JANUARY 20, 2021 — UTSA, SAISD, and Alamo Colleges District have joined forces to help further grow the education pipeline in the City of San Antonio.
Together the institutions have launched the new Construction Sciences Pathways in Technology (P-Tech) program, which will be housed at Sidney Lanier High School, located in San Antonio’s West Side community. The program will allow more students from across the community to experience UTSA firsthand and learn about its innovative fields of study.
“As an urban serving university, UTSA seeks to deepen relations within the City of San Antonio and strengthen its portfolio of instructional programs, leading to increases in college completion,” said Abel Gonzales, director for Instructional Outreach Program in the UTSA College of Education and Human Development.
The new CSP-Tech program offers a track through UTSA where students in grades 9-12 can earn hours toward a bachelor’s degree in construction science and management at UTSA, or the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in construction technology, or power generation and alternative energy through St. Philip's College.
Partnership programs like this will allow more students from across the community to experience UTSA firsthand and learn about its innovative fields of study, Gonzales added.
CSP-Tech offers Lanier’s students exposure to the construction science management field as they engage in university level coursework before graduating high school through UTSA’s Early Birds Dual Credit Program. The Early Birds program, through the College of Education and Human Development allows eligible high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit before graduation.
“The program will offer Lanier High School students academic support throughout the experience and the opportunity to complete up to 36 college or university hours prior to their high school graduation,” Gonzales said. “Our Instructional Outreach Department within the College of Education and Human Development has a strong relationship with SAISD. We believe that this initiative will allow us to develop the bridge for a seamless transition from Lanier High School into UTSA.”
The program will advance students toward the completion of their degree, saving them time and money, Gonzales said.
“We understand that even though each of us works with students at various levels of their education, we all have the same desired outcomes for students,” Gonzales said. “We want each of our students to be successful in their future education, and want to pave the way towards the completion of their educational goals. This program will allow students to access UTSA’s Downtown Campus, which is a gateway to San Antonio's West Side neighborhood.”
By partnering with local K-12 schools, Gonzales added that it will lead to improving success for all.
“The P-Tech program at Lanier High School is a truly collaborative partnership that will expand access to UTSA from within the West Side San Antonio community,” he said.
The goal of the construction science program is to prepare all the students to graduate with the necessary skills, certifications, and hands-on specific training necessary to be successful within the industry, said Shelby Parker, coordinator for CSP-Tech, at a recent virtual press conference.
“After graduation, our students will have the professional and academic skills required to either enter the careers or continue in their education,” Parker said. “This program would not be possible without the guidance and support from our higher education partners from St. Philip's College and UTSA.”
The UTSA track in the new CSP-Tech was organized in partnership with the Instructional Outreach Program in the College of Education and Human Development and leadership from the Department of Construction Science in the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning.
“It is imperative that our discipline of construction management become known to people at a younger age,” said John Murphy, chair of the Department of Construction Science at UTSA. “There are amazing opportunities for those that have high math and science skills, as well as people skills, to become leaders in constructing the built environment of the future. Creating in-roads of opportunity for high school students to seamlessly start their path through a university degree program in construction science and management at UTSA is an effective way to reach out.”
The opportunities are endless to those interested and willing to commit to such professional education, Murphy added.
CSP-Tech at Lanier High School will start in the fall for the new school year. Applications are open now for Bexar County students entering the ninth grade this fall.
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