Students learn best when they are in a positive and safe environment that engages and challenges them intellectually. Here are some tips for creating safe and healthy learning spaces.
- Create a community of learners. Provide opportunities to connect with each other and with you.
- Support and celebrate diversity. Diversity includes race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, economic background, differing abilities, military status, and so much more.
- Set high expectations. Faculty should always set ambitious goals while providing resources and creating roadmaps for achievement.
- Acknowledge racial, cultural or other hurtful comments or slights. Don’t let them pass without remarking on them.
- Be cautious about implicit bias that might impact your teaching and grading.
- Be aware of student sensitivity about emotional topics.
- Let students know when difficult or potentially offensive content may be presented so they can prepare.
- Learn more about Student Disability Services and how to accommodate students with special classroom needs.
- UTSA is proud to have a large population of veteran students. Veterans typically experience some challenges when returning to civilian life. Those challenges are associated with the same or similar challenges a regular student faces (i.e., academic or career related issues). However, they may also experiences difficulties with financial concerns, lack of social support, emotional issues, and dealing with a less structured environment.
- Questions or concerns about student behavior? Visit the Behavioral Concerns Assistance Website. The site is an interdisciplinary partnership that includes staff members from the Office of Student Life, Counseling Services, Academic Affairs, Human Resources and UTSAPD, is in place to respectfully, confidentially and professionally respond to such concerns that members of the university community may have.
- Report a Behavioral Concern
- UTSA Student Disability Services Faculty Resource Guide
- UTSA Veteran and Military Affairs
- Classroom Climate
- Brochure on Classroom Incivility and Mental Health
- Research from UTSA Professor Mary McNaughton Cassill on Classroom Incivility vs. Mental Health.
- Colleges Use Technology to Help Students Manage Mental Health
Inclusive Teaching and Implicit Bias
The student population at UTSA is unique among American universities. Almost half of our students are first-generation, meaning they are the first in their immediate families to attend college. A significant percentage are military-affiliated and nontraditional students. These characteristics provide unique opportunities and challenges as we help students in and out of the classroom.
We have compiled some resources for inclusive teaching to help you better understand your students’ needs and to assist you in ensuring inclusive teaching practices with your UTSA students.
- Review the UTSA Teaching and Learning Services Inclusive Teaching Guide
- Who Studies at UTSA? A learning module specifically for UTSA faculty. (online module) or (PDF)
- Diversity at UTSA. A resource for UTSA students, faculty and staff.
- Implicit Bias Module Series from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.
- Get to know our veteran and Military Affiliated Students with our Military Awareness Module
- UTSA Library Guide: Race and Diversity Ebooks and Books. A resource compiled by UTSA library staff.
- Creating Inclusive College Classrooms. A resource for faculty from the University of Michigan.
- Inclusive Teaching Strategies: Reflecting on Your Practice. A tool for faculty from the University of Michigan.
- Teaching for Inclusion: Diversity in the College Classroom. A resource for faculty from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Watch for more resources this year from our new faculty learning community on inclusive teaching.
Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Resources
A recent UT System study highlights the importance of maintaining a heightened awareness of sexual harassment and misconduct. It’s important that faculty understand their role in preventing and reporting sexual harassment and misconduct at UTSA.
- Sexual Harassment and Misconduct: What’s Your Role (online module) or (PDF)
- UTSA Campus Save Training
- UTSA HOP Policy 9.24 Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
- UTSA Resources for Victims of Sexual Violence
- UTSA Title IX Frequently Asked Questions
- Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus from the AAUW Educational Foundation
- Sexual Harassment: It’s Not Academic (U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights)
- UT System Report on Employee-Student Relationships
- AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct
P.S. – It’s also important to take care of yourself. See more on our Mental Health and Well Being page.