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Austin College Gateways Initiative Guides Students to Future Goals
Article By: by Austin College
Posted: 3/4/2014 Views: 2102  Impressions: 10930
Categories: Education

SHERMAN, TEXAS-Austin College President Marjorie Hass announces the launch of the Austin College Gateways initiative, with phase one of the program focused on students interested in law medicine, healthcare, accounting, and other professions. Austin College announces a unique initiative that offers its students preferred access to graduate and professional schools in a wide variety of fields. Gateways partner institutions agree to a range of opportunities, from preferred admission to qualified students to summer study and research opportunities to special scholarships. The next phase of the program will focus on internship and career partnerships.

"A quality liberal arts education fosters critical thinking and reflection, written and oral communication skills, problem-solving abilities, leadership, and adaptability," Dr. Hass said. "But some wonder whether a liberal arts degree opens doors. This program answers those questions with a resounding 'Yes.' The Gateways initiative eases a student's path from college to career by offering road maps throughout their education for them to consider 'What do I do with a liberal arts degree?' Through Gateways, we will further help students answer that question."

As students are pursuing an outstanding liberal arts education, Gateways allows them to consider life beyond Austin College and explore opportunities for preferred graduate and professional school admission and summer enrichment programs with partner institutions. "We want families and students to see from the outset how seamlessly the high quality liberal arts education at Austin College translates into meaningful professional work," Dr. Hass said.

The program includes partnerships with universities across the country, including
* Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III College for master's programs in Public Policy and Management, Arts Management, and Healthcare Policy and Management;
* Kansas State University's College of Human Ecology and programs in Family Financial Planning, Gerontology, Conflict Resolution, and Personal Financial Planning;
* Texas Tech University's School of Law
* Texas Tech University's Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration;
* University of Texas at Tyler;
* University of Texas at Arlington, and
* Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) in the Dominican Republic.

Austin College also has a long-standing partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. Each program has specific criteria, and each is designed to foster thoughtful career planning while opening doors for success beyond college. Additional agreements are pending and negotiations for additional partners are ongoing.

The partnerships, said Dr. Sheila Amin Gutierrez de Pineres, vice president for Academic Affairs at Austin College, are available because of the quality and caliber of education that happens in the Austin College classroom. "The quality of our students combined with the preparation by our faculty and programs at Austin College are the reason that graduate schools and employers are willing to engage with our students", she said. "The Gateway initiative will work because of the quality of the Austin College education and the vision of our selective partners who see the value of a liberal arts foundation in developing a strong preparation for tomorrow's professionals."

"We are very pleased to partner with Austin College and eager to have its students enter our programs," said Dean Darby Dickerson at Texas Tech Law School.

The strengths of quality liberal arts education make Austin College's Gateways initiative attractive to educational partners. "We are honored to partner with Austin College on this project," said John Buckwalter, dean of the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University. "Austin College graduates are among the best and brightest. The graduates have appreciation of the global community, experience in team projects and problem solving, and the preparation to take the next step toward success."

Dr. Hass said she is very excited that the next phase of Gateways will focus on corporate and community partnerships that will expand career internships while at Austin College as well as some first job opportunities for Austin College graduates. Over time, the program will incorporate more of the campus community in a collaborative, integrated effort to create interdisciplinary experiences essential in the holistic development of students.

"Austin College has long served as a tremendous launching pad for our students," said Dr. Hass. We want every student that crosses the stage at graduation to be moving toward a bright future. Students, however, sometimes find it challenging to navigate the options before them. Gateways will allow students to plan for that future from the moment they arrive on campus and begin to visualize paths to creating and achieving their future goals. This initiative is another step to assure that Austin College students will find their places in the highly competitive marketplace."

Austin College students have a long record of success in professional and graduate schools, and the College's leadership is quick to point out that these partnerships in no way limit students, who remain free to seek opportunities and further study with any programs or institutions they wish. No doors are closed to students because of Gateways; the program allows students to visualize just some of the paths available to them.

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives.

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