University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, M.D., visited the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday for a series of meetings about Project South Texas – the monumental plan to establish a new UT university and medical school in South Texas.
One of those meetings included a visit to the Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy in Harlingen.
“I’m coming here with open mind, and also, with an attitude of ‘I want to learn from you as to how we actually create this new university,'” the Chancellor told a group of students who met with him in the school’s library. ”This is where innovation begins, and this is probably the best place to come and learn how to innovate.”
Chancellor Cigarroa with students from the Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy in Harlingen. (Photo courtesy: S. Vargas, Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District.)
The students asked a wide range of questions, including how athletics and fine arts will be incorporated into the university and how funding for the new school will work.
Cano Freshman Academy is an innovative approach to secondary education. All freshmen from Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District attend the school, which opened this year. Students are able to choose among five different study focuses, including health sciences, business and STEM fields.
The Chancellor said visiting high school freshmen that may one day be students at the new university serves as a reminder that this sweeping transformational effort led by UT System will ultimately impact generations of children in South Texas.