UTSA’s new College for Health, Community & Policy launches


Triston Simpson

Graphic by

Breahna Luera, News Editor

UTSA officially launched the new College for Community, Health & Policy (HCaP) this semester. The college will offer several undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a number of certifications. These degrees and certifications have been reallocated from the College of Public Policy, College of Education and Human Development and College of Liberal and Fine Arts.

According to Dr. Kimberly Espy, UTSA’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, one of the main focuses for the college is to better prepare students for careers in the health industry. A 2018 report from SA Works, one of UTSA’s community partners, stated that over 8,750 jobs were added to the health industry in the past five years. In response to that information, a Human Health Planning Advisory Task Force was established in November of 2018.

Espy assigned the task force the jobs of surveying student interest in the field, regional workforce needs and research opportunities. The task force then proposed a structure for the college that encompasses student preparation, research and career opportunities and competitive funding.

“Once the task force completed its work, the ensuing recommendations were thoroughly vetted on campus, as well as with our partners,” Espy said. “The specific plan to achieve the recommendations was then approved by President Eighmy and the UT System, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was notified.”

Students will see minimal change in their day-to-day routines.

“It’s important for current students enrolled in the programs within HCaP to understand that they will continue to take classes on the campus they’re accustomed to,” Espy said. “No programs or classes are moving as a part of this administrative restructuring.”

There is an ongoing search for a dean for the College of HCaP, and Espy hopes to complete this search by the end of the spring 2020 semester.

UTSA worked closely with UT Health San Antonio while making the College for HCaP. Dr. Melissa Valerio, dean of the UT School of Public Health San Antonio Regional Campus, co-chaired on the task force in partnership with Dr. Margo Dellicarpini, dean of UTSA’s College of Education and Human Development.

The establishments also worked together to ensure the department structure of the College for HCaP creates new opportunities for research across traditional disciplines within UTSA and UT Health San Antonio.

“The College for Health, Community & Policy is the result of months and months of work and dedication by that task force and others who recognized the tremendous potential of this initiative,” Espy said. “I’m enormously grateful to these people for their creativity and enthusiasm throughout this process and moving forward.”

To read more about the College of HCaP, visit http://provost.utsa.edu/hcap/.