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1001 Howard St.
San Antonio TX, 78212
(210) 486-0554
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News & Events

SAC Celebrates Service Awards

San Antonio College honored 38 employees for their years of service in a special celebration on Friday, March 6. Read More >

Service Awards - 40 Years

SAC Celebrates Service Awards

San Antonio College honored 38 employees for their years of service in a special celebration on Friday, March 6. Read More >

Dr. Blackwood Reception

SAC Welcomes Dr. Blackwood

The San Antonio College community welcomed Vice President for Academic Success Dr. Jothany Blackwood with a reception at the Koehler House on Tuesday afternoon. Read More >

Student of the Month

Pamela Frias Named Student of the Month

San Antonio College student Pamela Frias was recently named the Alamo Colleges La Prensa Inspirational Student of the Month for January 2015. Read More >


EDGE Program Accepting Applications

The San Antonio College Early Development of General Engineering (EDGE) program is currently accepting applications for Summer 2015. Read More >


Interpreter Training Program Awarded

The San Antonio College Interpreter Training Program has been named a Sorenson Video Relay Service (SVRS) Excellence and Innovation in Interpreter Education Award. Read More >

Engineering students tackle project, give back to community

A talented group of SAC students, with altruistic intentions, is working on a research project to not only gain an educational edge, but also give back to our community. The students have a goal to make life easier for those bound to using a wheelchair to get around a school campus, work, and other places in their everyday lives. They also want to help wheelchair bound people save money. By using engineering skills they have learned at SAC, and through SAC's summer EDGE program, the students have designed a motor-pulley system that will convert a manual wheelchair into a motorized wheelchair, making the wheelchair faster, less expensive and lighter for the disabled.

The design, which involves a rubber pulley to turn the manual wheel, will be entirely portable and mostly contained in a small backpack that will fit on the back of the wheelchair. This will also enable the disabled person to take their wheelchair with them on an airplane. It would be lighter for travel and get up inclines faster and without tiring. The wheelchair would be able to go faster and would cost less than an electric wheelchair that could cost four to five times more than a manually powered wheelchair.

The design the students have engineered involves specified parts that have to be handmade. This is where the help is needed. The students need about $1,000 to create these parts.

Ideally, the team has about two weeks to get the funds together. This will give them enough time to build, test and document their project. Their deadline to have the project fully complete is April 11, but they have a personal goal of March 10 to make sure everything is in proper working condition.

John Quarles, who has muscular sclerosis, was inspiration for the project and will assist in the research. He said some days are harder than others and having a wheelchair that has this feature will improve his quality of life.

“They are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts,” he said about the students working on the project. “They are doing a great job.”

The students said people with disabilities should not feel different from others and they wanted to do this project to help the physically disabled community.

If their design becomes available for purchase, it could save wheelchair users money. A typical electric wheelchair can cost up to $10,000. The portable motor and pulley system would cost someone a few hundred dollars, said Lindsay Swaim.

“This would help a lot of people,” added Swaim.

If you would like more information about the project or would like to donate, visit their Go Fund Me web page at

Team members are Lindsay Swaim, Chasity Valerio, Katherine Pitts, Calvin Ward and Jose Rojas.