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Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Exposing UH Waste - Academic Achievers Program Not So Achieving - or Cost Effective
The e-mail sounded a little far fetched to me at first. I checked the attached link to an October 10th Cougar news story, Program boosts graduation rates, which was on the AAP and it appeared innocent enough, but the e-mail said the story wasn't telling anywhere near the reality that needs to be made public, nor how much money was being wasted on non-merit based scholarships.
The next thing I did was to go high up in E. Cullen (actually it could have been the second floor) and check a "UH knowitalls" office that I know. Of course it was a lazy Friday late in the afternoon, and low and behold what do I find in a filing cabinet filled with confidential files but a file labeled "Academic Achievers Program" and a handwritten note in nearly erased pencil that said "complete waste of time and money" at the bottom. I knew at that moment there was a lot more to the e-mail than I had initially figured.
I quickly gained access to a local copy machine, copied the materials which were mainly notes and scribble, placed the file back in the cabinet and got out of there. The copied documents that I obtained did verify the e-mail. One page of notes on a document stamped "Confidential" multiple times noted the published and actual numbers of the AAP program. And of course, the published numbers were much higher than the actual numbers, which were slightly higher than the number of UH Hispanic students that graduate UH without the program.
AAP students receive over $2,000 in scholarships with one of the requirements to show for study hall for six hours a week where they are suppose to receive free tutors, but my e-mail source noted routinely seeing only three female students that regularly showed for study halls.
The e-mail source also noted the numbers of students that would enter the program and received $2,500, then would drop out of the program not being accountable to anyone. The scholarships are non-merit based, meaning the only thing you have to be to get into the program is Hispanic and from Stephen F. Austin High School.
On top of all that, the AAP Program Manager Rebeca Trevino makes at least $40,000 in salary, which is about the mid-point for the UH pay scale.
The Shadow knows.
It takes wise sleuths like bloggers to expose the truth and show waste in government.
And we have.
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