McAllen Schools, UT-Austin Collaborate in Social Work Program

University of Texas President Bill Powers shakes the hand of McAllen ISD superintendent James Ponce before announcing the placement of two University of Texas students that will work as social workers in the McAllen independent school district in front of Travis Middle School April 9, 2015 in McAllen. photo by Joel Martinez of the McAllen Monitor.

University of Texas President Bill Powers shakes the hand of McAllen ISD superintendent James Ponce before announcing the placement of two University of Texas students that will work as social workers in the McAllen independent school district in front of Travis Middle School April 9, 2015 in McAllen. Photo by Joel Martinez of the McAllen Monitor.

The McAllen school district welcomed the University of Texas at Austin president and others outside Travis Middle School on Thursday to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership.

“We know that in order for us to be successful, we need partnerships,” said McAllen Superintendent James Ponce. “Today is a special day.”

Starting this fall, two social work students will move to the Rio Grande Valley to engage students throughout the district for up to five months.

The university is already placing students throughout the country through similar partnerships, but this will be the only one in the Valley.

 “It is long overdue that we have some of these partnerships and place some of our student here in South Texas,” said UT-Austin President Bill Powers.

Powers said there are many students at his campus that moved to Texas looking for a cross-cultural experience. So when district officials and Annie Holand Miller, of the nonprofit group McAllen Education Foundation, approached him with the idea to collaborate, he immediately thought of the school of social work.

UT-Austin’s Social Work Dean Luis Zayas, who also attended the event, said he joined the conversation around October before both institutions signed an agreement earlier this year.

But for the first semester, university officials decided to start with only two senior students — Karina Ramos, of Dallas, and Marta Morataya, of San Antonio — and plan to…

Read more at the McAllen Monitor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *