MAY 11, 2022 — The UTSA Office of Academic Innovation has supported more than 1,000 faculty participants and invested more than $1.1 million in professional development initiatives since the summer 2021 semester.
Through different courses, grants and mentoring programs, participating faculty have a unique opportunity to enhance their teaching skills, expand their knowledge and foster personal development. With a focus on innovation and inclusivity, these courses also help professors better adapt to teaching across modalities. Academic Innovation created or administered the programs in partnership with such organizations as the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars (ADTS), Adobe and various departments across campus.
“The ACUE Effective Teaching Practices course has provided me with many new strategies and ideas to bring to the classroom,” said Janis Bush, professor and chair of the UTSA Department of Integrative Biology. “These strategies promote student engagement and the diversity of thought and inclusion practices. I have been teaching for over 40 years, and over this time students have changed and the way they learn has changed. This course has helped me grow with the changing learning environment.”
As of summer 2021, faculty members have dedicated more than 18,000 cumulative hours of learning across the following programs and initiatives:
"Through these programs and individual consultations, our team helps faculty achieve their goals and enhance their courses and student engagement strategies,” said Marcela Ramirez, associate vice provost for teaching, learning and digital transformation. “We have designed these programs to respond to faculty’s direct needs as well as help them better showcase their individual expertise.”
These programs and initiatives are in addition to the peer-to-peer learning and mentorship offered by the college faculty champions. Some of the professional development opportunities promoted through this group have been focused on effective course design, assessment strategies to promote student engagement, and well-being and mental health.
The Academic Innovation team is also collaborating with faculty in the design and development of courses offered in all modalities, with a focus on quality standards for a continuous improved education.
UTSA graduate students have also benefitted from Academic Innovation’s professional development initiatives. More than 200 graduate students have developed their teaching skills in the Roadrunner Assistantship Academy, Adobe Graduate Institute and other programs.
It is the students who ultimately benefit from the skills that faculty gain from participating in these programs. For example, according to a study conducted by Adobe and Civitas Learning, UTSA undergraduate students enrolled in classes with Adobe tools included in the curriculum had a .23 higher average grade on a 4.0 scale than peers enrolled in courses that did not use Adobe tools. Students enrolled in courses that used Adobe tools were also more likely to reenroll at UTSA from term to term.
“We want ensure that faculty have the necessary resources to provide an enriching learning experience for students,” said Melissa Vito, vice provost for academic innovation. “We’re committed to investing in programs that help our faculty continue to become more empowered in their courses and careers.”
Academic Innovation, a division of Academic Affairs, supports faculty development and works with colleges and departments across campus to create new and dynamic learning experiences to promote student success.
UTSA is a Tier One research university and a Hispanic Serving Institution that is committed to adopting innovative practices to ensure graduates have the competitive edge to succeed in a rapidly evolving workforce. As an Adobe Creative Campus, UTSA is transforming education through creative digital empowerment.
The university recruits highly sought-after faculty members who are nationally and internationally recognized in their fields. Through teaching, research and serving in the community, faculty members play a major role in ensuring that excellence, discovery and innovation thrive at UTSA.
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.Virtual Event
Please join us in remembering those who have entered the next part of life by designing a nicho box in their memory. This workshop will provide the necessary items to create your nicho box, though please remember to bring a photo or small object that can fit in a 3.5 x5x1 inch box (small jewelry box).John Peace Library GroupSpot B, Main Campus
Come celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with La Comunidad at The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will have food, games and dancing!H-E-B Student Union Ballroom 1 & 2, Main Campus
LMSA invites you to join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through an interactive cooking lesson! This cultural experience will teach you how to prepare a popular Mexican dish, street taquitos. You will be able to sample this dish and learn the recipe to use in your own home.Recreation Wellness Center Demo Kitchen
Future Roadrunners will see what Roadrunner life is all about at UTSA Day. All of Main Campus transforms into our UTSA Day open house for Future Roadrunners and their families to explore the university experience.Main Campus
Learn about the LGBTQIA+ community and being an Ally and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people, communities, and the issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community.Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice Lounge, 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.