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      WTAMU receives prestigious Star Award for its Gateway Project

      West Texas A&M University's commitment to the success and retention of its first year mathematic students is being recognized.

      The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board presented the University with a prestigious Star Award during a special ceremony on Thursday in Austin.Star Awards are given annually in recognition of exceptional contributions to the THECB's Closing the Gaps by 2015 initiative, which has four established goals: to close the gaps in participation, success, excellence and research.

      West Texas A&M received a Star Award for its Gateway Project. It's a project that involves a collaboration between developmental math, college algebra, the Math Lab and the Virtual Math Lab. The project involves faculty, graduate assistants, teaching assistants and Math Lab student workers working together to improve the student experience in gateway first-year mathematics courses and increase the number of students successfully completing developmental mathematics and college algebra.

      The Gateway Project began in 2008 and has seen huge numbers of success. Since it's start up, the project has increased the pass rate in beginning algebra by 16 percent, intermediate by six percent and college algebra by 12 percent.

      "The Star Award is an important recognition of the hard work that our faculty have put into helping students in our mathematics courses succeed," Dr. Nick Flynn, head of the Department of Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics."We are all very proud of this recognition by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board."

      West Texas A&M University was one of eight finalists chosen from more than 50 Star-Award nominees statewide.