A&M San Antonio flying solo

By Jesus Cortez
Pulse Staff Reporter

Texas A&M San Antonio, now located at 1450 Gillette Blvd., has broken ground on its new location, just outside Loop 410 on Zarzamora. The university now has more than 2,000 students enrolled.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio is adding more programs to its curriculum, making progress on its new campus, and announcing a new mascot and colors.

The development of the new campus, which will be located at 410 and Zarzamora outside the Loop, is moving along.

"The architects and the general contractors have been selected for the new campus," said Marilu Reyna, executive director of University Communications. "They are looking at 18 to 24 months when we will have our first building."

TAMUSA has 20 degree programs that they now offer to students; most of them are undergraduate programs, but some are graduate programs.

Right now, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is located on 1450 Gillette Blvd. in a former elementary school. Before that, classes were located in portables on the campus of Palo Alto College. More than 2,000 students are attending Texas A&M University-San Antonio this fall.

The undergraduate programs that are being offered to students are: Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Finance, General Business, Marketing, International Business, Management, Interdisciplinary Studies, Kinesiology, Biology, Communication, Criminology, English, History, Mathematics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Applied Arts and Science.

The university offers a Master of Business Administration, but most of the master's degree programs are in the Educational Department, such as Bilingual Education, Early Childhood Education, Reading, Special Education, Educational Administration, Kinesiology, Counseling and Guidance.

The university is an upper-division school that only has junior- and senior- level classes, but Texas A&M University-San Antonio makes it easy for Alamo Colleges' graduates to transfer their hours.

The university has transfer advisers at all the Alamo Colleges, including Palo Alto. The advisers work with students so that no time or money is spent on any extra classes.

"What we like to do is a seamless transfer plan," said Reyna. "Kind of like a two plus two program."

Texas A&M University-San Antonio has one of the lowest costs of tuition in the city compared to all the other universities; it costs $2,725 for full time, which is 15 hours. However, that rate is not as inexpensive as 15 hours for tuition and fees at Palo Alto, which is $901 for In-District students.

"In this economy, the one thing you want to do is save money. And here, people are trying to go back to school, so we kind of help you in both areas. You can save money and continue your education," said Reyna.

The new mascot and colors of Texas A&M University-San Antonio are on the verge of being released. The university had a city-wide contest to bring in ideas, and more than a thousand suggestions were submitted. A committee of students, faculty and some community members was formed for the selection.

They met every Saturday in August, and those committee members came up with three finalists from the mascot category with the president of the university throwing in a wild card, and three finalists from the colors category. Then they took it back to a city-wide vote.

They have decided on winners, which will be announced Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, at 3:30 p.m. at their Gillette location.

Reyna said that the university is a great place to transfer to because of the atmosphere. The parking is very close to the classes, and a parking permit only costs $21 a year.

Professor Dr. Gary F. Coulton, Director of Graduate Studies, said that there is more face time with the students because the professors are required to have 10 hours a week of office time. The faculty is very dedicated, according to Coulton.

TAMUSA student Brent Walker, a graduate of Palo Alto College, is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and has attended the university for a year. Walker said that right now is a good time to get in while the campus is still growing and taking shape. The classes are anywhere from 10 to 35 students, and the atmosphere is very friendly, small and cozy.

For more information on Texas A&M University-San Antonio, visit their website at www.tamuk.edu/sanantonio

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