The Academy for Teacher Excellence

Capturing the Intellectual and Creative Potential of Diverse Students

Dr. Belinda Bustos Flores founded the Academy for Teacher Excellence (ATE) in 2003 with the Department of Education Title V Cooperative Development grant from the Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program. ATE works as a catalyst for the emergence of COEHD as a nationally recognized leader in preparing teachers to teach diverse student populations and increasing the number of culturally and linguistically diverse students who enroll and graduate with bachelors’ and advanced degrees in education.

About ATE

ATE is a research center located at The University of Texas at San Antonio, the premier higher education institution in South Texas, and is housed in the College of Education and Human Development (COEHD). ATE has been fully funded by grants received from federal, state, and private funding agencies throughout its history.

ATE is grounded in the “Culturally Efficacious Teacher” model and serves as a center for research, design, evaluation, program implementation, and collaboration for area school districts, community colleges, the private sector, and UTSA. ATE leverages institutional and community resources to better prepare teacher candidates and in-service teachers who work with diverse student populations. ATE guides the preparation and retention of teachers who will demonstrate the attitudes, knowledge, and skills of a Culturally Efficacious Teacher (Flores, Clark, Claeys, & Villarreal, 2007).

For more information about ATE, please contact us at 

Our Mission

Recognizing that UTSA is the premier institution for higher education in South Texas, ATE’s mission is to collaborate with community colleges, community agencies, and school districts by:

  • Supporting Latino/Hispanic and other ethnically diverse students as they overcome financial, psycho-social, and institutional barriers. These obstacles have traditionally hindered their full participation in higher education.
  • Increasing the sensitivity and preparation of faculty to address students needs through culturally relevant curricula and instruction.
  • Increasing the number of UTSA teacher certification programs that become nationally recognized for success in addressing culturally and linguistically diverse student populations.
  • Conducting quantitative and qualitative research that informs administrators, teachers, university faculty, and community members of research-based instructional practices.
  • Creating accountable partnerships among schools, the community, and the university that prepare all students for the 21st Century.



Dr. Belinda Bustos Flores

Founder and Director

Dr. Flores has been a Professor and Principal Investigator in the Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Department (ILT) and is now the Associate Dean of Professional Preparation and Partnerships. Dr. Flores guides ATE’s research and secures external funding for the expansion and sustainability of ATE.

Dr. Lorena Claeys


Dr. Lorena Claeys is the Director of Clinical Professional Experiences and has been with ATE since its founding. She has served as a Program Coordinator, Principal Investigator, Co-Principal investigator, and Executive Director. Dr. Claeys engages in research and the development of proposals to support ATE’s mission.

Student Support

Student Support Services  
Informal Learning Clubs  
Teacher Academy Learning Community (TALC)  

Teacher Support

Teacher Support  
Culturally Efficacious Evolution Model  

Faculty Development

Faculty Development  


Community and District Partnerships  
The Alamo Stem Workforce Coalition  





ATE in the News


Contact Us

Main Building, Room 0.500
(210) 458-6170
(210) 458-6171
Frio Street Building, Room 4.428
(210) 458-3050

College of Education and Human Development
Main Building | One UTSA Circle | San Antonio, TX 78249
Phone: 210-458-4370 |