As is the custom with the beginning of the summer session, UTSA Downtown was swarmed with junior and high school students participating in programs like San Antonio Prefreshman Engineering Program(SAPREP) founded by UTSA professor Dr. Manuel Berrizábal in 1979. SAPREP is a collaborative effort of local school districts, colleges and universities to encourage junior and high school students to enter scientific or engineering careers. This issue of the Downtown Campus E-Newsletter will contain community and academic programs held at the Downtown Campus throughout the summer and fall semesters.
Another important summer program is UTSA’s P-20 Initiatives that is comprised of outreach programs, instructional programs, research, and the TRIO program. These programs create a college-going culture for underserved students; increasing academic opportunities for high school students to earn college credit; developing a Best Practices Clearinghouse focused on collaborations; and empowering participants to complete post-secondary education.
Besides the regular academic summer courses for college-going students, the Downtown Campus also offers special summer programs such as The Institute for Law and Public Affairs that supports UTSA students interested in pursuing careers in law through advising, internships, special events, the Legal Studies minor, and its hallmark Summer Law School Preparation Academy. Another summer educational program is The Early Childhood Teacher Initiative that provides professional development for preschool teachers, teacher assistants, and other early childhood professionals to help them earn their associates and bachelors degrees.
What has become a tradition at the opening of the fall semester at the Downtown Campus, are Roadrunner Days that celebrate the opening of the new semester, followed by the President’s Picnic in the Plaza, and the Pachanga in the Plaza. One of the newest traditions at the Downtown Campus began three years ago with the UTSA Football Pep Rally, sponsored by Student Activities. This year, Downtown Campus student organizations began what hopes to be another tradition at the Downtown Campus - the Lighting of the Plaza during Homecoming Week. In collaboration with the City of San Antonio, the holiday lights will stay on until January 2.
As our campus grows, so does the excitement of new programs and new traditions. Now that we are coming to the end of our fall semester, we wish students, faculty, and staff a very safe and happy holiday season.
Jesse T. Zapata, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for the UTSA Downtown Campus