AUGUST 8, 2022 — UTSA is showcasing the achievements of its student success programs by participating in an Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) Equity Roundtable.
The event, which is taking place today at the University of Texas at Arlington, is one of four roundtables that the APLU hosts during the year as part of its goal to close the equity gap in graduation rates and to increase higher education access to minoritized and low-income students. The organization invites institutions that are a part of Powered by Publics and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities to participate in the programs.
The University of Texas at El Paso, Texas State University, New Mexico State University and the host site, University of Texas at Arlington, are also part of the roundtable.
Both university leaders and students from different groups—including first-generation, transfer, underrepresented minorities, military, Pell-grant-eligible students and those with a history of foster care—have the opportunity to discuss equitable access, student success and equitable career pathways during the roundtable sessions.
UTSA is participating in the roundtable with plenty of experience to share with participants—given its commitment to making higher education opportunities accessible to all.
“Higher education is the primary driver of social advancement and mobility—we have a particular responsibility to increase access to higher education and support the efforts of our students to complete their degrees,” UTSA Provost of Student Success Tammy Wyatt said. “Texas institutions of higher education have an excellent opportunity to leverage the state’s rich demographics to improve access to higher education for first-generation, non-traditional, historically underserved, underrepresented, and under-resourced individuals.”
From honoring UTSA’s founding history to bolstering student success, fostering excellence in research and partnering with its communities, the university embraces its Hispanic serving identity, Wyatt added.
“We are taking intentional and bold steps to move beyond Hispanic serving to Hispanic thriving. Our commitment to becoming a model Hispanic thriving university, where all students can excel and lead, is fundamental to UTSA achieving its strategic vision,” Wyatt said. “UTSA has purposefully focused its efforts on supporting historically underserved populations and first-generation students.”
Since the strategic vision to be a model for student success was implemented, UTSA has developed several programs and systems to increase access to higher education and support students as they work towards graduation.
These initiatives, which are housed within the UTSA Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Division of Student Success, include the My Brother’s Keeper Up Partnership, First Generation and Transfer Student programs, First-Gen STEM Scholars, and the President’s Inclusive Excellence Award scholarships.
“Many of our institutional student success initiatives have resulted in markedly positive student outcomes,” Wyatt said. “UTSA’s Graduation Help Desk, Resilience & Retention Advising Program, First Generation programming, Fostering Futures Program and others have directly resulted in increased retention, graduation rates, and degree completion among our underrepresented minority students (URM).”
Wyatt added that during the 2020-21 school year, UTSA awarded 7,732 degrees, more than any other time in its history. Fifty-nine percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2020-21 were awarded to Hispanic students and 67% were awarded to URM students. Likewise, UTSA ranks No. 3 among Carnegie R1(R1) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in undergraduate degrees awarded to Hispanic and Latino students.
Student success at UTSA is also positively affected with an increasingly diverse faculty that allows students to see themselves and their experiences reflected in their instructors. UTSA has launched several inclusive recruitment strategies to improve the diversity of its faculty and staff.
From the Accelerated Faculty Hiring Program, Clustered and Connected Program, Stealth Recruitment Portal to the Inclusive Hiring Strategic Action Plan implementation, these efforts have led to the recruitment of 28% and 38% underrepresented minority faculty in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The university ranks second among the 20 other institutions designated as both R1 and HSIs for the percentage of all tenured/tenure-track (T/TT) faculty who identify as Hispanic/Latino (18%).
“Promoting diversity within the faculty and staff enables students from different backgrounds to identify with professors and staff, experience diverse curriculum and programs and enhance their trust in the university community,” Wyatt said.
Additionally, UTSA fosters a community of dialogue through Student Experience Surveys, which it launched in 2021 as an opportunity to hear about the student experiences at UTSA.
These initiatives are all part of the contribution that UTSA is making as part of the discussion of equity in student success at today’s APLU Equity Roundtable at UT Arlington.
As part of the event, four UTSA students will have the opportunity to share their voices and bring back resources for their fellow Roadrunners.
“I wanted to be a part of this roundtable to create open conversation and dialogue about equality and inclusivity in universities across the state,” said Avee Brar, a senior cybersecurity major in the Carlos Alvarez College of Business. “I hope to meet like-minded individuals with similar goals and create effective change moving forward.”
Alexis Dawson, a senior marketing major in the Alvarez College of Business, wants to make sure someone who grew up like her has the same opportunities as others, while gaining insight on what other student populations face.
“I want to make sure students of all different types are given resources that are specific to them that will help them succeed,” said Dawson.
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
This September 30, the Friday Series will feature Prof. Milena Ang, who will be presenting A Tren to Nowhere: Statistic Development and the Politics of Racial, a paper co-authored with Tania Islas-Weistein where they discuss Mexico's long history of state-led development projects that contribute to economic and racial inequality. The authors argue that despite professing racial justice, official discourses surrounding the Tren Maya reproduce existing symbolic and material forms of racism.McKinney Humanities (MH 4.01.01,) Main Campus
The UTSA Libraries will be hosting a panel discussion on Latiné/x-centric voting and voting rights!Bexar Room (H-E-B SU 1.102,) Main Campus
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our campus community a safer, more caring place to learn. It will be held Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at Main campus from 6:00pm-8:00pm on the Student Union Paseo.Student Union Paseo, Main Campus
Join Wellbeing Services, UTSA Recovery Operations, and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District as we have an informational Q&A session with guest speaker Dr. Anita Kurian from San Antonio Metropolitan Health District discussing Monkeypox.Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02,) Main Campus
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
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.