Vela's View: SAC's Backyard

by Dr. Robert Vela 

Volume 1, Issue 3 - Summer 2016

Vela's View is a reoccurring column about the importance of education and higher learning.  Written from the perspective of Dr. Robert Vela, President of San Antonio College, it provides insight into the world of higher education and addresses topics related to education as a whole.  

At San Antonio College (SAC), our mission is to empower our diverse communities for success by providing educational opportunities and pathways for all.

We live this mission everyday by serving the nearly 20,000 students who enroll in classes at SAC each semester. However, I have discovered that there are still far too many people who think attending SAC—or college in general—is unrealistic.

Since becoming president nearly two years ago, I have made it a priority to reenergize our recruitment efforts in order to reach the people in our immediate community—or what I refer to as "SAC's backyard."

A new department

In an effort to address the false perception of SAC being "unattainable," we created a new unit called the Office of Outreach and Recruitment.

Since its inception, this office has implemented several key initiatives within the community, including:

Working with the San Antonio Youth Literacy organization to provide Reading Buddies at various elementary schools throughout the city;
Providing mentoring services to young kids as part of the South Texas Big Brothers, Big Sisters program;
Developing a network of dedicated and informed parents to share best practices on navigating the world of higher education; and
Promoting college readiness to numerous elementary, middle and high schools within San Antonio ISD, Northeast ISD and Northside ISD.
As well, coming up in the 2016-17 academic year, we will launch a new program called "SAC's Find Your Future Tour" which will provide college- and career-related information to current high school and middle school students.

Our goal

As an educator, I believe it is our job to provide every student—no matter his or her background—an equal opportunity to earn a college education. With that in mind, we remain dedicated to our mission of empowering our diverse communities for success. The creation of the Office of Outreach and Recruitment is merely our first step to achieving this goal.

In the coming months, I hope we will be able to reach as many students as possible through the various outreach initiatives we have planned. However, I know that we will probably not be able to reach everyone. So, I invite you to come visit us at the Tino and Millie Duran Welcome Center.

In addition to providing basic information about SAC, the Duran Welcome Center provides assistance with applying for admission and financial aid, registering for classes and more. Learn more online or call 210-486-0040.

Hasta pronto,

Dr. Robert Vela

To view a PDF of the La Prensa edition which features this issue of Vela's View, click here.  

Or, you can view it online here.