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LU recognized for excellence in minority education innovation

Lamar University has been recognized for excellence in the field of minority education innovation by the P-20 Initiatives for African American Student Success. Lamar received this recognition at the 2013 “Every Student Can” Developmental Education Course Redesign Summit hosted by the P-20 Initiatives for African American Student Success in conjunction with the Texas Higher Education Journal in Austin on July 15-16.

“I think it is an honor that we have been recognized for some of the things we are doing at Lamar,” said Oney Fitzpatrick, associate provost for student retention. “It is particularly rewarding because it is based on an outside entity that has independently looked at the data and sees we are making progress.”

The recognition was based on Lamar’s minority enrollment and retention rates as well as the many programs established to help students succeed. Lamar is ranked third among public institutions in Texas in enrollment and retention of minorities and disadvantaged students and fourth among public institutions in Texas in minority graduation rates.

Fitzpatrick represented Lamar at the summit, the purpose of which was to discuss potential changes to developmental education and highlight ways Texas universities are making an impact by helping students make the most of their education. Fitzpatrick’s presentation highlighted Lamar’s multifaceted approach to student success, including Student Advising and Retention Services (STARS), TRiO Student Support Services (SSS), the McNair Scholars program, the Lamar 1101 University Success Seminar, the National Pan-Hellenic Council College Mentoring Program, and the new Undergraduate Advising Center.

“Many of our students have experienced limited academic success in the past, and many were given little chance to be successful,” Fitzpatrick said. “Programs that can help them hone their academic skills, connect them to resources and support on campus, and allow them to become more involved in the culture of Lamar increase the probability that they will remain here and finish.”