On World Teachers’ Day, A&M-San Antonio celebrates the impact of its College of Education and the ASPIRE network

By University Communications

Friday, 10 01 2021

TeachersCan Light the Way Forward

SAN ANTONIO – This year’s global World Teachers’ Day (Oct. 5, 2021) has special significance for Texas A&M University-San Antonio. The University’s week-long series of activities is focused on the impact of its College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) in several first-of-their-kind collaborations while also creating pathways for educational attainment throughout the region. A&M-San Antonio is also joining with the 11 campuses of the Texas A&M University System to commemorate World Teachers’ Day with the theme: #TeachersCan Light the Way Forward.

Since the founding of A&M-San Antonio in 2009, COEHD has been at the forefront of digital inclusion, creating a talent pipeline for teachers and K-12 administrative leadership, and creating programs and services to address digital literacy, access to education, and support and services to children and their families and to individuals with intellectual disabilities. In addition to the lighting of the iconic dome of A&M-San Antonio’s Central Academic Building, this year’s activities includes 1,000-book book drive (see details below).

Unique collaborations between public university and independent school districts. A&M-San Antonio’s COEHD is unique due to its emphasis on building partnerships within the local community, according to Dr. Carl Sheperis, COEHD Dean. Evidence of A&M-San Antonio’s unique role is the University’s partnership in managing three in-district lab schools. In 2019, the University was the catalyst for the creation of the ASPIRE program (A&M-San Antonio and South Bexar County ISDs Partnership to Impact Regional Equity and Excellence). This partnership—launched Nov. 22, 2019, between A&M-San Antonio and seven South Bexar County ISDs—is one of the first such collaborations in Texas between a public university and independent school districts to identify opportunities to tackle some of the most pressing issues of the day and to lead the way in SB1882 in-district lab schools. (SB1882 legislation incentivizes ISD partnerships with institutions of higher education and other entities to improve student outcomes.)

Under the agreement, Texas A&M University-San Antonio became an operating partner of three Edgewood ISD institutions: the Gus Garcia Middle School, the Winston Intermediate School of Excellence, and the Burleson Center for Innovation and Education, which established a STEAM zone. The University’s collaboration with Edgewood ISD provides these three schools with administrative leadership and teachers and the surrounding community with the support needed to improve outcomes for current and future students. To facilitate these efforts, A&M-San Antonio established the Texas A&M University-San Antonio Institute for School and Community Partnerships, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization led by Dean Sheperis. “Our expertise is in delivering a wrap-around approach toward improving outcomes for students and the value add of a network of expertise and service,” Sheperis said.

National model for increasing educational access and attainment. This collaboration with Edgewood ISD is the first of its kind under SB 1882 and an initial step in the promise of the ASPIRE program to fundamentally improve educational access and attainment in South Bexar County. “These partnerships provide opportunities for our students to gain hands-on experience with potential future employers as they complete internships, practical experiences, student teaching, and a variety of field experiences. We’re blending theory with practice so that our graduates are ‘Ready from Day One’ to make a difference in our local community,” said Sheperis. “Teachers and educators bring lifelong impact beyond World Teachers’ Day. We celebrate their significant contributions that guide the path forward for students and families. A&M-San Antonio is honored to be part of this extraordinary mission to educate and support the current generation of teachers and administrators.”

A&M-San Antonio World Teachers’ Day Activities—October 5


  • A&M-San Antonio is hosting breakfast for the teachers and staff on the campuses of the Gus Garcia and Winston Intermediate campuses starting at 7:15 a.m. The University will host breakfast at the Burleson Center campus starting at 7:15 a.m. on Friday, October 8.
  • Throughout the day and week, A&M-San Antonio students will create and share on social media a collection of flip-grid videos that speak to how a teachermade a difference in their lives.
  • A hybrid drop-off and pick-up book drive will distribute 1,000 books across the ASPIRE network of school districts.
  • From 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Patriots’ Casa on the campus of A&M-San Antonio, the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services Head Start and the University’s Department of Educator and Leadership Preparation will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Head Start Summer Institute.


About World Teachers’ Day
Held annually on October 5, World Teachers’ Day celebrates all teachers around the globe and commemorates the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. World Teachers’ Day has been celebrated since 1994 and is co-convened in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO), UNICEF, and Education International (EI).

About the ASPIRE Partnership
Launched in 2019, ASPIRE (A&M-SA & South Bexar County ISDs Partnership to Impact Regional Equity and Excellence) is the collaborative effort between A&M-San Antonio and seven south Bexar County ISDs (East Central, Edgewood, Harlandale, Somerset, South San Antonio, Southside, and Southwest) that is helping create equitable opportunities across districts and enhance social mobility, income growth, and career readiness for South Bexar County and the greater San Antonio area.

About A&M-San Antonio’s College of Education and Human Development
Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) is committed to educational opportunities toward the completion of baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in San Antonio and to serving the needs of the region by preparing qualified professionals to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in a global society. The College is comprised of three departments: Counseling, Health, and Kinesiology; Curriculum and Instruction; and Educator and Leadership Preparation. To date, more than 5,257 professionals have graduated from the COEHD and nearly 78 percent reside in Bexar County after they graduate. Last year the teacher certification pass rate for graduates was 96 percent.

About A&M-San Antonio’s Head Start Summer Institute
Established in 2011, the University’s Head Start Summer Institute engages teachers in an intensive five-week graduate studies program enabling them to fully meet Head Start Teaching Standards. Participants earn 18 graduate credits in Child Development, Curriculum and Instruction, Assessment, and Working with Families. More than 50 percent of Institute participants go on to earn their Master’s in Education degree, and many have been named as Teacher of the Year in their home districts. #Ece_TAMUSA

About Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in south San Antonio, A&M-San Antonio is a military-embracing institution offering 33 undergraduate degrees and 16 graduate degrees to nearly 7,000 students. The University is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders and the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center. A&M-San Antonio holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation, with more than 75 percent of students who identify as Hispanic. Military Times ranks the University No. 35 in the nation for Best for Vets: Colleges.” Visit tamusa.edu for more information. #onamission