by Jo Ann Jones, COEHD | June 27, 2016
The Texas Foreign/Second Language Education Student Organization in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies is helping to bridge the gap between undergraduate students and education research through their project, “Developing Undergraduate Researchers and Leaders.”
Over the next school year, the project will focus on increasing undergraduate student research and participation in the 18th Texas Language Education Research (TexLER) Conference, which is hosted annually by the organization.
“This project will provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in critical discussions about current issues in education while outside the classroom,” said Daniela Silva, doctoral student and president of the Texas Foreign/Second Language Education Student Organization. “Students will be able to learn and expand their knowledge about graduate school, especially because they will be working directly with graduate students in our student organization.”
With a grant received from the UTSA Family Fund, the organization will be able to waive registration fees for undergraduate students and award prizes for the top undergraduate research presentations. The organization, Silva said, hopes this will encourage undergraduate student attendance and inspire future graduate study.
“The funding will help to strengthen the relationship between undergraduate and graduate students,” said Silva. “We believe the project provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to develop leadership and academic skills. We will work with undergraduate students to share with them the knowledge we have learned from being graduate students at UTSA.”
The Texas Foreign/Second Language Education Student Organization, which was established in 2014, brings together graduate and undergraduate students for the purpose of discussing issues and topics related to foreign and second language. This past February, the conference hosted more than 250 language education professionals and graduate students.
“In the future, we envision this project with an increased number of undergraduate students attending, presenting, and helping with the organization in the conference,” said Silva. “As UTSA is moving towards Tier 1 status with a continued focus on access to and affordability of higher education, this project will assist in the strategic plan by creating a venue for undergraduate students to engage in research and to work collaboratively with their peers and graduate students.”
For more information about the Texas Foreign/Second Language Education Student organization or the TexLER conference, visit http://www.texler.org. For more information on the Family Fund, visit http://www.utsa.edu/family/giving.
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