Grant made possible by District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenbergs's discretionary city funds.


The COSA grant will not be available in Spring semester due to the City Council Project Fund Moratorium (Jan 18 – May 21) as a result of the municipal election cycle. We hope to resume offering the mini grants in Summer and Fall semesters. To learn more visit the CCPF website.

Background                               Goals                        

Through the generosity of the City of San Antonio the COSA Challenge Grant Program provides funds to an individual or group of students with a faculty mentor to create spaces for experiential learning in partnership with a non-profit or public sector agency in the city of San Antonio. Grants will be made to individual students or teams of students with a sponsoring faculty mentor. Grants will range from $100 – 500. Team applicants are encouraged to consider a crowdfunding effort through Launch UTSA in which the grant fund will match what is raised up to $1000.

  1. To enhance student learning through community based learning initiatives that create mutually beneficial relationships with non-profit or public sector agencies
  2. To solve public problems through student social innovation and expertize
  3. To engage faculty expertize in the mentorship and guidance of service-learning initiatives that are student driven
  4. To build capacity with area non-profit and public sector agencies

Eligibility/ Sponsorship

  1. The grant proposal must be authored by student/s
  2. The proposal must have the approval of sponsoring faculty mentor
  3. The proposal must have the approval/sponsorship of the community partner (non-profit or public sector agency) No grants will be awarded to groups collaborating with for-profit industries.

Expected Use of Funds

  1. All fund utilization must meet the City Council Project Funds guidelines, linked from the CCE website.
  2. Funds may be used for materials and supplies necessary to complete the project.
  3. Publicity, printing and postage are allowable costs
  4. Minimal refreshment costs may be allowed when justified as a specific activity of the service
  5. Other items must be adequately justified in the proposal
  6. Requests for extending the time for use of funds must be filed with the Center for Civic Engagement and approved prior to use of funds beyond the grant period

Application Guidelines

  1. A current year/semester application form for the program must be completed online through the Center for Civic Engagement’s website for all proposed projects.
  2. All parties engaged with the project – student leader, faculty mentor and community partner must sign-off on the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  3. Preference will be given to projects based in the City of San Antonio only. No proposals for projects outside of the city will be considered.
  4. The project narrative must be 500 words or less and describe the service-learning project and its benefit to the community.
  5. An itemized budget and expected income (if any) for the project must be provided.
  6. Changes to the project scope after the application has been approved, including budget, plan or extension of dates, requires approval of the Center for Civic Engagement.

Funds Are NOT To Be Used For

  1. Review ineligible expenses as noted on the City Council Project Funds website
  2. Travel, unless justified in the proposal as necessitated by the parameters of the project (such as renting a bus)
  3. Salaries, honoraria or compensation to the individual/s working on the project
  4. Donations
  5. T-shirts or other clothing items to be owned by individuals
  6. Cash awards or purchasing gift cards, as an award or special prize
  7. Normal departmental instruction costs
  8. Class outings/field trips
  9. Transportation to and from any form of practicum, internship, etc.

General Information

  1. UTSA students involved in the project must be in good standing with the university prior to fund allocation
  2. The identified student leader must communicate with the review committee regarding any questions involving the grant and submit requested follow up docs/information in a timely fashion
  3. Submission of an application does not guarantee funding
  4. Previous successful partnerships will be viewed positively in cases of renewal grants or new projects with the same community partner (pending final reports were submitted).
  5. Community partners may initiate projects by making their needs known to students and/of faculty mentors, but grants will only be awarded to student-led proposals

Other Requirements:

Each grant recipient is required to write a final report describing the results and benefits of the grant. Reports are due within one week of the end date of the project or no later than final exam week of the semester in which the grant was funded. Additional a poster detailing the project (on the provided template) should be submitted with accompanying pictures for display on campus or other locations by request. Final reports and posters are submitted electronically. All invoices, receipts and other documentation related to project expenses must be submitted with final report.

Contact Us

Center for Civic Engagement
Downtown Campus FS 4.438
Main Campus MB 2.422
210-458-2660 |

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Councilman Ron Nirenberg

“This grant program is one way to ignite the fire of social entrepreneurship and provide support to students whose ideas will positively impact San Antonio’s future.”

Brian Halderman

“I am deeply grateful that Councilman Nirenberg has stepped up with direct support to enhance student learning; this investment will result in clear benefits to the community.”

About Us

The Center for Civic Engagement serves as a nucleus of support to students, faculty, and staff who aspire to advance the common good of San Antonio and the surrounding communities. We wish to be a university engaged with our community that educates students to be active citizens. We recognize that the advancement of scholarship through teaching and research creates positive solutions that contribute to the well-being and betterment of not only San Antonio, but the state, nation and world beyond. We hope the contributions of the UTSA community can have a lasting impact on the creation of a community that values equanimity and at the same time aspires to raise levels of economic growth and social inclusion.


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