UNT Dallas is hosting its 9th Annual TexPrep Summer Program this summer from June 13-July 20, 2017. TexPrep is a summer program offered to students in 6th-11th grade from Richardson, Irving, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, DeSoto, and Cedar Hill Independent School Districts.

During the program, these students are exposed to different careers and various aspects of college life. They have instructors who lecture them on various topics of science, technology, engineering, and math, and prepare them for advanced courses in math and science both in high school and college.

Jalyn Roberson, assistant director of college readiness at UNT Dallas, oversees the program and was able to answer a few questions regarding the program.

How long have you been in charge of TexPrep and how do you enjoy it?

  • This is my 5th summer doing TexPrep. It’s fun and very hectic. There’s a lot of planning and work while it’s going on. But it’s fun, the kids enjoy it and it makes me happy.

What is the best part of the program?

  • I think the best part is seeing the kids at the end excited and not wanting to leave. Seeing them excited about coming next summer makes me feel like I did a good job.

Do you see a huge difference from the students compared to when they start and finish?

  • Yes, a lot of them are forced to be here by their parents. So when they first start, some are just kind of dragging, mostly the newer ones. The ones who have been here before, are a little bit more upbeat, but by the end of the summer, everyone is full of energy.

What grade levels does TexPrep host and do all these students come from?

  • TexPrep hosts students starting at 6th grade and up to 11th grade. When I first started, we only had students from the local area. Now we get students from Irving, Mesquite, Richardson, Grand Prairie, Desoto, Cedar Hill and of course the ones that live in Dallas. We literally get students now from all over DFW.  Because the program is growing, we kind of had to cap our enrollment at 150 because of space issues. We get about 300 applications every year, but I know that once the university grows, the program will most definitely grow with it.

What are some of the goals of the program for the students?

  • The main goal is to expose students to all of the different areas in STEM. It kind of focuses on the underrepresented groups in the STEM field. Whether they be women, African American or Hispanic students who are not very represented in those fields. TexPrep helps students see all the different opportunities that are out there. It also creates an engaging environment that helps students prepare for advanced courses in math and science both in high school and college.

How did UNT Dallas get involve with the program?

  • The program started off in San Antonio through the University of Texas at San Antonio. I think they just reached out to some of the community colleges and universities in the DFW area to see who would want to host it.

For more information on TexPrep, email Jalyn.Roberson@untdallas.edu.