Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Texas A&M-Kingsville announces 15 full-ride math/science scholarships and a price freeze on room and board

KINGSVILLE - February 15, 2007

Contact: Jill Scoggins

KINGSVILLE, Texas (February 15, 2007) – Texas A&M University-Kingsville announces a new scholarship program to encourage incoming students to pursue careers as public school teachers in mathematics and the sciences.  In addition, as a measure to help parents and students meet the increasing costs of higher education, the university will freeze residence hall rates for the next four years and the cost of meal plans for two years for freshmen enrolling in Fall 2007.

“We are making the scholarship program available to help students who want to enter the teaching field in the disciplines of mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics,” said Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juárez, president of the university. “There is a severe shortage of teachers in these fields, especially in our surrounding school districts in South Texas, and Texas A&M-Kingsville wants to take a proactive measure toward alleviating this shortage by providing these scholarships. 

“We have also been very concerned about the increasing costs of obtaining a college education and the financial struggles of our students to obtain a college degree.  One way we can assist with those increasing costs is by holding our meal and residence hall rates steady,” Juárez said.

Kingsville Independent School District Superintendent, Dr. Rudy López Jr., echoed the acute need for math and science teachers in South Texas. “Our data shows that math and science achievement is a critical area in which students need academic enrichment,” he said. “At the same time, we have tremendous difficulty in finding math and science teachers, so much so that we now offer stipends to encourage people to teach these fields in our schools. It is wonderful that the university is creating these scholarships. W e need to encourage students to go into these fields, and all of us in education need to work together collaboratively in addressing this common issue that is so prevalent in our region and statewide. I am elated to learn about this program and give high praises to the university and to Dr. Juárez for implementing it.”

Corpus Christi Director of Leadership and Professional Development Gilbert Cantu noted the benefit of having a Coastal Bend university offering these scholarships. “With the current shortage of math and science teachers, and the expense of obtaining a college degree, offering math and science scholarships in education will be a significant lure to prospective teacher candidates,” Cantu said. “Local school districts will benefit from a local university offering these scholarships as this will likely increase the number of highly qualified math and science teachers in area classrooms.”

About the scholarships in mathematics and science education
Beginning in Fall 2007, the university will provide full-ride scholarships covering tuition, fees, room and board to 15 qualified freshmen students who want to become middle or high school teachers in mathematics, biology, chemistry or physics.

The United States Department of Labor reports that jobs requiring science, engineering and technical training may increase by 50 percent by 2008, which could open up 6 million jobs in those fields. Not including the number of teachers who will retire each year, some 260,000 new math and science teachers are needed by 2009.  In Texas, a 2005 report from the Texas Comptroller of Public Account states that nearly 37,000 Texas teachers leave the classroom each year to retire or enter another profession while the state’s student population demands 5,000 additional teachers per year.

Prospective students who wish to qualify for one of the 15 math and science scholarships for freshmen should contact the Office of Financial Aid at Texas A&M-Kingsville, 1-800-687-6000 or Room 105 of the Memorial Student Union Building, located on Santa Gertrudis Avenue at University Boulevard.

About the freeze on housing and meal costs
All freshman students enrolling in Fall 2007 can take advantage of another new program from Texas A&M-Kingsville that will freeze room and board rates.

Students who choose to live in a university residence hall without interruption will not be subjected to any potential housing rate increase for four years and to any potential meal plan rate increase for two years.

The university offers a number of housing and meal plan options for students to choose from, and the program is designed to assist students in holding the line on living expenses as much as possible, enabling them to plan their budgets each year without concern over potential room and board rate increases.

For a complete list of housing and meal plan options and information on enrollment at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, contact the Office of Admissions by phone at 1-800-687-6000 or by e-mail at admissions@tamuk.edu.

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