AUGUST 30, 2021 — Editor’s note: This story is the first in a four-part series highlighting the new Academic Success District. Part two of this series will highlight the upgraded classrooms and technology personas; Part three will highlight the new Academic Innovation center designed to support innovative instructional practices and promote collaborative learning between faculty and students; Part four will summarize the key components of the Academic Success District.
UTSA is proud to launch the Academic Success District (ASD), a forward-thinking collaboration that makes key physical spaces, resources, and programs highly visible and easily accessible for students. The ASD embodies UTSA’s long-term strategic vision to become a Hispanic thriving institution and a leading public research university, creating bold futures for the Roadrunner community by being a model for student success.
“The Academic Success District, at the academic center of our campus, represents UTSA’s culture of support and empowerment for its students, particularly our first-generation college students,” said UTSA Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy. “Various areas from across the university came together to create this exciting new initiative, showing just how important it is for us to provide the best academic experience for our students front and center.”
Inside the Student Success Center, Roadrunners will have access to several programs, including LEAD, SOAR and the Graduation Help Desk.
The ASD is a collection of advising offices, mentoring programs, upgraded university classrooms, college-specific academic support centers and other learning hubs strategically moved to ground level locations clustered around the Sombrilla at the heart of the Main Campus. By aligning these programs and facilities, students have easy access to resources that help them be successful and enhance their overall academic experience – whether they're first-gen, first-year, transfer students, or nearing graduation.
The student success hubs in the Academic Success District include the following:
The Tomás Rivera Center for Academic Excellence is located in the Multidisciplinary Studies (MS) building just off the Sombrilla Plaza. The center provides tutoring services, student success coaching, peer academic coaching, and other academic support programming.
The new Student Success Center (SSC) building is located between the Student Union and North Paseo Building. This hub is dedicated to advising services and is home to the following programs:
The Collaborative Learning Hub is a dedicated space for students to study and collaborate, located on the second floor inside the John Peace Library. Students can also work with a team of UTSA supplemental instruction staff who will support them with the tools and resources they need to be successful in challenging, high-enrollment core classes.
The Mentoring Hub, located on the ground level of the McKinney Humanities (MH) building, hosts a variety of programs dedicated to supporting first-year, first-gen and transfer student success. The hub is home to peer-to-peer First-Generation Programming, The First-Year Experience Program, Transfer & Transition Student Success Services (T2S3), the First to Go and Graduate (F2G&G) program, and more.
The F2G&G program represents a UTSA-wide culture of active recognition, encouragement and support of first-generation college students. Students are placed with trained peer mentors and faculty coaches who are also first-generation college students in what's known as the student's familia. This support system helps foster a sense of belonging that increases engagement and encourages retention at UTSA.
In addition to creating the student success hubs, several classroom upgrades were implemented in a collaboration between the division of Business Affairs and the Academic Affairs’ division of Academic Innovation. Four classroom personas, each with their own unique combination of integrated learning technologies, were developed to provide standard expectations and promote ease-of-use across different classrooms.
Each college at UTSA also has its own success center. These centers provide students with resources, programs, and services tailored to their disciplines in addition to leveraging university-wide initiatives to fully prepare students for their careers.
“The Academic Success District is the culmination of many different efforts to help students succeed,” said Vice Provost for Student Success Tammy Wyatt. “The new Student Success Center building, in particular, demonstrates how we’ve realigned and reimagined how to best serve students at UTSA.”
In September 2020, Academic Affairs announced the Academic Success District Initiative as an opportunity to more effectively utilize campus space in a manner that advances institutional objectives for student success and faculty excellence. Led by Espy and Senior Director of Space Management Joshua Gerkin, Academic Affairs (Academic Innovation, Student Success) and Business Affairs (Space Management, Facilities) worked collaboratively with faculty and students to identify and design the spaces, share resources, and move the Academic Success District from concept to completion.
Come celebrate the doctoral students graduating this commencement season.H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms, UTSA Main Campus
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the College for Health, Community and Policy, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Sciences.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
First Friday Stargazing gives anyone free access to the night sky using university telescopes and teaching equipment. Weather permitting, experienced astronomers will provide a handful of telescopes of varying designs, give training on how each operates, and point to various astronomical objects that may appear in the sky for that given time of the year. If you have a telescope and do not know how to operate it, feel free to bring it and get instructions on its use.4th Floor of Flawn Science Building, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.