(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 annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.