A Special School

An Art Class in Session

Here is an art class from 1918. How many forms of art can you spot?

Special Schools were almost always present in the academic lives of students, offering educational opportunities to non-degree seeking students. The first distinct schools which offered diplomas upon completion of the full course of study were the Schools of Music, Elocution, Art, and Voice Culture. This roster was constantly expanded, and by 1912, the school's offerings included diplomas in Physical Training, Sunday School and Bible, Domestic Science, and courses in Business.

Class in Physical Culture

Here is a 1918 Physical Culture class. How does the uniform compare to those of today?

In 1932, these individual diploma-granting departments merged with the broader college, a change that effectively dissolved the Special Schools as distinct institutions within the SAFC. The college continued to offer opportunities for independent studies however, including through the creation of a “Special Student” designation. A Special Student at the college would be roughly equivalent to part-time students today, as this designation was reserved for those taking less than 12 credit hours in a semester. Students would be designated as either Academic Specials or Art Specials. In 1937, the inaugural year of the University of San Antonio, there were 13 Academic Specials (12 women, 1 man) and 5 Art Specials (all women).

Enrollment Card

Here is an enrollment card from 1926. Feel free to download and fill it out for yourself! What special courses are you interested in?