New Course For Residential Areas Students

October 27,2011

By: Andrea Torres Wiscovitch

Now students from residential areas in Mayaguez have a new opportunity to receive tutoring in order to improve their academic performances. The University Center for Access (UCA) counts with the new Center for Academic Help whose purpose is to fight against unequal education in Puerto Rico. It counts with a group of professors, students and other employees of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. It has extended to tours of Saturday classes and a summer camp. His latest project, “From the Residential to the Colegio” (Del Caserío Pa’l Colegio), goal is to give an intensive tutoring for the College Board.

This program is directed to those who are currently in seventh to twelfth grade. In this manner students have the chance to integrate themselves into the university in order to become professionals. “Some go to institutions, some stop at twelfth grade, others stop studying before twelfth grade. Here talent and productivity are lost. There is an economical loss and a social loss for the country. There is an unacceptable division because of socio-economic conditions, which delays not only this population, but everyone” insisted Rima Brusi, professor of UPR- Mayaguez. This program is one of the most important projects for the UCA. Thanks to this initiative they have accomplished a major achievement in this center. Here the tutors have space to develop their skills and influence the students. Since the tutoring sessions began, the students have responded positively according to research held by Rima. There are transportation services that pick up the students at the school and bring them to UPR-Mayaguez. According to the discoveries of her research, the students that live in residential areas in Mayaguez constitute 13% of the youth. And of these only .3% are enrolled in UPR-Mayaguez. A fact that for Rima doesn’t seem logical since the university is so economically accessible and so close to their communities.

The vision of this program is that more students have the chance to study at a socioeconomically accessible university with a strategic localization. The program would like to eliminate obstacles and to offer more resources to students so as to develop a superior perfection in their academic performance.

The students count with a group of tutors that supervise them. They must fulfill their academic responsibilities. For this they count with computers, printers, books, dictionaries, encyclopedias and other basic academic materials.

Also, the tutors will serve as mentors to the students. This way they contribute to increase the graduation rate and increase the applications to universities on behalf of the students from public residential areas. Some of the volunteer tutors are also product of public residential areas as in the case of the student Grace Yace, social science student. “My mission is that the youth of the public residential areas can go to university. I think we are a very stigmatized community, but I think we can all go to university. I am from a public residential area, I am from the Roosvelt and I achieved it, so I would like it that other people that are from the same community could accomplish it as well”, she commented, feeling fortunate to be a volunteer. It is emphasized that although with all the technology and facilities the program has it needs more mentors.

Anyone interested with being a volunteer can fill out an application. A minimum obligation of one session is requested. It is preferably two weekly sessions. The hours of tutoring in which we receive our students from public residential are Monday to Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 during the months of September, October, and November. Usually the days are combined from Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.

The form is online:

Contact us at:

University Center for Access (UCA-RUM)

New Admissions Building (old AFROTC)
787-832-4040 x2760

One of the volunteers interacting with the students.

New facilities of the Center for Academic Help.


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