Integrations: Teaching, Learning & Curriculum
UTSA is integrating the concepts of civic discourse into the academic fabric of the university.
UTSA’s Academic Inquiry & Scholarship (AIS) course—a required course for all first year students—includes social responsibility as a core objective. Instructors address critical issues across the course’s 10 pathways and 55 sections, practicing student-centered teaching to create respectful and safe classrooms where students can share diverse ideas and practice civil discussions.
In 2018, the UTSA Honors College added a requirement that all students take a course called “The Civic Ethos.” The course directly addresses the multitude of ways that civic and ideological engagement is expressed. UTSA’s Top Scholars participate in regular discussions on topics intended to raise social consciousness on political incivility, ethics and implicit bias, and are available to other student organizations for peer-to-peer consulting. View the Top Scholars civic discourse discussion guide.
Established in 2001 by The University of Texas System in conjunction with former U.S. Representative Bill Archer, the Archer Center brings highly motivated and accomplished students to Washington, D.C., for a comprehensive academic and professional experience. Open to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students from across UT System’s 14 institutions, Archer Fellows learn about federal government, public service and leadership with an emphasis on civil and respectful dialogue among people with varying perspectives, ideas, and life experiences. To date, 92 undergraduate and 16 graduate students have represented UTSA as Archer Fellows. While the Archer Fellowship Program is housed in UTSA’s Honors College, students from all majors and backgrounds are welcome to apply; candidates are not required to be honors students. Learn more about Archer Center undergraduate or graduate programs and admissions.
Teaching & Learning Services (TLS) is working with AIS Teaching Assistants on ways they can partner with faculty to engage students in productive dialogues, increase reflection, and tackle tough topics. TLS also provides consultations to faculty on subjects related to civil discourse within the classroom.
UTSA's College of Public Policy offers a Minor in Civic Engagement that provides a foundational understanding of civic participation and literacy. Students actively engage in the San Antonio community through service-learning experiences, preparing them for a lifetime of responsible citizenship. The program helps produce students who can think critically and solve real-world problems.