From June 11–14, 2012, forty-four teachers from around the state gathered on The University of Texas at San Antonio campus for "Shaping the American Republic to 1877," an institute examining significant events and themes in U.S. history from the colonial era through Reconstruction.

The San Antonio institute faculty included Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood (Brown University), Daniel Feller (University of Tennessee), Charles Flanagan (National Archives), Jennifer L. Weber (University of Kansas), Daina Ramey Berry (UT Austin), Michael Les Benedict (The Ohio State University), Francis X. Galán (Our Lady of the Lake University), and Stacy Fuller (Amon Carter Museum), as well as UTSA scholars Steven R. Boyd, Kirsten Gardner, Kenneth Weiher, and Patrick J. Kelly.

As in past years, institutes emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. The programs were designed ultimately to enhance teachers' mastery of the subjects they teach and to improve students' performance on state assessments.