This is the first time the San Antonio metro area has made the list of 75 best places for college students, and in its debut, ranked number 15 of 227 Metro Statistical Areas studied for the index.
The College Destination Index is compiled by the American Institute for Economic Research. It is based not just on the quality of the universities, but also on quality of life factors such as cost of rent, diversity of student population, cultural and entertainment values, income per capita, and unemployment rates.
Mayor Julian Castro continues his push for his Pre-K 4 SA initiative at every opportunity. Monday, he spoke to the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce about educational challenges the city faces.
He told business leaders that San Antonio is a rapidly growing city with educational challenges that will only grow more with the population increase.
Over bacon and scrambled eggs, he said Texas and San Antonio repeatedly ranks in the bottom-tier of educational achievement. "The challenge for San Antonio is that we can't abide by that anymore in the 21st Century," he said.
The Department of Education grant is part of $223 million presented to historically black colleges and universities. Grant monies are awarded based on each school’s enrollment and the 11,000 students at St. Philip’s College make it the second largest recipient.
St. Philip’s President Adena Willams Loston said the college will receive this grant for several years.
“They come to us in a five year cycle," said Williams. "We’re starting a new cycle this year from 2012 to 2017 and we do expect that our allocation in the next four years will be roughly about $5 to $6 million."
After spending nearly two years on planning, design and gathering community input, the money from the SAISD’s 2010 Bond is starting to dig deep.
Some of the 22 SAISD facilities receiving drastic renovations are 100 years old. SAISD Interim Superintendent Sylvester Perez said updates will allow students to have the same opportunities as other school districts.
“Not just modernizing them," said Perez, " but meeting the educational needs of the 21st century."
Since his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro has become a national political figure. This morning, Castro was on NBC's "Today Show" talking about education.
Encouraging residents to become fit and healthy has been a major goal for the city, and San Antonio Independent School District is now joining in. The district is certifying each of its P.E. teachers in Zumba to promote a healthy lifestyle for students and to offer free classes to the community.
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro has gone national with his Pre-K 4 SA initiative, proclaiming at the Democratic National Convention that it’s one way he is invested in education for the youngest of his constituents. Castro is counting on the measure to pass in the general election to give thousands of four-year-olds a quality, full-day early education.
Rutgers University’s Dr. Steven Barnett, who is the director for the National Institute for Early Education Research, thinks the program will make a difference, despite what critics say.