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 Institute for P-20 Initiatives, the Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute, and the Center for Civic Engagement.
The Institute for P-20 Initiatives promotes college access, readiness and completion through research-based programming. The Institute 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 Institute administers the TRIO programs including Upward Bound, Talent Search, McNair and Student Support Services. Additionally, the Institute 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. The Institute seeks to provide leadership in educational reform and facilitate university involvement in public education through intervention, research and service programs.
Our programmatic goals are as follows:
- Community Outreach Goal: Develop and support ongoing partnerships that engage students, parents, educators, community organizations and businesses in outreach projects related to college access.
- Instructional Outreach Goal: Develop and support programs focused on rigorous coursework and experiences that will prepare students for college and/or career.
- Student Retention Goal: Develop and support programs focused on student success and persistence at UTSA.
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 empowers students, faculty and staff to serve society through community engaged scholarship that enriches learning, promotes civic literacy and contributes to the study of community needs and resources. The Center works closely with community partners and local government to serve as co-educators of our students engaged in experiential learning. These include service-learning, community engaged research and other public service activities that cultivate a civically-engaged culture. The Center also tracks the university’s community engagement and annually reports the collective impact of these activities.
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 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. It engages students, faculty, staff, and community members in promoting informed analyses of U.S.-Mexico relations. The UTSA Mexico Center provides a forum for communication among policy makers, scholars, business representatives and professionals from the United States and Mexico to bring about presentations, publications, mutual understanding, and productive collaborations.
The Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute is a university-wide research center that fosters cross-disciplinary collaborations and translates research results into policy recommendations. The institute supports the study of infant cognition and language development, the experiences of immigrant youth and children, housing, early literacy, child abuse prevention, foster youth, early childhood education, school readiness, and dropout prevention.