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Student Selection Process and Criteria


We currently accept applications for Fall 2020. Deadline Aug 17, 2020 (11:59pm) (priority deadline)

Review Criteria:

I-FOCUS-CS Scholars must

  • be US citizens, permanent residents, nationals, or refugees
  • be academically talented (e.g., have a 3.2 or above GPA in major course work, be active in CS community)
  • be economically disadvantaged according to the Department of Education rules for need-based federal financial aid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • bbe full-time UTSA - CS junior or senior student who have at least one year (but no more than two years) to graduate
  • successfully complete more than 60 credits including at least three of the following CS courses and their prerequisites: CS 3423 System Prog. --- CS 3443 App. Prog. --- CS 3843 Comp. Org. --- CS 3343 Analysis of Alg.

Additional criteria may include prior computer science related experience or evidence of early engagement in STEM; students who exhibit exceptional drive and a desire to pursue graduate education in STEM fields; students from groups underrepresented in Computer Sciences (e.g., females, African Americans, Hispanics, Native American/Alaskan or persons with disabilities, first generation, Veterans).

Selection Process

The application process will be competitive and positions will be offered to the strongest applicants as rated by the Selection and Retention Subcommittee (SRS). The SRS will carefully evaluate each application. After determining the eligibility, the SRS will rate the qualified applicants based on their academic strengths and other items listed under additional criteria above. Those with the highest ratings will be interviewed by the PI and other SRS members. Accordingly, the strongest and the well motivated ones will be offered positions (depending on the number of available positions). In case a selected student has not been admitted to UTSA or has not accepted the offered scholarship, the next strongest candidate will be considered until all the funds are used. The I-FOCUS-CS program will highly encourage and help its selected students to apply the UTSA Honors College and other UTSA bodies that can provide them with additional financial aid/scholarships.

Retention of students’ scholarships

we will constantly keep track of I-FOCUS-CS scholars’ progress throughout each semester. Specifically, we will review midterm grades to take an action in a timely manner. Students who are struggling will meet with the PI and/or Co-PI to determine the origins of their problems. Depending on the nature of the problems, we will make necessary recommendations and referrals. If a student has difficulty in understanding the course materials, we will encourage such students to utilize their instructors’ and TAs’ office hours and the common TAs provided by the department. If more help is needed, we will assign an individualized tutor that will be sponsored through this grant. For other types of learning issues, we will utilize the existing academic support services in UTSA such as the Tomas Rivera Center that provides tutoring and/or free individual academic coaching, Disability Services for providing necessary accommodations.

Students making good progress toward undergraduate degree completion and maintaining a 3.2 GPA in coursework will continue as I-FOCUS-CS Scholars in good standing. Scholars who earn between a 2.7 and 3.0 any semester, or below a 3.2 overall GPA, will be placed on program probation, provided intensive mentoring/tutoring, and given one semester to improve. Those with a semester GPA below 2.7 may be subject to immediate removal. Scholars are eligible for reinstatement when their overall and major GPA return to above 3.2 for two consecutive semesters, subject to availability of funds, although reinstatement will also depend on factors such as engagement with program activities and career trajectory. Replacement of students will depend on the timing of their removal or loss and the year of the program. Optimally, students will start in the Jump Start with their peer group and progress through the biweekly grop meetings. However, students could also be started at the beginning of the spring semester. In later years, care will be taken to expend funds while assuring that students are supported throughout their degrees.

Scholarship up to $10,000

The actual amount of the scholarship will be determined based on FAFSA and the availabilitu of the Funds.

Faculty Mentor and Student Guide

I-FOCUS-CS Scholars will be assigned a faculty mentor...