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Signature Experiences (INTERESTS)

Effective fall 2022, all incoming students are required to complete a Signature Experience as a condition of graduation from each of Klesse College's undergraduate programs.

Through Signature Experiences, Roadrunners are presented real-world opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge attained in the classroom. This experience offers personal and professional growth and can be a differentiator in when searching for jobs or applying to graduate or doctoral academic programs.

Signature experiences are an integral part of UTSA's Classroom to Career initiative. Students are asked to completed one of the following INTERESTS: An INTErnship, a REsearch project, a STudy abroad expereince, or a Service learning opportunity.

Students may opt to meet their signature experience requirement in one of two ways:

  1. completing a Klesse College course associated with an INTERESTS category, with a grade of C- or better
  2. successfully participating in an approved co-curricular experience

Internships:

  • Are short-term, supervised periods of activity carried out in an organization closely related to a student's field of study.
  • Are paid or voluntary, full-time or part-time, credit or non-credit.
  • Can occur during Fall, Spring, or Summer Semesters

The Klesse College Student Success Center (SSC) serves as the central point of contact for industry professionals to connect with students regarding internship opportunities.

The Internship Advisory Council guides the development of internship standards and guidelines for Klesse College.

Approved courses include:

  • ARC 4333: Practicum/Internship
  • BME 3033: Biomedical Engineering Internship
  • CME 4803: Chemical Engineering Internship
  • CSM 4933: Summer Internship
  • EGR 3303: Engineering Co-op
  • IDE 4333: Practicum/Internship

The research option of INTERESTS involves participation in activities that promote academic inquiry and scientific discovery in a field closely related to a student's major of study.

Research studies can be conducted in the student's home department or school, UTSA laboratories and studios, national laboratories, academic institutions, non-profits, applied research and development organizations, and research centers.

Research opportunities are offered by UTSA research-track professors, schools, departments, Klesse College Institutes and Centers, and the Klesse College Student Success Center. The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) supports undergraduate students' participation in research activities.

Approved courses include:

  • BME 3043: Biomedical Engineering Research
  • CME 4703: Chemical Engineering Research
  • EGR 4993: Honors Research
  • EGR XXXX: Independent Research Study

Study abroad involved international experiences that expand students' worldview and provide them access to peculiar sites to obtain valuable knowledge that is relevant to their major.

Klesse College offers a study abroad program in Urbino, Italy for students pursuing degrees in architecture, civil engineering, construction science and management, and interior design. It also offers some faculty-led summer programs.

Students are also able to participate in opportunities offered by UTSA's Study Abroad office, including exchange programs through affiliated institutions around the world.

Approved courses include:

  • ARC 4816/IDE 4816: International Studies Studio
  • CE 4813 002: Stdyabrd: Civil Eng Design
  • CSM 4713: Urbino Construction Science Capstone

Service learning is an experiential learning opportunity that allows students to offer solutions to problems of public concern by applying knowledge gained in the classroom.

Klesse College's Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) offers opportunities to complete service learning projects.The Centers of Architectural Engagement and Civic Engagement support several service-learning initiatives. Projects are also sponsored by service-oriented student organizations focused on supporting less-fortunate communities throughout the world.

Approved courses include:

  • EGR 1351 (1 Credit Hour) + 1352 (2 Credit Hours): First Year Participation in Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)
  • EGR 2351 (1 Credit Hour) + 2352 (2 Credit Hours): Sophomore Participation in Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)
  • EGR 3351 (1 Credit Hour) + 3352 (2 Credit Hours): Junior Participation in Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)
  • EGR 4351 (1 Credit Hour) + 4352 (2 Credit Hours): Senior Participation in Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

Students may opt to enroll in an INTERESTS zero credit hour course graded on a pass-fail basis. Passins is contingent upon uploading documentation relevant to the the Signature Experience using specified links and completing surveys throughout the semester to report activities conducted during the experience.

Zero-credit hour courses include:

  • EID 3100: INTERESTS - Internship
  • EID 3200: INTERESTS - Research
  • EID 3300: INTERESTS - Study Abroad
  • EID 3400: INTERESTS - Service

Students interested in fulfilling the signature experience requirement through an alternative experience must obtain prior approval from the School Director or Department Chair of their program of study and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs before committing to the experience.

The experience approval application form is available on the Klesse College website. The petitioner(s) must provide supplementary documentation demonstrating that the experience meets one of the INTERESTS category descriptions and requires a time commitment of at least 100 hours.

All students must complete a Signature Experience Requirement Form during the registration period corresponding to the semester in which the experience will be completed.

Approved students will automatically be enrolled in an INTERESTS zero-credit hour course graded on a pass/fail basis. Passing is contingent upon uploading the documentation relevant to the experience at a specified link and completing surveys throughout the semester to report activities conducted during the experience.

Q: Do students have to pay tuition for the zero-credit hour course?

A: No, there is no fee associated with a zero-credit hour course

 

Q: When should students satisfy the signature experience requirement during their program of study?

A: Students can satisfy the signature experience requirement at any point from their first to last semester of enrollment in the program.

 

Q: Do students have to register for a co-op course to satisfy the signature experience through an internship?

A: No, they can satisfy the experience by submitting the Signature Experience Form and obtaining approval.

 

Q: How can we ensure that internships are closely related to a student’s field of study?

A: We will request students to provide offer letters and supervisor’s contact information. This information will be reviewed by the department chair and the AD of Undergraduate Programs.

 

Q: Where will students upload documentation related to the Signature Experience?

A: The Student Success Center is exploring several options, including RowdyLink, People Grove, and Handshake.

 

Q: Will the signature experience requirement impact graduation rates?

A:No, students who opt to satisfy the experience requirement through a designated INTERESTS course are highly encouraged to choose a course that allows them to simultaneously fulfill a core-curriculum requirement, a technical elective requirement within their program of study, or a certificate program requirement.

 

Q: Will the College Requirement override a school or department requirement?

A: No. Students can satisfy the College signature experience requirement by fulfilling the school or department requirement. Architecture and Interior Design students have an international studies requirement in their respective curricula that is fulfilled via programming in Urbino, Italy. Students in the Construction Science and Management program must complete a required internship before graduation.

 

Q: Will the Signature Experience requirement have any implications with ABET accreditation?

A: No. ABET accredits programs, not institutions or colleges. The college requirement should not have any implications with ABET.

 

Q: When will the signature experience requirement become effective?

A: The college requirement will be included in the 2022 catalog and be enforced starting in Fall 2022.

 

Q: Will Academic Advising remind students about the Signature Experience Requirement?

A:Yes, the requirement will be included in DegreeWorks and tracked by Advising.

 

Q: Will transfer students be required to satisfy the Signature Experience Requirement?

A:Yes, any students under the 2022 Catalog should satisfy the Signature Experience Requirement.

 

Q: Will waivers be granted?

A: Waivers will be granted only under exceptional circumstances and only considered a year before graduation. Students must submit a written request explaining the exceptional circumstance and include supporting documentation that demonstrates that the student is unable to complete the signature experience requirement before graduation.

 

Q: Will waivers granted to School’s or department’s signature experiences exempt students from the College signature experience?

A: Waivers to departments or school experiences will not exempt students from CEID’s signature experience requirement.

Pre-Approved Activities

Signature Experience Co-Curricular Activities: The list below contains pre-approved co-curricular activities for fulfilling the signature experience requirement. Students interested in meeting the signature experience requirement through one of these activities must include the activity ID on the experience approval application form and provide the supporting documentation indicated below to demonstrate the experience requires a time commitment of at least 100 hours. This list will be updated on a semester basis at the college website before each registration period.

ID TITLE  REQUIREMENTS INTERESTS CATEGORY SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION EXAMPLE
I.1 Company Internship •  Part-time or full-time employment in a company conducting tasks that are closely related to a student's program of study. Internship •  Signed job description on company letterhead from employer Internship at Valero 
I.2 Summer Internship Program a at a National Laboratory, or government labs • Must be a major-related program Internship •  Internship offer letter with program description NASA Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) 
R.1 Undergraduate Research Program organized by a Center, Insititute, or Consortium at UTSA • Must be a major-related program Research •  Admission letter with program description CONNECT Undergraduate Research Experience  
R.2 Summer Undergraduate Research Program at an Academic Institution • Must be a major-related program Research •  Admission letter with program description Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program at Purdue University 
R.3 Undergraduate Research Assistant • Must conduct major-related research Research •  A letter from the UTSA faculty advisor describing research duties Undergraduate Researcher working at a faculty lab
R.4 KCEID Undergraduate Research Experience • Must conduct major-related research Research •  Admission email from the Student Success Center
R.5  Office of Undergraduate Research Fellowship • Must conduct major-related research Research •  Admission email from the OUR Program Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship, 
ST.1 UTSA Education Abroad Approved Program • Must be a major-related program Study Abroad Program • Project Description and Travel Itinerary Summer Engineering and Computer Science Program at Maynooth University in Dublin, 
S.1  Engineering Without Border Community Development program • Must actively participate in an EWIB Project with the UTSA student chapter                                                                                                         • Must travel to a national/international community to execute the project Service •Project Description and Travel Itinerary                                    • Letter from Faculty Advisor on how the experience addresses the signature experience requirement. Participation in EWB UTSA Project in Guatemala, 
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