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Curriculum & Program Requirements

Fall Kick-Off Institute

Student scholars will move into the residence halls three days early and participate in a customized pre-orientation program. Participants will:

  • Acclimate to campus, connect to campus resources, and build relationships with academy and Vol Success Teams staff, faculty, and UT staff
  • Take the CliftonStrengths assessment and participate in their first strengths coaching session

First Year: Understand Your Strengths

First-Year Seminar

First-year seminars will expose student scholars to campus resources and create positive early experiences that increase students’ engagement and success.

Students will experience:

  • The use of engaging, active-learning pedagogy
  • An introduction to the interdisciplinary, problem-focused mission of the university
  • Involvement with the “big questions” that matter beyond the classroom
  • High levels of faculty and staff engagement and campus involvement that connects them with peers and the Volunteer community

Peer Coaching

Upper division Vols will connect with first-year student scholars to provide coaching, mentoring, social activities, and academic support to promote success.

Academy members will interact with peer coaches through:

  • The Fall Kick-Off
  • First-year seminars
  • Small group work and family meetings with UTSA peers
  • Additional social gatherings per semester
  • Academy-specific study sessions or Academic Success Center hours for respective family groups

Second Year: Build Your Strengths

Student scholars will complete a weekly one-credit-hour seminar, tour industries to expand their career and networking opportunities, and utilize the services of the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration. The seminar will help student scholars develop critical thinking skills, manage relationships, define their values, and understand how those values align with their chosen career path. Student scholars will have an opportunity to tour many industries to learn about potential careers.

The benefits of career development include:

  • An introduction to career pathway development – a value and a strengths-based approach to careers
  • The use of experiential learning – a career development pedagogy
  • A thoughtful academic exploration of careers that engages student scholars Impactful co-curricular experiences to pair a student scholar’s career and academic interests

Third & Fourth Years: Stretch Your Strengths

Pathway Programs

Working in collaboration with the Vol Success Teams, upper-class student scholars will have an opportunity to personalize their UTSA upper-class experience by selecting a one- or two-semester pathway program, which will be unique for each student. Student scholars will reflect on their pathway experiences at the end of the year in the UTSA Showcase. First-year and sophomore student scholars will be required to attend. UTSA First Friday faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders will be invited to participate in the UTSA Showcase. Pathways may include the following:

  • Peer Coaching Student scholars may elect to work for UTSA by serving as a peer coach for the first-year student scholars, which will be a paid commitment requiring an average of 15 hours per week for one year.
  • Careers Student scholars will work with a career coach to develop a plan to better understand their career path through an internship, job shadowing, business visits, or workshops, or attend graduate school preparation workshops and researching potential departments and professional programs for graduate school.
  • Service Learning & Civic Engagement Student scholars will be inspired to develop a lifelong commitment to personal and social responsibility through opportunities to address critical human needs through service, civic-related research, or social change leadership. This pathway could include performing community service, achieving the Jones Center for Leadership Certificate, or engaging with community organizations on or off-campus.
  • Undergraduate Research Working closely with UT faculty and the research community, we want to encourage student scholars to investigate key concepts and questions and become actively involved in systematic investigation and research with vigorously contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement from working to answer important questions.
  • Internships Student scholars will have direct experience in a work setting—usually related to their career interests—and the benefit of supervision and coaching from professionals in the field. If the internship is taken for course credit, student scholars complete a project or paper approved by a faculty member.
  • Leadership In collaboration with each student scholar’s academic college or the Jones Center for Leadership, the student scholar will have an opportunity to develop a unique path to develop their leadership potential, including participating in a special conference or leadership certificate, or engaging in leadership roles throughout the campus.
  • Global Learning Student scholars will engage in a world much larger than Tennessee through study abroad, English language learner service learning, local community service opportunities, international research.

All-Paid Education Abroad

After year two, a total of up to 25 UTSA student scholars will be awarded a fully funded education abroad trip to understand leadership philosophy in a global setting and explore cultures, life experiences, and worldviews through service learning and cultural immersion activities.

Scholarship Renewal Requirements

Maintain 2.50 GPA Program and Curriculum Participation.