About Us

We help working adults return to school, finish their degree or certificate, and unlock opportunity for the future of our region.


Our Goal

Our goal is to increase the number of adults in San Antonio with a college degree or certificate to ensure they have adequate education for the changing job market

Our Mission

Our mission is to create opportunities, and access to adults in the San Antonio region in order for them to succeed in earning a college degree or high-quality certificate.

Our Values

The Upgrade team operates under our core values of; Communication, Integrity, Excellence, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork

Our story

An issue of economic and educational inequality was highlighted in a 2015 report, which identified 285,000 adults in Bexar County with some college credit, but no degree. With the help of The Graduate! Network (TG), a national network connecting adults to degrees and certificates, was recognized as an evidence-based practice for supporting adult learners. With twenty-one other sites around the country


TG provided funding for a consultant to begin creating the foundation and partnerships for Upgrade. Partnerships were created with higher education partners as well as with local elected officials, businesses, and community-based organizations. Later, it was determined that Upgrade would be the first and only Graduate! Network affiliate in Texas as the fourth program of the San Antonio Education Partnership. Upgrade was officially launched in April of 2017 and is housed in cafécollege.

Why It Matters

By 2020 65% of all jobs will require a college education. However, nearly 300,000 adults in the San Antonio area have begun college and obtained some credit, but do not have a degree or certificate to show for it. This represents both an economic development challenge and an opportunity for our community.

How We Do It

We coach working adults as they evaluate options and identify educational opportunities, match their goals with a post-secondary learning program and return to school. Upgrade’s services are free and our advisor not only helps you get back into school, but we will also be available to support you throughout your education.

Our Staff

Every one of our advisors are devoted to delivering the best guidance and assistance to students

Micaela Rios, MS

Program Director

Elizabeth Velarde, MPH

City of San Antonio Liaison – Upgrade

Ilse Reyes

College Access and Success Advisor – Upgrade

Get In Touch

  • (210) 207-4563
  • upgrade@saedpartnership.org
  • 131 El Paso Street, San Antonio, TX
  • Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Get Social

I want to Complete my degree