CIE marks 25th anniversary of the Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony


High school migrant students from across the state will be recognized at The University of Texas at Austin on April 2 during the 25th annual Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony.

The ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center to honor Texas students who have completed distance learning courses through the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program. This program provides flexible courses and support services that enable migrant students to earn high school credit at any time and any place in order to meet high school graduation requirements. The Migrant Student Program is a component of the K-16 Education Center in the Division of Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE).

Texas has the second-largest migrant education program and the largest interstate migrant student population in the nation. Students and their families migrate annually from Texas to 47 other states to work in agricultural and other seasonal jobs. With the help of this program, migrant students are able to stay in school and graduate high school on time.

“This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program, and I am so proud of everyone who has supported this program through the years. I am especially proud of the students,” said Dr. Linda L. Glessner, Executive Director of CIE. “Many of these students are the first in their families to graduate high school and then go on to attend college, where they have studied to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers and community leaders. Time and again, these students all share a common trait: a strong belief in the value of both education and hard work to achieve their goals. It is my sincere pleasure to honor these students and congratulate them on a job well done.”

With funding from the Texas Education Agency Distance Learning for Migrant Secondary Students grant, the Migrant Student Program has enrolled over 26,000 students over the past 25 years in its mission to increase the graduation rate of high school migrant students in Texas. Since its inception, 72% of these students, representing over 18,000 migrant students, have earned high school credits through the program’s distance learning courses to help them reach their goal of high school graduation. A number of these graduates are now attending college in Texas and across the nation.

During the 2012 ceremony, 40 exemplary migrant students from throughout Texas will be recognized and presented with a medal. Texas Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., will also present college scholarships to five students, including the two Exemplary Migrant Students of the Year. All five scholarships are a gift from ExxonMobil, which has provided annual scholarships to the program since 2002.

One of the remaining scholarship recipients will be the winner of the program’s Creative Award competition. Students who competed for this award submitted entries in a range of creative endeavors including poetry, dancing, guitar playing, flute playing and drawing. Several of these entries will be on display at the ceremony.

About 150 migrant students, 40 parents and 60 educators are expected to attend the ceremony from 19 school districts including Blanco, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Eagle Pass, Edinburg, El Paso, Fabens, Floresville, Goose Creek, La Joya, Lockhart, Luling, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, San Benito, South San Antonio, Taylor, United, Uvalde and Waelder. Approximately 75 guests from the university, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Legislature are also expected to attend the event.

A musical performance at the ceremony will be provided by local Austin musician Juan Diaz. The finale of the event will be a performance by Exemplary Migrant Student Michelle Silva from Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, who will play guitar.

Activities before and after the ceremony provide students with an opportunity to learn more about The University of Texas at Austin. At 10 a.m. in the ballroom of the Student Activity Center, students will learn about the university’s application process from Freshman Admissions and participate in a panel discussion about college life with current university students who are former migrant students and program alumni. The day will conclude with a tour of the university campus.

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Tags: students, migrant student recognition ceremony, migrant student program, migrant student graduation enhancement center, migrant, linda glessner, k-16 education center, impact, 25th anniversary,