Founded in 2005, Students Partnering for Undergraduate Rhetoric Success (SPURS) is a collaboration between The University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Rhetoric and Writing, UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, and public high schools across Texas.
The goal of the SPURS program is to improve reading, writing, researching, and critical thinking among high school students working to enter college. SPURS partners rhetoric and writing instructors at UT with high school students and teachers from underrepresented high schools across Texas. SPURS connects high school students to an academic community of collegiate readers, writers and researchers. SPURS currently serves over 300 students in the state of Texas.
- A full-year dual credit opportunity providing both academic preparation and college literacy using a curriculum developed by experts in their field designed to mirror what happens on campus in pacing, depth, rigor, and expectations. • Students receive 3 credit hours for RHE 306 (UT-Austin’s mandatory rhetoric and writing class) in the fall, and 3 credit hours for RHE 309K in the spring, for a total of six credit hours upon successful completion of the courses.
- Teachers participate in extensive professional development to implement the college-level curriculum as the central focus of their classes. They receive ongoing support from SPURS staff.
- Students in SPURS learn the principles of rhetorical analysis, public argumentation, and the writing process. They participate in classroom lessons and activities to reinforce these concepts, including group projects.
- UT instructors give feedback and grades on multiple revisions of all student essays.
- SPURS classes come to UT-Austin for a guided visit. While on campus, students observe a RHE course, participate in writing workshops, take tours, engage with undergraduates, and partake in events intended to acculturate them into a college community.