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Big Data Gets Schooled

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His eyes light up like a child who has just seen fireworks fill the night sky for the first time. Yet it is not brilliance and sparkle that have captured the attention of Mike Villarreal, founding director of UTSA’s Institute of Urban Education. It’s facts, figures, charts, and graphs. Villarreal sees UTSA as a prosperity engine in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and the institute’s education research as a way of amplifying UTSA’s community impact.

The new institute is a cornerstone in UTSA’s urban-serving mission. When President Taylor Eighmy arrived at UTSA he envisioned an institute on the Downtown Campus structured much like the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute, which has been a driver behind improved public education outcomes in Chicago.

“The important work that Mike is doing to lay the foundation for our new Urban Education Institute is vital to creating an enterprise focused on innovative partnerships and new approaches to education,” Eighmy says. “UTSA will be at the forefront of preparing teachers for the classrooms of today and tomorrow.”

Specifically, it is an education-research-practice partnership created by the College of Education and Human Development. “This was a collaborative process among key faculty and leadership in COEHD and with President Eighmy’s vision and support. And with a generous grant from the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation, we were able to make the concept a reality,” says Margo DelliCarpini, COEHD’s dean. “Dr. Villarreal will lead the institute as we engage in a number of projects that address the ‘big questions’ in education and provide answers that turn grand challenges into grand opportunities.”

DelliCarpini describes the Urban Education Institute as more

Read the full article in the Sombrilla magazine here

Photo courtesy of University Publications

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