Office of the Vice President for Community Services
The mission of Community Services is to extend the university beyond its campuses and into San Antonio and South Texas through public service, extension, outreach, and community education. This is accomplished through a variety of programs and departments, including the Institute for Economic Development, the Institute of Texan Cultures, the Office of Community Outreach, the Office of Extended Education, the Downtown Campus Special Events Office, the UTSA Mexico Center, the Office of P-20 Initiatives, the Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute, and the Center for Civic Engagement.
The Office of P-20 Initiatives promotes college access, readiness and completion through research-based programming. The Office has an array of educational outreach programs and activities such as academic intervention and college readiness camps, dual credit, mentoring, tutoring, work-study, test preparation, bridge programs and college tours. These programs are undertaken in partnership and collaboration with schools, business and industry, foundations and community-based organizations to help strengthen the quality of education from kindergarten through college within San Antonio and the South Texas region. The Office administers the TRIO programs including Upward Bound, Talent Search, McNair and Student Support Services. Additionally, the Office provides oversight for the Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP), a premier STEM college bridge program. Both the PREP and TRIO programs annually serve over 10,000 students. Finally, the Office seeks to provide leadership in educational reform and facilitate university involvement in public education through intervention, research and service programs.
The Office of Community Outreach (OCO) was established to increase UTSA’s visibility in targeted communities in South Texas, and to foster appropriate, mutually beneficial partnerships with these communities. The OCO works with educational, business and civic leaders in communities to promote higher education as an economic development resource and address barriers that inhibit or prevent area residents from enrolling at UTSA. Special events bring community leaders to UTSA and take university executives into South Texas communities. The OCO works closely with Admissions and other university offices in supporting student recruitment efforts.
The Center for Civic Engagement was established to manage and track UTSA’s community engagement efforts and report the collective impact of service-learning, community-engaged research, and public service activities. The Center works collaboratively with UTSA faculty, students, and staff, in addition to community partners and local government to develop, enrich, and support learning that enhances civic literacy and engagement and to cultivate a civically-engaged culture on UTSA’s campus.
The Office of Extended Education serves the region’s adult, professional and continuing education needs through a range of targeted programs that match UTSA’s unique resources with the lifelong learning needs of the region. Extended Education works collaboratively with academic and nonacademic units of the university to develop and offer seminars, online courses, conferences and programs for the general public, professional and governmental agencies, and businesses, as well as graduate and professional school entrance exam preparation. Selected courses for college credit are also available through the Office of Extended Education’s Extended Studies Program.
The Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Our various centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research, and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. Our programs serve San Antonio, the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA’s community engagement mission.
The Institute of Texan Cultures is the state's museum dedicated to enhancing the understanding of cultural history and its influence on the people of Texas. The institute's mission is accomplished through an expansive exhibit floor, a document and photo library, an extensive outreach program to Texas schools, and specialized, periodic major exhibits. The institute also serves special educational programs at the university. Admission is free for faculty, staff and students with UTSA ID.
The UTSA Mexico Center fosters academic, research, cultural and programmatic exchanges with universities and organizations in Mexico, engaging students, faculty and staff, and promoting a better understanding of Mexico and its relationship to the United States. The UTSA Mexico Center provides a forum for communication between policy makers, scholars, business representatives and professionals from the United States and Mexico to bring about mutual understanding and productive relationships.
The Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute is a university-wide research institute that fosters cross-disciplinary collaborations and translates research results into policy recommendations. The institute supports the study of topics such as infant cognition and language development, early literacy, juvenile justice, child abuse prevention, foster care youth, pediatric obesity prevention, early childhood education, school readiness, and dropout prevention.