TEXAS – The University of Texas at El Paso signed a new partnership with the state of Chihuahua to streamline the process by which graduates of the university will be able to obtain their professional license in Mexico.
UTEP President Heather Wilson and Sandra Gutierrez Fierro, Secretary of Education for the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, met in Chihuahua City to sign an agreement that formalizes the two entities’ intention to work together to streamline the licensing process for university graduates.
The governor of Chihuahua, María Eugenia Campos Galván, and Luis Rivera Campos, rector of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua (UACH), served as official witnesses to the signing. Wilson was accompanied by a committee of UTEP deans, professors and administrators.
Wilson met with Governor Campos Galván in Ciudad Juárez late last year; the two decided to team up to facilitate UTEP’s degree recognition process. Likewise, the rectors of UACH and the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) were also recognized as key partners in the effort.
A professional license, known in Mexico as a “cédula profesional,” is often required for those seeking employment in skilled labor fields, especially in areas such as health and engineering.
Until recently, the licensing process for Mexican students who earned their degrees at colleges and universities outside of Mexico was under the purview of the Mexican federal government, and could take several years to complete.
That began to change in 2018, when individual Mexican states assumed responsibility for the licensing process.
Under the new plan, UTEP will work with universities in the state of Chihuahua-initially UACH and UACJ-to streamline the evaluation of each student’s degree plans. To this end, UTEP will create processes to share student documentation and information quickly and securely with their Mexican counterparts. These institutions will evaluate the degree plans and determine if they meet the requirements for licensure.
Representatives from UTEP, UACH and UACJ will continue to work on the creation and implementation of the various components of the plan in the coming months. The goal is to have the new process in place by the end of the year.
In the last decade, UTEP has awarded more than 2,500 degrees to Mexican students, most of whom are from the state of Chihuahua. About 1,200 Mexican students enroll at UTEP each year, more than at any other U.S. university.
UTEP is less than a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border and many Mexican students commute daily from their homes in Ciudad Juarez to attend classes.