CAP triumphs ought to transcend stigma

Whereas many college students acquire direct admission into UT, others earn their place by way of different routes, such because the Coordinated Admission Program

The CAP program gives a possibility for Texas residents, who initially didn’t obtain admission to UT, to switch to the College. CAP college students who full sure necessities throughout their freshman 12 months at taking part establishments are assured admission to the School of Liberal Arts. 

Whereas the CAP program presents a novel pathway for college students to review at UT, it’s not immune from false impression and stigmatization. 

Philosophy junior Anahita Penton remembers a fellow scholar teasing her for transferring from UT Arlington. 

“The jokes which are made and some remarks made me suppose that it’s talked about, particularly when CAP college students aren’t there,” Penton mentioned. 

Whereas Penton’s expertise isn’t an anomaly, not all CAP college students really feel stigmatized at UT.

“We typically don’t hear rather a lot about college students feeling as if (CAP is) a program the place they’re stigmatized,” mentioned Mike Washington, UT affiliate director of admissions. 

Nevertheless, for college students who’ve skilled belittlement, the implications are important. Many CAP college students expertise disgrace and a way of inadequacy as a result of damaging attitudes surrounding this system. 

“I feel the toughest a part of (transferring) was experiencing some impostor syndrome,” Penton mentioned. 

This self-doubt exacerbates emotional exhaustion and burnout for college students and correlates with low shallowness and elevated ranges of anxiousness and melancholy. In keeping with Washington, there are round 1200 new college students taking part within the CAP program every year. The impression of this stigma can’t be missed. 

To construct a extra inclusive campus for CAP college students, we should reframe the social narratives that encompass this system. This begins with difficult the jokes, snide remarks and damaging attitudes that marginalize college students. 

“If I can inform different individuals about it, I’d say, be cautious about the way you talk about CAP college students or simply individuals who didn’t get into UT the primary time,” Penton mentioned. 

As an alternative of devaluing CAP college students, we must always acknowledge the arduous work they put into attaining their desires and rejoice their contributions to UT’s vibrant tapestry. We are able to do that by acknowledging that the place college students began their faculty journey doesn’t outline their value.

“I feel one of the best ways to stay up for fight this damaging thought about CAP is to essentially rejoice that we’re all at UT now,” mentioned Penton.  “We’re all graduating from right here.

Destigmatizing the CAP program requires us to do not forget that success is available in varied varieties. By way of acceptance and understanding, we are able to foster an atmosphere the place each scholar feels pleased with their accomplishments on the Forty Acres, whatever the path they took to get right here. 

Chowdhury is a global relations and international research senior from Spring, Texas.