(July 27, 2012) -- The UTSA Office of Orientation and Family Programs recently hosted the first Spanish orientation for 50 family members. Over two days, parents and family members of future UTSA students participated in a campus tour, learned tips for student success and attended presentations by the Colleges' Freshman Advising Center, Tomas Rivera Center for Student Success, Enrollment Services Center and Financial Aid, and the University Career Center -- all in Spanish.
Each week over the summer, the Office of Orientation and Family Programs welcomes and acclimates to UTSA approximately 400 students and 225 of their family members. Staff members had noticed a growing trend of Spanish speakers who attended family orientation last summer and began the process to provide more information and services in Spanish.
"We do have student orientation leaders and staff who speak Spanish," said Jeff Mayo, associate director of orientation and family programs. "What we didn't have was a tailor-made orientation for our Spanish-speaking families."
The Office of Orientation and Family Programs began gathering advice and information from faculty and staff who could provide information on financial aid, academic support and advising, and career services. They then organized Spanish-speaking sessions that were met with high praise from family members who would have attended English sessions despite the language barrier or those who would have skipped the family orientation experience altogether.
New UTSA parent Aida Mick, who speaks English but prefers Spanish, was thrilled to have the obstacle of language removed from the experience.
"It was fantastic! I got a real understanding of what my daughter will be experiencing," she said. "Most importantly, I got clarity, and any doubts or questions I had were answered. I'm happy to know she will be safe and in good hands."
The UTSA Office of Orientation and Family Programs mission is to provide new students and their family members with a structured, comprehensive introduction to the range of opportunities at The University of Texas at San Antonio, to assist new students in their transition to the institution and to integrate them into the life of the institution.
After initial feedback, the Office of Orientation and Family Programs will assess the program's success and evaluate the need to expand the Spanish language programs for next summer.
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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