Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA plans to build Student Success Center


UTSA has a new plan to encourage and recruit students to pursue prosperity: the Student Success Center. The goal of the Student Success Center is to make sure student needs are met in an efficient way.

The university hopes that establishing student services in a single building will accomplish this goal. The center will be led by Rhonda Gonzales, interim vice president for the Student Success Center and Kimberly Espy, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“The goal is to ensure we’re providing the best possible campus experience for our students,” Espy said. “The Student Success Center will combine essential student support services in one building on the Main Campus, thus making it easier for students to get the help they need — no matter what type of help that may be. Another benefit is it will further improve collaboration and communication among the UTSA staff members who are providing those services.”

Espy believes that UTSA can expand on the current resources available. The overall cost has not yet been finalized, but it will be funded in partnership with the UT system.

“Currently at the Main Campus, our student support services are spread across the campus. To make it easier for students to have access to these valuable services, we envision co-locating these services in one building, much like the model of our One-Stop Enrollment Center. The construction of the new Student Success Center will help us achieve that vision,” Espy said.

The first phase of establishing the center is building a complex with architectural firm Chesney Morals, who is under contract to do the work.

“The first phase of the initiative is a modular 25,000 gross-square-foot Academic Advising Complex, which will be located just south of the North Paseo Building,” Espy said. “We hope it will be open by the end of 2019.”

Gonzales and her team are currently working with Academic and Business Affairs to find places in the Main Campus to locate nearly all 150 academic advising staff and employees as soon as this fall. 

“It also likely will include many of those offices students need to take care of more transactional tasks related to their enrollment, such as the Registrar, One-Stop Enrollment, Financial Aid/Scholarships and Fiscal Services, ” Espy said.

UTSA is also implementing a Student Success Plan and Strategic Enrollment Plan to help raise the graduation rate. Some benefits of this plan are that it will increase graduation rates, improve first-year retention rates, improve second and third year persistence rates and will better the students’ overall experience.

The Strategic Enrollment Plan is to create a new facility to support students as they prepare to graduate. They plan to design a center that will bring campus services and academic services together. The group was launched this January and in April, they will have a Programming Report. The center may be open as early as Fall 2019.

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