UTSA becomes a founding member of the Alliance for Hispanic Serving Research Universities and focuses on increasing student and faculty diversity | UTSA today | UTSA

The 20 founding members of the Alliance represent all universities classified as both an R1 institution (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and as an institution serving Hispanics (HSI) by the US Department of Education.

Representing nine states, the 20 universities in the HSRU Alliance together enrolled 766,718 students in fall 2020. Of these, 33% (254,399) were Hispanic. In 2019-20, institutions produced 11,027 doctoral graduates, of which 13% (1,451) were Hispanic. In 2020, their combined research expenditures totaled over $5.9 billion.

“Institutions serving Hispanics are founded on opportunity, equity and inclusion. Our membership in the Alliance aligns closely with this mission, our strategic plan, and our trajectory here in San Antonio and South Texas,” said the UTSA President. Taylor Eightmy, who sits on the Executive Committee of the Alliance Board of Directors. “We lead by example. Our strategic focus on student success and the creation of new knowledge aligns perfectly with the goals of the Alliance and the direction UTSA is taking as a university.

UTSA enrolls nearly 35,000 students in 171 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Fifty-seven percent of its students identify as Hispanic and 70% are eligible for federal financial aid.

Between 2010 and 2020, UTSA sharply improved its four- and six-year graduation rates by 17 and 19 percentage points, respectively, and made substantial gains in closing achievement gaps for students of color.

In 2021, Hispanic and Black students had six-year graduation rates of 51% and 55%, compared to their white peers, who achieved a six-year rate of 48%. These increases put UTSA on track to meet its graduation rate goals in 2028. Guided by its 10-year strategic plan, UTSA is deepening its commitment to student success, research excellence, strategic growth and excellence in innovation.

University leaders attribute the gains to best practices and programs for retention, student success and financial aid, as well as support systems for first-generation students, transfer students, Dreamers and students with disabilities. history of foster care. Examples include:

  • the First to leave and graduate (F2G&G), a unique concept that pairs UTSA students who will be the first in their families to graduate with trained peer mentors and faculty coaches who were also first-generation students in families that increase engagement, encourage retention, and positively impact graduation rates. To date, the program has served 1,403 students, including 821 Latino students (58.5%). Between fall 2016 and fall 2019, it resulted in a 17% increase in graduation and retention rates.
  • UTSA Bold Promise, a tuition-free program that provides access to higher education for Texas students from low- and middle-income families. The program covers 100% of a freshman’s tuition and fees for four years and is open to students with a household income of $50,500 per year, a threshold that will increase to $70,000 in the fall. 2022 due to an injection of PromisePlus funding from the University of Texas System. As of fall 2021, 79% of newly enrolled Bold Promise students identified as Hispanic or Latino.
  • a Graduation Support Office that helps students such as students of color and those from families with no college experience address barriers to graduation. The Help Desk builds on the efforts of other campus offices to provide support to students facing unique or unforeseen challenges. It also identifies and addresses common barriers to timely graduation in order to positively impact institutional policies and procedures. Since its launch in 2017, the helpdesk has removed barriers to graduation for nearly 2,000 UTSA students, saving them $3.2 million in tuition and additional costs.

UTSA has made intentional and strategic efforts to recruit, hire, and retain faculty from diverse backgrounds that reflect the demographic makeup of its student body. Currently, UTSA ranks #2 among HSI-R1 for its percentage of tenured and tenure-track faculty who identify as Hispanic or Latino. In the fall 2021 cohort, 30% of the university’s new tenured/tenure-track faculty identified as Hispanic. In the fall of 2020, One out of five tenured or tenure-track faculty members identified as underrepresented minorities.

Additionally, UTSA is home to 35 recipients of the UT System Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, seven prestigious National Academy memberships, and three Piper Professors.

These and other successes have propelled UTSA into the limelight for data-driven approaches to the recruitment, retention, and success of Latino students and other students of color. The aspiration of the HSRU Alliance is to improve outcomes by increasing collaboration and sharing ideas between the 20 universities.

“UTSA is committed to implementing strategies to increase opportunities for Latino students and to diversify our faculty to better support the success of our students,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost of UTSA and senior vice president for academic affairs. “It is exciting to join other institutions who are also leaders in this important work. We look forward to sharing best practices and expanding our impact through our collaborative efforts. »

In the coming months, HSRU Alliance members will advance several initiatives established prior to today’s official announcement. The first project, funded by the Mellon Foundation, aims to support more PhDs. Latin American humanities students and guiding them towards academic careers. A second initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, is expanding opportunities for Hispanic computer science students.

In 2020, UTSA received the prestigious seal of excellence of excellence in education, a comprehensive certification recognizing the university’s commitment and ability to accelerate Latino student success.

A year later, UTSA received a transformational $40 million gift from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. Today, this gift fuels proven enrollment, retention, learning and graduation strategies, raising the standards of excellence for all UTSA students.

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