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The Academic Centers For Engineers And Scientists A Team Model For Student Support At The University Of Texas At El Paso

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

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Page Numbers

7.1121.1 - 7.1121.7

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Paper Authors

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Benjamin Flores

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Jose Fierro

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Daniel Grajeda

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Steve Stafford

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Rosa Gomez

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Session Number: 2793

The Academic Centers for Engineers and Scientists—A Team Model for Student Support at The University of Texas at El Paso J. Fierro, D. Grajeda, R. Gomez, B. Flores, S.W. Stafford The University of Texas at El Paso


The Academic Centers for Engineers and Scientists at The University of Texas at El Paso has been an initiative of the Model Institutions for Excellence program for four years now. These student support centers have been resources for students studying science, engineering, and math, and each year, these Centers have evolved to meet the needs of the students that they serve. The student management team that has been responsible for running the two Centers on a daily basis has also learned many lessons throughout this four-year effort. The Centers are run by a total of 25 undergraduate students who manage the day-to-day operations at each location. Each site has a team leader who assists in coordinating the procedures, activities, and work schedules of the students employed at ACES. The student team oversees and provides customer service to students that frequent the facility; they design and facilitate workshops for students and assist them with electronic equipment that is available for students to use in the Centers. Although the members of the management team are students themselves, they strike a balance between their roles as students and leaders in the environment that ACES provides, and benefit from the experience of working at the Centers. Students who are ACES team members get the opportunity to learn how to work in teams to make the Centers successful. Students frequent the Centers to get assistance with their educational needs, and at the same time, the team members learn valuable skills that allow them to develop into sensitive, productive, and capable project managers that will benefit them as they move into the professional world. This model gives students a sense of ownership, responsibility, and professional growth that is necessary for this transition.


The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Model Institution for Excellence (MIE), has created two multi-functional, state of the art facilities to serve the needs of undergraduate engineering and science students. ACES, or the Academic Centers for Engineers and Scientists, are student support facilities, intended to serve as hubs for engineering and science student activities. Through funding provided by NSF, the facilities were created through renovation of existing academic space. Cost of renovation of this space was relatively $100.00 per square foot. The Centers provide comfortable, well-equipped space for group and individual study, meetings, workshops, and symposia, as well as places to relax and meet with other students. The Centers include active learning centers, specialized classroom facilities, quiet study areas, multi-purpose rooms, computer workrooms, lounges and vending café facilities. The Centers also serve as clearinghouses for information regarding graduate and

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyrightã2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Flores, B., & Fierro, J., & Grajeda, D., & Stafford, S., & Gomez, R. (2002, June), The Academic Centers For Engineers And Scientists A Team Model For Student Support At The University Of Texas At El Paso Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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