President welcomes faculty and staff to a new semester

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Usha Venkat, director of information technology, introduced and guided faculty and staff through the Mobile SAC app. Key features of the app include access to Canvas, Aces, Uber, The Ranger and KSYM. The app also includes a campus map, a directory search and access to library catalogs and databases. The app is free and available for download in the App Store and Google Play. Nicole M. Bautista

Director of information and technology unveils new mobile app for college

Austin P. Taylor

During a “Welcome Back” gathering for faculty and staff, Usha Venkat, director of information technology, guided assembled faculty and staff through the new Mobile SAC app.

The app was developed to help students and faculty easily access important college resources.

Venkat said this college is the first of the Alamo Colleges to have a general help app like this. The app is free and can be downloaded from from the IOS App Store and Google Play.

“The first question is ‘why mobile?’” Venkat said. “There are now 6 billion users across the world who have a smart phone.”

Venkat said the app will enhance the college experience for both faculty and students.

“It will provide convenient access to many of our key systems and services,” she said.

The resources found on the app include:

  • ACES and Canvas.
  • An interactive campus map that allows for easy navigation through this college. App users can use navigation on the map to highlight the quickest route to locations on campus.
  • A campus tour video that highlights several departments and programs available at this college (more programs will be included at later dates).
  • On-campus dining locations.
  • An academic department directory.
  • General contact information.
  • A college events calendar.
  • Access to the library catalogue and databases.
  • Emergency numbers
  • This college’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds.
  • This college’s YouTube channel.
  • Facilities work order form.
  • ViaTransit schedules.
  • A live feed to this college’s radio station, KSYM 90.1.
  • The Ranger online.
  • QLess, a service that allows you to set up appointments with the services hosted by the campus. Services include the admissions office, assessment center, math department, SAC tech store, SLAC, the student mega lab, veterans affairs, world language and ESL, the welcome center, International student services, information center and the transfer and career center.
  • This college’s free Reach Out App (separate app required).
  • Uber.
  • The SAC Tech Store App (separate app required).

President Vela welcomes faculty and staff during a “Welcome Back Gathering” Jan. 10 in Loftin. Attendees had breakfast while Vela and other speakers presented key topics for the spring semester. Nicole M. Bautista

Hoping to get this college’s faculty and staff ready to face the upcoming semester, college President Robert Vela and the college executive team hosted an informal gathering Jan. 10 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.

Vela thanked the faculty for the work they do for this college and the student population.

“I just want to say thank you, because each of you in your own way … do that here at SAC,” Vela said. “I wanted to formally say ‘thank you’ for everything that you do.”

Vela said that as long as this college is student-centric, “they will always appreciate and value the experience they had here at SAC.”

The event allowed Vela to discuss this college’s accomplishments from 2017.

This college was able to meet its WIG of 5,531 awarded degrees and certificates. The new WIG, or wildly important goal, for awarded degrees and certificates is 6,253.

Travis Early College High School received a national Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education.

“What an amazing thing,” Vela said. “In downtown San Antonio, in some of the most impoverished ZIP codes, we have excellence within these few blocks here. Educational excellence. It’s amazing.”

This college’s mariachi group, Estrellas del Alamo, won second place in the Vargas International Mariachi Extravaganza.

In mid-April, English Professor Liz Ann Báez Aguilar was appointed as the president of the Texas Community College Teachers Association, the largest organization of postsecondary educators in Texas. Aguilar is the first Hispanic female to serve as the president of TCCTA.

The human services program became the first in Texas to earn NASAC accreditation.

This college was placed on the Aspen Institute’s top 150 community colleges list.

This college’s accreditation status was reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges through June 2026.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” Vela said.



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