Academic Success District Initiative
Space is a central and limited resource of the university. It is critical to fully and effectively utilize campus space in a manner that advances institutional objectives for student success and faculty excellence. Through the Academic Success District Initiative – Phase 1, the university will relocate several key offices that support the academic experience to paseo-level spaces to enhance their visibility and navigability and to promote collaborative learning environments for students and faculty. Phase 2 involves the upgrade of highly utilized classrooms to support innovative pedagogical practices, including flexible hybrid modalities, cooperative and experiential learning, or “flipped” environments, as well as “hyflex” technology improvements that enable simultaneous online and face-to-face learning.
- Development of front door environments for the division of Academic Innovation and academic support programs of the Tomás Rivera Center on the second floor of the Multidisciplinary Studies Building
- Relocation of TRC’s Supplemental Instruction will move from the fourth to the second floor of the John Peace Library
- Relocation of the First-Gen and Transfer Student Center to the second floor of the McKinney Humanities Building
- Relocation of the College of Sciences Student Success Center and the Center for Research and Training in the Sciences (CRTS) to the second floor of the Flawn Sciences Building to space vacated by Life and Health Sciences Advising
- Consolidation of Math Tutoring in a space on the third floor of the Flawn Sciences Building
- Existing spaces for Honors College, Writing Core Program and ROTC programs in the Graduate Studies and Research Building
- Transformation of two university classrooms in the Business Building into collaborative learning spaces with hyflex instructional technology.
- Development of two outdoor classrooms adjacent to the Flawn Sciences Building to support “in vivo” learning
- Development of three informal learning and collaboration gathering spaces adjacent to the John Pierce Library and Student Union.
As part of Phase 2 of the initiative, to upgrade highly utilized classrooms to support innovative pedagogical practices, four distinct classroom models have been identified, based on room size and layout, furniture, access to infrastructure, as well as current usage v. potential usage. Universal design will allow for standardization across buildings and campuses, making it easy for faculty to walk into any centrally scheduled classroom and be familiar with how to use them.
- Supported pedagogies: lecture, demonstration, some tech-enabled and active learning
- Tech: The core classrooms incorporate the standard technology infrastructure to support current face-to-face classes and to be able to facilitate a technology upgrade easily when needed. Standard single projector/display, podium, document camera, computer with touch screen for digital whiteboarding, auxiliary inputs, wireless connectivity, interfaces, switching and control-sized by room. Camera and microphone could be brought in as needed to support connected classes via WebEx, Zoom or Teams.
- Use cases:
- Lecture and demonstration classes
- Some tech-enable and active learning or flipped classrooms with furnishings that permit flexibility
- Occasional remote connection enabling outside speakers
- Supported pedagogies: lecture, demonstration, some tech-enabled and active learning, hybrid
- Tech: The connected classrooms have the same infrastructure as the core classrooms (sized by room) with the addition of an installed pan-tilt-zoom camera and microphone, dual displays at the podium for connected classes (people and content), and dual projectors/displays where possible. Interface would have different modes at startup to support the core classroom setup, lecture capture and connected classes. This room would be platform agnostic to support all video collaborations.
- Use cases:
- Allow for outside speakers and students who may be remote to connect.
- Can allow for a small number of remote students to participate when needed (student athletes, students with medical conditions, etc.)
- Lecture capture
- Supported pedagogies: lecture, demonstration, high-tech active learning, hybrid, flipped
- Tech: The ActiveConnect classrooms have the same infrastructure as the connected classrooms (sized by room) with the addition of multiple monitors for collaboration. Interface has different modes to support the core classroom setup, lecture capture, connected classes and active learning modes. This room would be platform agnostic as well and where possible furnishings would be flexible to support active learning modalities and universal design..
- Furniture: Furniture would need to be somewhat flexible to allow for collaboration and activities to flow easily.
- Use Cases:
- Group collaboration with access to technology (during class and outside)
- Allows for outside speakers and experts to reinforce a topic or give more insight
- Allows for a small number of remote students to participate when needed
- Lecture capture
- Supported pedagogies: HyFlex, high tech active learning, lecture and demonstration
- Tech: These rooms will provide immersive learning experience and run on a dedicated video collaboration platform for ease of use. The technology is similar to the ActiveConnect Classrooms and leverages the tools available from the unified platform to simplify and enhance the learning and teaching experience.
- Furniture: Furniture will be flexible to support for collaboration and other activities.. These rooms do not look like a traditional classroom, rather they are designed as immersive and experiential learning spaces.
- Use Cases:
- Students in classroom, remote faculty
- Faculty in classroom, remote students
- Faculty and students in classroom & remote (True Hyflex)
- True global learning experience, allowing students access to resources anywhere
- Classroom is flexible and allows for experiences in person and virtual when needed
Strategic Plan Midpoint Update (Fall 2022)
The Academic Success District (ASD) is a multi-faceted initiative to provide students with institution-wide services clustered around the heart of campus to further improve access and utilization. The expansion and relocation of key spaces, resources and programs to more visible ground-level locations support UTSA’s abiding commitment to student success.
UTSA Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy and Senior Director of Space Management Joshua Gerkin led the effort to transform learning environments and streamline resources for students to thrive at UTSA. Work included:
Student Success Centers: Several student success resources were moved to centrally-located, ground-level locations on the Main Campus for increased visibility and accessibility, including advising offices, academic support programming, mentoring programs and other learning hubs. The new locations promoted alignment of shared goals, funding, initiatives, assessment and research. The work was further expanded with the establishment of Student Success Centers in every college to bridge university wide services and college degree program-specific services.
New Learning Environments: Through multiple phases, UTSA has updated over 50 high-use classrooms in 11 buildings. Renovations included innovative instructional technologies and new furniture, fit and finish for more engaging learning environments. The renovations allow for improved use of the space to address teaching and learning needs and increase digital accessibility and functionality for all students.
UTSA also created new multipurpose Outdoor Learning Environments (OLÉ), to promote collaborative learning and provide flexible workspaces for both students and faculty to meet in an informal setting.
This Initiative Supports Strategic Destinations
Destination One: Model for Student Success
Destination Three: Exemplar for Strategic Growth and Innovative Excellence