Equity Advocacy

Through the Equity Advocacy Initiative, UTSA will develop an overarching framework for implementing the recommendations put forth by the 21st Century Learning Environments Task Group to foster healthy and inclusive learning environments. The initiative will formally connect those efforts to the work of tactical teams on degree pathways and higher education access as a part of our fundamental commitment to diversity, inclusion and the success of UTSA students.

In support of the initiative, UTSA’s colleges and academic support divisions will develop new and enhance existing activities to advance diversity, inclusion and justice.

Equity Efforts in Academic Innovations

Academic Innovation has two major initiatives for 2020-2021 focusing on our fully online programs and Extended Education and the work we are doing in Digital Learning.

Fully Online Programs and Extended Education

We are expanding our bilingual programs and marketing materials. Our Online Programs website is now available in English or Spanish and we are increasing our staff that are bilingual and are working to make our materials available in Spanish and English. In addition, Extended Education is taking some of our more popular offerings (beginning with the paralegal program) and offering bilingual versions, along with working to make sure that future short courses like we did this summer are offered in both Spanish and English.

Digital Learning

Our focus this year is on accessibility in all courses and increasing support and training for faculty around these efforts. We are working collaboratively with Student Disability Services, with our team serving as lead since over 90% of the curriculum is online.

Digital Learning has two full time staff that work in this area and we approach course development through the lens of Universal Design. With so many courses online, captioning has become a significant accessibility issue. We are establishing a captioning grant program to encourage faculty to experiment with their courses and videos. In addition, we are hiring student workers that will be available to support faculty in reviewing their material to make sure it is accurate and accessible.

In Spring 2021, Ally will be a part of Blackboard---it is a powerful accessibility tool. Training and education will ramp up with faculty, staff and students as that comes on in January.