The AT&T Foundation has contributed $600,000 to support academic programs at The University of Texas at Austin.
This gift establishes the new AT&T Fund for Undergraduate Excellence. Of the total amount, $400,000 has been earmarked to help the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in enhancing the advising component of the campus-wide curriculum reform effort with the creation of a Web-based advising tool.
Among the many initiatives underway in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, developing resources to advise undeclared students is a top priority. A Web-based advising tool for prospective and entering students will aid them in their selection of a field of study, either before they come to college or when their first choice of a major is not open to them.
"We have known for some time that we need to make information available to students before they apply to the university," said Dr. Paul Woodruff, dean of undergraduate studies. "It is unfair to ask them to choose a major without telling them more about what the decision entails. This grant will allow us to communicate with prospective students far better than we have before."
The remaining $200,000 will help the university provide international study scholarships for a greater number of students. The funds will be primarily given to working students, and will also support the assessment and long-term improvement of the study abroad program.
"These types of scholarship funds are critical for students who may not otherwise have the means to study abroad," said Dr. Terri Givens, vice provost. "They will gain the type of experience that will give them a broader perspective on the world, and prepare them for the global marketplace."