Expanding Business Education & Career Engagement to the Downtown Campus
An expanded business-focused presence for UTSA in the heart of downtown San Antonio to enhance career-engaged learning, accommodate rapid enrollment growth and fuel the city’s economic development.
UTSA is working to expand its nationally-ranked business education programs and programming centered in a new state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary university building located in downtown San Antonio. This initiative leverages the broad needs and opportunities that exist in San Antonio, allowing UTSA to better meet San Antonio’s escalating workforce needs, facilitate connecting UTSA students with experiential learning and career-engagement opportunities, and address the College of Business’s current and future academic space shortage.
This initiative is built around three components:
San Antonio Workforce Development
“The Decade of Downtown,” as proclaimed by former Mayor Julian Castro in 2010, has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of businesses and workers in San Antonio’s downtown. The city’s ability to continue attracting businesses that support high-paying jobs depends on the presence of qualified and educated workforce. This initiative will lay the groundwork for UTSA to play an integral role in this effort by:
- Offering select College of Business programs and classes downtown — in addition to those offered at the Main Campus — allowing UTSA to create a multitude of academic and professional connections between students, faculty and the San Antonio’s central business community.
- Increasing market share of students, particularly at the master’s level. An overall academic program demand survey conducted last year by Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) showed that General Business Administration and Management is the top program in greatest demand in the San Antonio metro area and other Texas metro areas. RNL will conduct a more detailed demand survey to systematically assess the academic programming and professional development needs at the Downtown Campus.
- Aligning programming with the specific needs of the San Antonio business community. Academic Affairs and External Relations will host a series of CEO roundtables to fully understand San Antonio’s specific workforce needs. These roundtables will engage select business leaders representing a variety of industries, as well as small and historically under-utilized business.
- Supporting the innovative entrepreneurs who are launching new businesses that will shape San Antonio’s workforce of the future. The burgeoning Tech Bloc in our downtown core already has shown great success. Furthermore, there are other small and historically under-utilized business entrepreneurs that can benefit from access to business-focused educational programs and career-engaged services. This new downtown building will serve these needs by placing an enhanced focus on entrepreneurship, which includes not only business, but also engineering, sciences, and social entrepreneurship skills.
Heatmap represents density of San Antonio workers by zip code based on place of employment.
Source: SBDCNet National Information Clearinghouse, from UTSA staff at the Institute of Economic Development
Heatmap represents density of College of Business graduate students by residential address at time of application.
Source: Web Intelligence (WEBI), from UTSA College of Business staff
Heatmap is a prediction of residuals based on the relationship between the numbers of employees and number of graduate students by zip code.
Enhanced Career Engagement Opportunities
The Classroom to Career task force report revealed that San Antonio businesses are eager to identify students for internships, co-ops, and other career-focused learning experiences, and sometimes struggle to do so. This initiative will leverage this opportunity by:
- Creating a career-engaged services network hub – a one-stop shop to connect students and prospective employers. These hubs will have multiple physical campus locations, with one situated in the new downtown building.
- Supporting the professional development needs of UTSA's working adult students in the city's core
Addressing Academic Space Shortage
The College of Business is currently operating with a shortage of more than 200,000 square feet according to standards set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Over the next decade, enrollment in business programs is estimated to exceed 13,000. Without additional facilities, the space shortage will increase to 550,000 square feet. We simply cannot meet our strategic goals for UTSA and our community without a new building to expand UTSA’s ability for business-focused programming.
- Building a new state-of-the-art facility downtown - As a part of the Downtown Campus Initiative, last fall UTSA announced plans to establish the National Security Collaboration Center and a new School of Data Science in downtown San Antonio. In conjunction with those plans, the university submitted a legislative request to fund an adjacent, business-focused building downtown on a parcel of land transferred by Bexar County. The new building is pending UTSA’s Tuition Revenue Bond request with the Legislature.
- Ensuring College of Business alignment with the university’s strategic vision. In fall 2018 College of Business Dean Gerry Sanders organized a half-dozen “strategy squads” composed of faculty as a self-study process. Two of these teams are focused on efforts directly aligned with this initiative: strategic enrollment and the Downtown Campus. They are gathering data that will be made available and incorporated into the planning and building programming. Two faculty senate representatives will serve on these teams. A to-be-named faculty planning advisory committee, similar in scope to the SDS/NSCC Planning Advisory Committee, will work collaboratively in support of this initiative and begin the formal space programming for the new downtown building.
Documents, Presentations and News
- Information Technology & Cybersecurity Report
San Antonio Economic Development Foundation | March 2019