Distinctions & Programmatic Excellence

Several of UTSA’s programs are serving as national models for furthering the success of Hispanic students and enriching scholarship around Hispanic/Latinx communities.

While these programs serve UTSA’s entire student population, they have proven particularly successful in advancing the success of our Hispanic students.


This program was recognized as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in 2015.


A special scholarship and retention program aimed at helping incoming freshmen effectively transfer from high school to a four-year university. Excelencia in Education named this program as a 2020 Examples of Excelencia finalist.

Designated a “Program to Watch” by Excelencia in Education in 2019, this center provides a slate of programs to make sure first-generation college students are leveraging the many opportunities and resources the university has to offer. Also in 2019, the center earned top honors as a national model for first-gen programming from Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA).

Since 2018, 58% of UTSA students who used the help desk and graduated were Hispanic-identifying students and, of those, 28% graduated within 4 years and 30% graduated within 6 years.

This program seeks to educate Latino graduate students to effectively serve the growing number of Latino students in U.S. public schools and the nation at large. Excelencia in Education named this program as a 2020 Examples of Excelencia finalist.

A dedicated program for proactively helping UTSA students manage their personal and educational finances has resulted in a 6% decrease in Hispanic student financial debt since 2015-2016.


This program was recognized as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in 2015. In addition, in 1997 it was recognized with a Presidential Award in Washington, D. C. for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.


Recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with a 2019 Star Award, this program targeted at students with a high risk of dropping out has resulted in a 14% increase in Hispanic student retention.

UTSA Libraries has developed a national reputation for building collections of one-of-a-kind research materials documenting the diverse histories of South Texas, with a particular focus on prominent Latino activists, politicians, authors, organizations and movements, and one of the largest Mexican cookbook collections in the world.

“UTSA is proud to be a Hispanic-Serving Institution that is proving a model for other universities as they focus more attention on serving vulnerable student populations.”

– Tammy Wyatt, Vice Provost for Student Success