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UTSA hosts first all-Spanish orientation program for new UTSA parents

parent Aida Mick
parents

Top photo: New UTSA parent Aida Mick
Bottom photo: Other new UTSA parents

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(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.

 

 

Did You Know?

UTSA makes the grade with a strong core curriculum

UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.

For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.

Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.

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