Staff Spotlight: Jacqueline Santiago
By Mark Kramer
Jacqueline Santiago is quick to admit that she is a proud alumna of the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD).
When the opportunity presented itself to join the staff of the University's new nursing program as its program coordinator, she jumped at the opportunity.
Santiago’s academic honors include earning a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UHD and receiving her associate’s degree from Central Texas College in Killeen.
Since the program began two years ago, Santiago has provided support to the program and its students in a variety of ways. The Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is offered through UHD’s College
of Sciences & Technology.
UHD News visited with Santiago to learn more about her role and what it feels like to be a part of a team starting a new degree program.
UHD News: What exactly does your position as Program Coordinator involve?
Santiago: I provide guidance for any issues our nursing students might come have while purusing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UHD. Academic advisement and counsel is another way I am able to assist our students.
UHD News: We hear your job literally keeps you “on the go.” How so?
Santiago: All UHD nursing classes are taught at Houston Community College's Coleman College for Health Sciences campus in the Texas Medical Center. The RN to BSN program has offices at both UHD and the HCC Coleman campus. I also visit local community colleges to encourage further educational goals to prospective Gators. As program coordinator, I foster the relationship between UHD and HCC, along with the community.
UHD News: What is it like being a part of a new program?
Santiago: Assisting in the establishment of the RN to BSN program is exciting. There's no typical workday. We are always setting goals and long-term planning to provide the best learning experiences for our students.
UHD News: What is your philosophy when it comes to helping students?
As diverse as Houston is, so are our nursing students and the community. Each person that I connect with has individual needs that require specific attention.
UHD News: What do you like best about your job?
Being able to observe the grit UHD’s nursing students have when balancing life, academics and career. Most importantly, the ability to see our students succeed academically and in their careers.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.