San Antonio is home to a wealth of higher education choices, including Texas’ two major public university systems, community colleges and an extensive menu of private offerings.
Alamo Community College District’s 52,000 students take courses at one of five campuses and nine off-campus sites.
“We have programs for medical assistants, physical therapy, mortuary science and culinary arts,” says Leo Zuniga, the District’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications.
In 2007, the district’s parent/child scholarship program, funded by the League of United Latin American Citizens, received the Texas Higher Education Star Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions toward closing the state’s educational gap. The scholarship awards $1,000 to single parents and, once they complete their education, a two-year scholarship for their child.
The district’s community education centers strive to make a college education accessible to all residents, offering services such as assistance with scholarship and financial aid applications. The district also provides free tuition to area high school students enrolled in dual-credit programs.
Increasingly, the district is helping prepare students for manufacturing, aerospace and information technology careers, which are flourishing in the area, as well as designing customized training programs for incoming businesses.
David Gabler, assistant vice president of communications at the University of Texas at San Antonio, says the university’s 29,000 students make it the fastest-growing university in the state and, he says, poised to be the next premier public research center.
The university’s three campuses offer a broad range of programs, specializing in science, engineering, business, music and architecture. Business Week ranked its MBA program among the top 50 in the nation.
The university’s $270 million capital expansion includes an $83 million engineering building slated for completion in 2009 and a $48 million student wellness and recreation center.
“The community is actively engaged with UTSA,” Gabler says. “We have advisory boards for all our programs to make sure we are helping shape future leaders for the community and the region.”
Gabler says many of the university’s 70,000 alumni have remained in the region, helping transform the area’s economy.
“Educational opportunities will help San Antonio go to the next level of excellence,” he says.
The liberal arts and sciences university has an enrollment of 2,700 students, more than half from within Texas. In addition to nationally ranked academics, the university’s Division III athletics programs have won a number of national championships in recent years.
The university offers a variety of programs, including East Asian studies and a science curriculum where undergraduate students have opportunities to engage in research shortly after enrollment. The university also offers an urban studies program and a variety of resources for student and professional educators.
“Every university offers something a little bit different,” Sharon Jones Schweitzer, the university’s assistant vice president for university communications, says of the area’s offerings. “If you’re a young person in this area, there is no reason you shouldn’t go to college. Our state population is growing and will continue to grow, and education is extremely important in terms of economic development and developing leaders.”