COEHD unveils new Student Success Center as a resource for its students

Gauri Raje, News Editor

UTSA’s College of Education and Human Development unveiled its new Student Success Center on Wednesday, Jan. 26, in a virtual event conducted over Zoom. The new Center will be located in the Multidisciplinary Studies building.

The event was hosted by Cassie Lopez, the Project Manager for the new Center. Attendants included UTSA’s students, staff and faculty. 

Mario Torres, dean of COEHD, started the event by giving remarks about the new Center. 

“In COEHD, the idea of student success is really within our lifeblood. But, we also understand that our students face a number of different challenges…When I think about these two words — student success — it reminds me of our obligations and responsibilities to our students, which include really thinking holistically about the needs of our students,” Torres said.

“If you visit the student success site, you will see…what appears to be a mantra and [that] mantra is that it is a responsibility of the Center to help students connect, to empower students and equip Roadrunner students to be active citizens and lifelong learners.”

Torres’ remarks were followed by a virtual tour of the Center and what the Center currently looks like.

Lopez then presented more information about the Center and its activities. According to Lopez, the Center aims to help students transition into COEHD.

“We want to assist and provide support with the transition from high school or community college, coming into the COEHD and being an undergraduate student, and then transitioning out to whether [students] are going to start a career or graduate school,” Lopez said. “So the Center really wants to assist…COEHD undergraduate students with retention, the student[‘s] success, and ultimately the student’s graduation.”

Lopez then explained the Center’s three main goals: helping students’ academic success, providing them extended support and helping students develop a sense of belonging. 

“Our first goal is to increase academic success services. We want to make sure that we provide everything that we can for the student to make sure that they are successful in the classroom. Our second goal is to provide extended support to students…I fully believe that being a successful student goes beyond just academics. We wanna make sure that [students] have a holistic experience at UTSA…we [also] want to increase a sense of belonging and familiarity within the college community,” Lopez said. 

Lopez further noted the existence of “pillars” behind UTSA’s student success centers, adding that the new COEHD center also wants to “[keep]…these pillars in mind” and make sure “every student has equitable resources.” 

“We wanna make sure that we provide [students] with the… assistance that they need in the Student Success Center for COEHD.”

Some of the ways that the Center will offer its resources to students include services like academic workshops, etc. Lopez emphasized that the Center aims to be “an additional space [for students]…to collaborate.” 

“We definitely don’t want to duplicate what’s already being done on campus, but we wanna make sure that we can maybe mimic it in a way that’s specific to COEHD and helps bear COEHD needs. And if we’re not able to do that, we can definitely connect and refer the student out to campus resources,” Lopez explained. 

“We wanna make sure that we’re on-trend. That we’re current. That we are on par with our peers and our other success centers and make sure that we are offering our students with the most updated knowledge.”

Mireya Benavides, who will be the Center’s Student Assistant, then explained some of the activities that the Center has planned for the Spring 2022 semester as well as the Center’s operations. 

“Hopefully, towards March, we’ll be transitioning in person. If not, we will be hosting [the events] online,” Benevides said.

Benevides also stated that the Center will have office hours every Thursday of the month from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The informational event was followed by questions from attendees and a UTSA and pop culture trivia. 

24:10 The Center will be hosting its in-person opening on March 9. For more information, you can reach COEHD’s new Student Success Center via email — [email protected] — or by phone — 210-458-4416.