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.
September is National Hispanic Heritage Month. House of Neighborly Service is gearing up to increase awareness of the growing needs of our Westside community while embracing our Hispanic culture every step of the way. Our team is excited to announce the First Annual La Casita del Barrio 1K/5K Walk/Run.Our Lady of the Lake University, 11 SW 24th St, San Antonio, TX 78207
Come experience a Hispanic Market with us!Rowdy Statue
We will be reading For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez. We will meet on Zoom to discuss the book. The book is free for students who request it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the book and/or to join the Book Club and receive messages and information about this and future readings and discussions.Virtual Event
Come and practice your Spanish in a friendly and engaging environment! You will also learn about Hispanic cultures with us as we play games, watch videos, sing, and participate in many other language and cultural activities! All levels are welcome! ¡Nos vemos!Willow Room (SU 2.02.12,) Main Campus
In partnership with UTSA Libraries and the Consulado General de México en San Antonio, Carriqui will host Ven a Tomar, where guests will sample mezcal, cocktails and unique bites to celebrate UTSA's Mexican Cookbook Collection.Carriqui, 239 E Grayson St San Antonio, TX 78215
The UTSA Orchestra will be performing Rapsodia Mexicana, a captivating concert celebrating Mexican music and the confluence of cultures in South Texas. Joined by organist Colin Campbell (Texas A&M International University) and UTSA's Mariachi Los Paisanos, watch as the orchestra brings to life the essence of Hispanic culture through their powerful performances.UTSA Recital Hall, Main Campus
A fun night for UTSA students to relax and play loteria. Student Success Centers will also have recourses for students to learn more about programs and services.Denman Ballroom (SU 2.01.28,) 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.