December 8, 2016
New Partnership eases transition for RISD graduates bound for UNT
Now in its second year, the University of North Texas (UNT) Eagle Advantage Program is making strides in connecting with RISD students and working to ease their transition into college life.
In addition to college preparation workshops for families and $1,000 scholarships given to each district high school principal to award to RISD graduates heading to UNT, there are some extra special benefits provided to participating seniors.
Dr. Melissa McGuire, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at UNT, recently attended a Lake Highlands High School assembly to spread the word about the “Senior Year Experience” – with the help of a few band members, the UNT cheer squad and current college students.
“UNT gives our students the ability to maximize the advantage of being close to home and family, along with attending a top notch University.”
- Frank Miller, Lake Highlands High School principal
“The Senior Year Experience is one of the greatest advantages of this program because it helps seniors start their transition to university life sooner,” said McGuire. “They meet students from other high schools who are also part of the program and are able to establish connections before they are even formally accepted to UNT or attend orientation. This can help build confidence in students that UNT is a good fit for them.”
RISD seniors considering the University of North Texas enjoy numerous college campus events, including preparatory workshops, tours and designated senior days. These events are aimed at helping students experience aspects of campus life like sporting events, musical performances and lecture series.
Lake Highlands High School principal Frank Miller says that even though the partnership is a new one, the benefits are already tangible.
“UNT gives our students the ability to maximize the advantage of being close to home and family, along with attending a top notch University,” he said. And for AVID students, the benefits are immeasurable. “UNT has been very generous with full scholarships for our AVID students,” Miller said. “It lifts a huge burden from the family and allows the student to concentrate more on the academics. In return, UNT is getting proven winners in Richardson ISD students.”
“The students wanted to make this day ‘so huge’ that it would have an impact and that the message would be remembered. They hope that this will start a movement on which others will build, and that this day will be talked about for years to come. They also speak about wanting our district to be one of ‘radical inclusiveness’ where everyone is kind to each other – every day.”
- Dr. Jeannie Stone, RISD Superintendent, on the district’s recent “Kindness Day”
“A trip like this, especially with the tours and places we get to visit, will, I believe, shed a different light and give us different perspective on our nation and its history. It is one thing to read about these places and events in a book, but getting to study them and experience them up close is a completely different story.”
- LHHS Wildcat Wrangler Erin Moudy, on performing for the Presidential Inauguration
“When you can put kids in an authentic work environment that is a skill that you can’t duplicate in a traditional brick and mortar school. You can have the same equipment, you can have the same teachers, you can have the same resources, but you can’t give them the vision of walking into a working hospital.”
- Sandra Hayes, the district’s assistant superintendent of district operations, to the Dallas Morning News during the Open House for RISD’s new Health Science Program at Methodist Richardson Medical Center