UNT May 19 to participate in the Bridge to Economic Success program sponsored by the UNT Center for Economic Education.
The program illustrated the advantages of higher education to the participants. Students who had been identified by their teachers for enrollment in pre-Advanced Placement Spanish courses were invited to attend.
The program at UNT was the second part of the Bridge to Economic Success program. The students also visited the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas and heard presentations on personal finance and job opportunities for college graduates by staff members of the bank's Economic Education division.
Steven L. Cobb, director of the UNT Center for Economic Education, also spoke to the students at the event.
"We wanted to first show them how higher education can be a key component to economic success," says Cobb, who conducts workshops on incorporating economics education into curricula for 800 to 1,000 teachers each year. "Then, by bringing them to UNT, we will expose them to a university environment. We hope they will be encouraged to consider college."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, college graduates earn an average of $1 million more during their careers than those who have only earned high school diplomas. Americans with college degrees also have higher rates of employment and more consistency in employment than Americans without college degrees and tend to have skills that can be applied in different job settings.
The program included presentations from bilingual staff members from the Office of Financial Aid, Office of Admissions, Center for Spanish Language Media, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and other UNT offices and programs. The students, teachers and parents also toured the UNT campus and were treated to a barbecue lunch.
Bridge to Economic Success is funded by grants from the National Council on Economic Education and the UNT Hispanic and Global Studies Initiative Fund.
Cobb says he hopes the program will be the first of many for middle school students.
"Six other school districts have contacted me and said they are interested," he says.
UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108
Contact: Nancy Kolsti (940) 565-3509