‘Bienvenidos’ encourages students to visit with professors, staff

Victoria Almaguer, Contributor

UTEP Edge introduces the Bienvenidos Campaign to persuade students to indulge themselves to have a closer relationship with professors and staff.

By welcoming new and current students back to a school year, this campaign focuses on the growing of the learning community by pushing students to seek out their professors before a problem arises and to push staff members to be more open as well.

“Our first rollout of Bienvenidos is really focused on faculty office hours,” said David Ritter, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Student & Faculty Success. “So that we see the development of a positive professional relationship happening very intentionally, because those relationships they have the highest impacts on a student’s success.”

“Simply going to your professors and having a conversation and engaging with them is super helpful and there is a lot of research that shows that students who do that are much more successful in and out of the classroom,” said Catie McCorry-Andalis, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students.

Being conceived through focus groups and research, the emphasis for the next 10 years of UTEP Edge became a strategic student success plan. Within that plan came the Bienvenidos Campaign as a way to show faculty members the agency that they can provide to students.

“We’re taught since a very young age that tutoring in elementary, middle school, and high school is a negative thing and it’s only for when you are in trouble,” said Daisy Martinez, Undergraduate Student Assistant at the Office of the Provost. “When you carry that into college, you think faculty office hours or visiting your professors is only when your grade(s) are bad or you don’t understand the material, but I think that (Bienvenidos Campaign) is pushing us to create polycystic relationships with professor(s) because that is going to teach us valuable things outside classrooms.”

The Bienvenidos Campaign has been presented to faculty to begin this fall semester.

“It seems like it’s an initiative, it’s an effort, but it’s even better than that,” said Virginia Fraire, Associate Provost. “It really has the potential to be transformative to students.”