Thursday, June 22, 2017

ACA Election for 2017-2018 Executive Officers

Below are the pictures and speeches of the ACA members who are running for a 2017-2018 officer position. I've listed the pictures for everyone first. You can click on each candidate's name to jump to their speech or scroll down the page to read all of the excellent speeches presented during the June ACA Meeting. Candidates are listed by position and alphabetical order by last name.


Jay Guevara

Jillian Kozlowski


Cassie Burton

Sara Corson


Josh Barham

Jordyn Harrison

Erica Matos-Lindsey


Micah Jackman

Briana Weiland

Communications Coordinator

Brittney Cox

Chris Montes


Vice Presidents/Program Co-Chairs

Eric Carter

Mary De Sopo

Congratulations to Eric and Mary! 

To vote for the contested positions, please follow this link: 

Voting ends July 3

Speeches for President-Elect

Candidate: Jay Guevara

Hello ACA,

My name is Jay Guevara and I am one of the advisors in the BBA program office for McCombs.  I have been on campus since 2005 as an undergrad and then as a professional since 2010.  I have worked in UGS, Longhorn/Discovery Scholars, and finally McCombs. I have also served as Staff Co-Chair for Hispanic Faculty and Staff association for the past year, and elect before that. I have learned so much during these past 6 years and I have learned even more through ACA.

Starting with day one as an advisor I was “voluntold” to sign up for the Holiday Party committee.   I had a great time and met some awesome people from across campus, and also met my future boss there as well.  This sparked an interest to stay involved with ACA, which lead to being a part of Advising Expo a few times, PDD, bag stuffer for Fundraising, partaker in Happy Hours, and of course more Holiday parties.  I was also fortunate enough to serve as Treasurer of ACA for 2 years.

ACA has been a big part of my professional career on campus, and I continue to see ACA grow and become an even more integral part of this campus. This organization brings important campus updates, networking opportunities, professional development, and most importantly breakfast to the Academic Advisors on campus.

As your nominee for President-Elect I would like to make sure ACA continues doing what it does best, bringing people together. The advising profession is growing quickly, it feels as if there is someone new every month, and we need to make sure that any new staff know that ACA is here for them and is a great support system. The idea of bringing people together ties in with my Strength Quest results of Connectedness and Includer.  I want to make sure ACA is an inviting environment and any staff, seasoned or new, are welcomed and feel that they have a home with us. I would like to try and keep our members active in our committees and events, and try to bring back members that might have missed a few meetings. ACA is an awesome organization and we do such great things, I want to make sure we are including and connecting those that we can best serve.

ACA has provided me with so much and having the opportunity to give back as President-Elect would be humbling.

Thank you for the time and consideration, and thank you to whoever nominated me!

Candidate: Jillian Kozlowski

Good morning ACA. I wanted to start out my speech with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

These words hold a lot of weight for me and steer me in my professional and personal life. I stand before you today to ask for your vote for President-Elect. I will strive to do everything I can, with what I have, where I am in this leadership role. I will work to learn from the current leadership over the next year and cultivate partnerships across campus, while continuing the mission of this phenomenal organization.

An organization is only as strong as the heart and passion of its members. And I know without a doubt that I could call upon each of you to collaborate to best serve our students. I have a passion for serving students and a passion for engaging with the amazing professionals in this room.

As the current co-vice president and program co-chair, it has been my pleasure to stand before you each month with my current co-chair, Daniel Zarazua. We stood here last year and vowed to bring together campus partners to engage and share with our members. We were able to bring in speakers to discuss important topics, including the legislative session update and diversity and inclusion from DDCE. It has been an honor to collaborate with offices and serve you in that role.

Having the privilege to serve on the Executive Board this past year, I have grown under the leadership of Kayla Ford and Ana Dison, the current President and President-Elect, as well as the other extremely dedicated Executive board members. The role of President-Elect and President requires an individual who has the empathy and understanding to know what our students need but also has the ability to collaborate and work together with our campus administrators and campus partners. As an advisor with the Student Success Initiatives Office, I engage on a daily basis with advisors and programs across all colleges and schools. Now is the optimal time for me to serve in a leadership capacity with ACA. I have a supportive work environment that will encourage and support me in my time as President-Elect and President, and I will continue the ongoing conversation that needs to take place between key partners and administrators across campus.

Before joining SSI, I previously spent 2 years as an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts, both in the Dean’s Office and then in a departmental role. I have served on the Professional Development Day committee and the Holiday Party Committee within ACA. I currently serve as an active member of the Military Veteran Advisory Council as an advising liaison and engage with many administrators and key partners across campus. I very much enjoy meeting with stakeholders across campus and providing a voice from advisors. I believe advisors really understand what students need and have a unique perspective on student success and engagement.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” I can promise you that I will go above and beyond to do what I can, that is to represent you all, support the profession of advising, and to engage with campus administrators, with what I have, the knowledge and leadership skills I possess, alongside the amazing knowledge base of the members of ACA, to do what I can, or should I say to do what “we” can, to build on the amazing work ACA has done, to be a voice for advisors on campus, and to continually find the best ways to support our students during their 4 years here on campus and beyond. Thank you!

Speeches for Treasurer-Elect

Candidate: Cassie Burton

Good Morning ACA,

My name is Cassie Burton, and I love doing martial arts, hanging out with dogs even though I do not have one, and singing along to musicals. Since it would be inappropriate for me to run for the position of Wicked Witch of the West after my favorite musical, I have turned my attention to my second-favorite musical and have decided to run for the position of Treasurer-Elect.

I have been an Academic Advisor with TIP Scholars in CNS for the past year, and am about to begin my second year. What some of you may not know about me, is that before I started advising with TIP, I was the TIP Administrative Associate for a year and a half. This is where I learned all of the ins and outs of navigating the “burnt orange tape” of this great institution, discovered a secret love of spreadsheets and budgets, and I believe that this is what will make me an excellent Treasurer for ACA.

One of the most important things for anyone managing budgets at UT is to stay on top of many, many deadlines and if your program has many, many accounts…to stay on top of those as well. With TIP Scholars, I had to stay one step ahead of the various program managers to ensure they stayed within budget for their events, and ensured that we were also spending the appropriate money out of the appropriate account. If there were multiple events going on at one time, which let’s face it, is the case with most of our programs and departments at UT, then I kept lists and files for each event to ensure that we were not mixing up the funds and piles of paperwork attached to each event.

My largest budget project to date was to go through our TIP records and create a financial report that included the fiscal years 2008 through the present. Based off this information, I was tasked with creating budget projections for the upcoming year. I also made reimbursements, paid ACA dues on behalf of our team members, as well as assisted with the travel arrangements and payments to out of town conferences like NACADA. All of these things will be extremely beneficial to the position of Treasurer-Elect and Treasurer.

Before I let you go, I would like you all to know that I am the type of person who keeps lists and spreadsheets to stay on task with rosters and accounts. I am the kind of person that works on a team by listening to each member and providing input when the need arises. I am the type of person who will always be a team player and pitch in the extra help when I see areas that need it. And I am also the kind of person who will use part of their two minutes in front of a crowd to open a speech with Hamilton references.

Thank you for your time and consideration for this awesome position.

Candidate: Sara Corson

Good morning, ACA. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sara Corson and I am a Senior Academic Advisor in the Vick Center. I was nominated for the position of Treasurer-Elect just a few days ago so my speech is very short. I currently serve ACA as the representative for the School of Undergraduate Studies on the ACA Advisory Council and I have enjoyed partnering with my ACA colleagues from across campus this year. As your nominee for Treasurer-Elect, I’d like to let you know that I have an excellent credit rating and pay all my bills on time! I’m good with numbers and spreadsheets and can work a calculator like a pro. I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving ACA in this position. Thanks for your vote!

Speeches for Historian

Candidate: Josh Barham

I believe that being Historian is about making connections- connections between the past and the present and connections between each other. These are the two areas I would focus on if elected. Kudos has been one of my favorite things that ACA has implemented this year, and kudos to Katie for such a wonderful idea. I would love to continue the tradition of recognizing and uplifting our coworkers and ACA members. The spotlights allow us to learn about our members from across campus in a fun and insightful way, and I would love to continue that tradition as well, with a focus on new members to connect them to this amazing community.

While Treasurer, I scanned in all of the ACA historical documents we have had since the founding of the organization, and I would cherish the opportunity to highlight some of these materials to show where we’ve been and connect them to where we are going. The by-laws mention that the Historian is also responsible for ACA’s inventory of materials and equipment. My goal for this area would be to create a visual inventory of all the items we have. This would make it easier for committees such as Advising Expo or PDD to see what we already have available for events and make requests to use them.

Finally, my recent travel has reawakened my love of writing and photography (I don’t have a portfolio, but you can hit me up on Instagram). Bringing your perspectives to blog posts would be an important goal, as would be providing relevant and interesting links to current news and studies that pertain to our work. Posting pictures to the blog throughout the year and/or creating a yearbook-style post at the end of the year would be a great way to showcase our fantastic advisors and events. I love taking fun and interesting shots of people and events and I’ve been practicing my hashtag game as well. For example, #BeautifulCrowd #SpeechesMakeMeNervous #ACAElections #Cheers

Thank you for your consideration.

Candidate: Jordyn Harrison

Hi! I’m Jordyn Harrison and I’ve been working at UT for 4 years. I’ve been an academic advisor in the Vick Center in the School of Undergraduate Studies for almost 2 years. I care about connecting colleagues and helping people stay updated on what’s happening at the University and in other departments. I have always enjoyed writing and think this position would be a great opportunity to practice writing and help ACA members stay connected through the blog. I also love encouraging people through Kudos and member spotlights, and want to keep those going as Historian. Most recently I’ve volunteered on the Professional Development Day committee and on the Advising Expo Committee. I’m thankful to be nominated for this position and would love to serve ACA as the Historian.

Candidate: Erica Matos-Lindsey

Good morning, ACA. My name is Erica Matos-Lindsey, and I advise undergraduate bilingual education students in the College of Education. Thank you to the executive board for letting me make my stump speech before I bolt off to second breakfast—I mean, my second morning meeting. I’d also like to thank whoever nominated me for this position because the role of historian aligns well with my passions: building community, narratives, and how the two work together.

See, I love stories. The story-telling process is recursive; stories have intrinsic value of their own but influence others’ narratives, and the very act of telling a story creates a larger picture of our community. The ability to define our personal narratives is a powerful force in shaping our realities

I would love the opportunity to contribute to that as ACA’s historian, documenting our individual stories to paint a broader picture of our organizational and advising culture. We’re already doing a fantastic job of fostering a culture of positivity with our monthly kudos, member spotlights, and the Argosy blog.

My vision for how we can use these tools to further develop our organizational narrative is twofold. First, I’d like to move toward using member spotlights primarily as a welcome for new members and/or those new to the Longhorn family—as a relatively new member, I remember feeling nervous about coming to a meeting because I wouldn’t know anyone; this would be a great way to break the ice for newcomers.

Second, I’d like to infuse our blog with our members’ voices through rotating guest submissions. All this would help round out the general documentation of defining moments in our organization and on campus—such as the Advising Expo and Professional Development Day, the departure of beloved colleagues, challenging campus events—through writing and photos; as a former journalist, I hope to lend a narrative bent to these blog particular blog posts.

While I certainly feel like I can bring a lot the position of historian, I have to admit that I’m also selfishly motivated in that I am eager to get to know you, my community, better. I hope I’ll have the privilege of hearing your stories, sharing mine with you, and creating new ones together for ACA.

Speeches for Secretary

Candidate: Micah Jackman

My name is Micah and I am an academic advisor in the Biology Department. I have been at UT now for a little over two years. This past year I was on the Awards and Recognition Committee. As far as the job duties go for this position I answer e-mails quick, take quality notes, and have only missed one or two ACA meetings during my time here at UT.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Candidate: Briana Weiland

Advising Community in December of 2015 after having advised for several years at the University of Southern California. While at the University of Southern California, I served on the Executive Committee of their Council of Academic Advisors for two years. The first of which I revamped their Leave of Absence process to an electronic process and the second year, I served as Chair of the Executive Committee which was similar to a combination of our President and Vice President role in ACA. I knew when I arrived at UT, that I wanted to become well-involved with ACA, so this year I chaired the ACA/APSA Holiday Party Planning Committee. I truly appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues in different colleges and schools across campus and was further inspired to run for Secretary in the Executive Committee of ACA. As one of my tasks in the Secretary role, I can vow to provide clear, organized, and timely communication of ACA Meeting Minutes. Additionally, I would be responsible for next year’s election process which is a process that I ran at my previous institution and am confident in running with ACA. I look forward to offering my experience and enthusiasm to the role of Secretary in the 2017-2018 year. Thank you for the opportunity.

Speeches for Communications Coordinator

Candidate: Brittney Cox

I’m so excited to be nominated for the Communications Coordinator position with ACA! I’m an academic advisor from Engineering Student Services within the Cockrell School of Engineering. In addition to academic advising in ESS, I am in charge of managing communication, web updates, design and social media for our department. In the last year I had the opportunity to work with the Professional Development Day Committee in a communications role, where I did web updates, design work (the Unity logo that we used in the program, as well as the event program itself), photography, and other various tasks for the committee.

I’m looking forward to continue maintaining the ACA listserv, updating our website further to make it a comprehensive information hub for the future benchmarking needs of our members, and additionally working with the Historian to gather resources and narratives directly from ACA members themselves. My immediate goal is to integrate the Argosy blog within our existing website, and I believe my prior experiences working with WordPress (the program our website currently uses) will help me make this goal a reality. I’m tremendously excited for the opportunity to serve on the ACA Executive Committee and get to assist the success of our organization in the next year!

Candidate: Chris Montes

Hello, everyone! If you don’t already know me, my name is Chris Montes. I am currently an academic advisor for the College of Fine Arts, and I work specifically with the brand new Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies. Over the past two years working in Fine Arts, I have had the absolute pleasure of getting to know some of you and the ACA organization as a whole. I am very excited for the possibility of having a place on ACA’s Executive Committee as the next Communications Coordinator.

ACA communication platforms are not just emails and list serves - even though it may seem like it - but its through things like websites, print publications, online file organization, and press relations. As Communications Coordinator, these things should not only be coordinated through me, but through all of us working together as a community. Basically, the more efficiently and comfortably we share our ideas, the stronger our organization can be now and in the future.

My goal as Communications Coordinator is not just maintaining our communication practices but developing them to match our changing university. This includes things like revamping what our list serve can be and how we choose to gather information and share it with others. Building direct methods of communication between ACA members and ACA leaders, so everyone can feel like they can easily share ideas or concerns with those who can implement change. Every single member of ACA should feel like they have a voice.

Other efforts include continual updates to the website with new features that could make staff resources easier to access. Coordination and distribution of ACA fundraisers - getting the most of our fundraising efforts in and even outside of campus. And, most importantly, developing a shared voice that we could use to not just help our students but ourselves, us advisors, as well. We 100% deserve it.

I’m looking forward to the future of ACA and the continual progress we’ll make as a cohesive team of coworkers. I know we’ll do what we can to help make this organization even better than it already is, and I think a step in the right direction is making sure our amazing ideas are shared with each other in an efficient and beneficial way. Thank you!

To vote for the contested positions, please follow this link: 

Reminder: Voting ends July 3

Uncontested: Vice President/Program Co-Chairs

Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo

Hello! We are Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo and we work as advisors for the McCombs BBA Program and Engineering Student Services, respectively. We are excited and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the ACA Co-Vice Presidents. The past couple of years we have been working together on the Professional Development Day committee as co-chairs and members to put on great conferences to serve this community. When we learned of being nominated for this position, we couldn’t help but get excited for the chance to build this community even more, both within our organization and with how our organization exists on campus.

Some internal areas we would like to focus on are networking, committees, and professional development. In terms of networking, we feel as though ACA is a people-focused organization, and hope all members feel comfortable reaching out and connecting with one another as resources when necessary. We would like to use our meetings as a time to nurture relationships with one another, while also continuously integrating new members into the organization, to foster that community.

Our feeling is that some of the greatest parts of this organization are the committees. These provide additional opportunities for building that network between advisors, and are especially accessible ways for new members to get involved. With that said, we feel that there are ways to better coordinate the efforts through efficient communication to make sure that every committee is on the same page.

With professional development, we’d like expand the platform for guest speakers to bring new and fresh content to meetings that directly relates to our roles. We really enjoyed the Legislative session a few months back and so our goal moving forward is to continue seeking out campus partners to come and support us in a variety of ways.

Lastly, we want to grow ACA’s reputation on campus and develop the network that we have with other organizations, centers, and programs on campus. We feel that we can maintain the current relationships ACA has while exploring new opportunities to bring fresh perspectives and information to the membership.

To sum up, we ‘re both really excited about the opportunity to work with you all and keep ACA moving forward as a strong, relevant, fun community to be part of. We’d love to talk more if anyone has questions or any ideas, so feel free to come chat! We really appreciate your support - thank you so much!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

ACA General Meeting May 2017

Special Thanks to McCombs School of Business - Master of Science Programs for sponsoring the May 2017 ACA Meeting.

Jillian and Daniel started the May meeting on a somber note as we remember Harrison Brown, UT freshman, and the other victims of the May 1 campus tragedy.

McCombs School of Business – MS Programs
Pictured: Professor Mike Hasler, MSBA Program Director
Mike Hasler, Program Director, Business Analytics;  Joe Hahn, Program Director, Finance; and Jade DeKinder, Program Director, Marketing

The Master of Science in Business Analytics, Finance, and Marketing are specialized technical
degrees. Each program takes 10 months to complete with 36 hours of targeted curriculum. These programs are designed to include continuing students as 5th year programs. Each requires no professional experience in the field and provides students access to one-on-one career coaching, world class faculty, and robust networking opportunities as industry experts are brought into the classroom to consult with program students. Each program requires students to complete practicum projects that often become jobs with the completion of the program.

MS in Business Analytics provides students with insight into big data related to the field of business. Through the rigorous curriculum, students develop the analytical skills necessary to land a career in big data. The average GPA for admission is a 3.61 and the program typically admits 50+ students a year.

MS in Finance connects students with the skills necessary to develop financial models for a career in finance. The program is modeled off of the MBA in Finance program. The average GPA for admission to the program is a 3.52 and the program can admit 60 students into a cohort.

MS in Marketing requires an aptitude for both qualitiative and quantitative data analysis and upon admission students develop design thinking for innovation (qualitative) in addition to heavy analytics through the rigorous curriculum. The average GPA for admission to the program is a 3.4 and the program can admit  25+ student into a cohort.

Admissions requirements:
  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • GRE or GMAT score (unless classified as a continuing student)
  • Personal essays 
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS score (if international) 
  • In-state: $38-43,000
  • Out of state: $46-48,000
Some merit-based aid available to admitted students. All students are encouraged to seek out other aid.

If you have a current UT student interested in pursuing the program as a 5th year option, please note that students can apply as early as their sophomore or junior year. This admission process will allow students to bypass the GRE/GMAT requirement. These students will have additional internship and networking opportunities.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Counselor
Dr. Mary Bade, EAP Counseling Specialist

EAP is an employee resource (faculty, staff, grad students on employee health care, retiree, any dependents) to help employees with personal issues related to work/life balance. EAP representatives help UT employees with other skills such as goal setting, building resilience, and stress reduction. EAP is located in the North Office Building A (NOA), room 4.200, and also offers a free 24-hour crisis line for faculty and staff in need of intervention. EAP counselors are confidential resources.

Dr. Bade addressed the ACA membership regarding the tragic stabbing that occurred on campus Monday, May 1 and resulted in one student fatality and 3 students injured. She acknowledged that faculty and staff sometimes get forgotten in the response process, and invited the ACA membership to connect with an EAP counselor if they were experiencing a heightened response to the incident.

Dr. Bade explained that there are common reactions to violence and tragedy, but no one right way to feel. It’s okay to:
  • Not have many feelings or even a reaction
  • Have strong reactions even you did not work directly with those affected
  • Feel that your sense of safety was violated
  • For your reaction to come later and in waves
  • To experience feelings of shock, guilt (even if it’s irrational), anger, anxiety, fear, sense of rejection, depression, mood swings
She recommended that we try to be understanding of ourselves in terms of our reactions and of others' reactions without judgment. Sudden traumatic situations can trigger memories of other experiences and it is possible your reaction is related just as much to those previous experiences as this one.


ACA Executive Board Elections, Anne Pugh
ACA Executive Board elections are happening! Please consider nominating someone or yourself. Check out the several emails from Anne Pugh for more details. Nominations will be accepted until 5 pm on Friday, June 16th. After this date, only floor nominations will be accepted during our June 22nd meeting.

At the June 22nd general meeting, all candidates will deliver brief speeches. The electronic ACA ballot will then be emailed to dues-paid members on Friday, June 23rd. Nominees will also be asked to submit an electronic version of their speech so that it can be made available to any member who is not able to attend the June 22nd ACA meeting.

FUNdraising Committee, Megan McKay
Thank you to everyone who volunteered at the Central Texas Food Bank on Saturday, April 29. ACA volunteers helped the Central Texas Food Bank to provide 5,725 meals to Central Texans in need.

The FUNdraising Happy Hour on May 4 at Growler USA was a success! Thank you to all who joined the committee to enjoy a few adult beverages. The committee raffled off tickets to Alamo Drafthouse and gift certificates to Growler USA to raise $80 to benefit student and staff scholarships!

ROAD Committee Event on May 17: What You Need to Know as a Responsible Employee for Title IX

Awards and Recognition Committee, Kayla Ford
The results of the 2017 NACADA Nominations are in! Congratulations to our nominees on the following honors and thank you again for taking the time to pull together such outstanding nomination packets!
  • Winner; Outstanding Advising Program - Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment (PACE) Program
  • Certificate of Merit; Outstanding New Advisor, Primary Role Advising - Kelly Frazer
  • Certificate of Merit; Outstanding Advisor Administrator - Sarah Kitten

Academic and Policy Update, Texas Legislative Session
Andrew Clark, Academic and Policy Administrator, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Andrew Clark provided an overview of the 85th Texas Legislative Session, January 10 - May 29. The session included 370 higher education bills and 2 budget proposals. Please follow this link to view Andrew's presentation for full details on his update: ACA Briefing 5.10.17

Andrew also answered the following questions from the ACA membership:
Q: Top 10 reform: How quickly would it go into effect?
A: Do not know for sure. Juniors and seniors in high school would be admitted under the previous practice right now.

Q: Can you recommend resources to keep up with the changes?
A: Texas Legislature online (public portal) - has up to the hour information for bills being filed. The Austin American Statesman also has extensive capitol coverage:

Q: What does performance-based mean for funding for UT Austin and the tuition freeze bill?
A: Mostly funding formulas are done by student enrollment. Performance-based funding would include greater emphasis on student time to degree, degrees awarded, and jobs procured.

Texas Success Initiative
Hillary Procknow, Program Coordinator

Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state-legislated program designed to improve student success in college based on student performance on SAT and ACT tests. There are two components of the program:
  • An assessment to diagnose students’ basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing
  • Developmental instruction to strengthen academic skills that need improvement
Students who fall below the benchmark on old SAT (below 1070), Evidenced-based Reading and Writing and Math SAT (EBRW below 480 and math below 530), and ACT (combined 23) tests must complete the TSI assessment to determine college readiness.  If students do not meet the necessary benchmark after taking the TSI assessment, they are required to complete developmental courses in reading, writing, and/or math.

Students needing to complete the TSI assessment will have a Z-bar placed on their account prior to Orientation. TSI has contacted every student with a Z-bar.  Many will have already completed the assessment before attending Orientation. Those students who have not completed the assessment should take the TSI assessment at 10am on Day 2 of Freshman Orientation and then plan to meet with a TSI advisor the afternoon of Day 2 or morning of Day 3. TSI office is now located in JES A332. Students with questions should contact the TSI office at or 512-232-7146.

UT Planner Update
Brenda Schumann, Course Scheduler

UT Planner is live and ready for incoming students to use as they plan for classes this fall. It is an additive platform and will not replace any current systems. The UT Planner allows students to add courses directly from the Course Schedule, add breaks, and then generate up to 4 schedules side-by-side. Follow this link to check it out:

Brenda answered ACA member's questions about the new platform:

Q: Does UT Planner take into account if a course is listed as waitlisted or closed? A: No.

Q: Will students need to add FIG classes individually? A: Yes.

Q: Will the UT Planner clearly state that the system does not register students for classes and that they are not guaranteed a seat in the courses chosen? A: Yes.

Q: Will there be a filter to find web based courses?
A: No. As for right now, the Registrar's Office is keeping the platform “plain vanilla,” but that may be a function they’ll add later as more students use UT Planner.

Q: Is there a way to save multiple schedules? A: Yes.

Q: Does it tie into CIS or Syllabi? A: No


We want to continue to spotlight members from across Colleges, across positions, and across lengths of experience at UT Austin. Please consider nominating someone to spotlight at the June ACA meeting!

Friday, April 28, 2017

ACA General Meeting April 2017

Thanks to New Student Services for sponsoring the April 2017 ACA general meeting!
ACA membership enjoying breakfast tacos and coffee before the meeting.
New Student Services (NSS)
Celena Mondie-Milner, Director; Desiree Alva, Associate Director, Transition Initiatives; Kyle St. Nicholas, Assistant Director; Shannon Price, Coordinator

NSS Staff kicked off the April meeting by providing updates about the 2017 New Student Orientation
process. It promises to be a busy, but fun summer.

Celena Mondie-Milner provided breakdown of the Class of 2021 as of April 5, 2017 (subject to change):
  • 8,302: estimated number of incoming freshman 
  • 2,100: estimated incoming transfer students 
There are a few big changes to the Freshman Orientation Session Logistics and Schedules on Day 1 and Day 2:
Day 1: 
  • The Math Assessment will be held from 3-5 pm.
  • We've re-vamped our evening activities (10:30 pm - midnight). The new carnival of actives will include student organizations including groups affiliated with Sorority and Fraternity Life, food trucks, live music, and fun activities.
  • Students will be required to meet the 12:30 am curfew and return to Jester a little earlier this year. 
Day 2:
  • Will allow students to get involved in an optional community service project from 3-5 pm. Day 1 is busy and can be overwhelming. This opportunity to give to the community on Day 2 provides new students a chance to unwind. 
There are also a few big changes to the Transfer Orientation Logistics and Schedules: 
Day 1:
  • Based on feedback from last year, the Vick Center will host drop-in career counseling from 2-5 pm. 
  • Longhorns to the Core (6-7 pm) is not new, but still every bit as important. Experts from Undergraduate Studies will discuss core curriculum, core completion, and core curriculum flags. Remind your transfer students to attend this session. 
Day 2:
  • Drop-in core curriculum advising will take place all day in the Vick Center from 9 am - 4pm. Please direct students with core issues to meet with an advisor during these drop-in hours. 
  • The time for course registration changed slightly to 1-2 pm in the FAC. 
Reminders for both Freshman and Transfer Orientation Sessions: Students need to attend one UTransform session. All international students must attend IBC (Day 2 from 10-11:30 am).

Since many ACA members will be helping the Class of 2021 with registration NSS also provided some reminders regarding June and July registration. During Freshman and Transfer orientation, students will begin to register on the last day of their respective orientation session and will have until midnight on that day to register. After midnight, incoming students will not have access to the registration system until August to make adjustments. NSS has partnered with Office of the Provost to ensure 47 strategic first year courses will not have waitlists instead seats will be reserved for a select number of classes. Students requiring registration help at the end of course registration during their orientation sessions can be directed to the Registration Help Desk in FAC Lobby and UTC 2.102A for Freshman orientation sessions and just the FAC Lobby for the Transfer orientation sessions.

For those communicating directly with the incoming Class of 2021, NSS provided the following Communication Handout. It is important to include NSS' communication team on any outreach to incoming students so that they can answer any specific questions that they may get from incoming students and their families.

Don't forget to use the following social media platforms and hashtags:
And, download the UTAustin Orientation app:!

Advisory Council, Ana Dison
The Advisory Council completed by-law revisions which will be messaged to the membership in May with a subsequent 30 day review period. Anonymous feedback is appreciated during the review period. The changes were small and structural. Please take the time to look through the changes (which will be highlighted). The vote on the by-law revisions will be included with the 2017-2018 Executive Officer voting in June. Questions? Please let Ana Dison know.

A few council members are looking at the ACA survey from late December to compile the data about changes to staffing structure and salary. The Advisory Council hopes to have something to release by the end of summer.

Awards and Recognition Committee announced the 2017 Student and Staff scholarship winners. Congratulations to the deserving honorees for their hard work and best of luck with future plans.

Student Development Scholarship winners: 6 student award winners (only 3 were available to join us at the meeting - see pictured)

Staff Development Scholarship: 2 ACA members: Malik Crowder & Patty Micks 

ACA Box Update, Blake Wilms
ACA now has a Box account to share resources. You can upload documents that you think other advisors would like to reference to this public Box account: Please title your files with something unique to your office and the document. Please upload submissions using a file type that may be edited/adapted such as Word or Excel.
Power of Change!

FUNdraising Committee, Megan McKay
  • Power of Change update: Keep digging into your piggy banks!
  • The FUNdraising Committee will host an ACA service event with the Central Texas Food Bank on Saturday, April 29th from 9 am -12 pm. 
  • The Annual Spring Goody Bags Drive is a little different this semester with some higher priced items to send to your campus favs: For $5 you can purchase a tin with goodies and $2 a smaller goody bag filled with relaxation items for the hectic registration cycle.

Sherry Bell with University Health Services provided updates on Medical Clearance for incoming New Students and Transfer Students under the age of 22.

All entering students under age of 22 must provide proof that they have received the Meningococcal Vaccine within 5 days of the first day of the semester. All entering international students (and students without a valid immigration status) must provide proof of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella and of a TB screening blood test. Failure to show proof will result in a medical bar. Please send all student to University Health Services to have the bar lifted. Students who are non-compliant will be contacted by NSS and will receive additional notification at check-in during their Orientation session.

Sherry Bell also provided further information about the process to clear medical clearance bars at orientation sessions:
  • Students must provide proper documentation from prior immunizations; or
  • Student can visit UHS to receive vaccines and the IGRA blood test.
If there are issues and the student is not compliant with University Health Services policy by the end of August, UHS can cancel a student’s registration on Tuesday, August 29 at 5pm.

Tatiana Woldman Assistant Director with International Student & Scholar Services provided updates on the incoming international student population, approximately 9% of the total UT Austin student body and 13% of the undergraduate population. A student is classified as an international student by the University if they are not a US Citizen or hold Permanent Resident status. Some international students are Texas residents.

All incoming international students should have an I-Bar during Orientation and must attend a required Immigration Briefing and Check-in (IBC) before the bar can be cleared. The IBC meeting covers important information for international students such as immmigration, health insurance, registration bars, forms of identification, and the ISSS office as a resource. Students also meet with ISSS advisors individually to discuss immigration documents and any additional questions that a student may have. Please note: exchange students are not required to attend an IBC Orientation.

When is it? IBC meetings are held Day 3 of Freshman orientation (10:30 am - noon) and Day 2 of Transfer orientation (10 - 11:30 am)

International Student Orientation is Friday, August 18 from 9 am - 2:30 pm. The Orientation is designed to teach incoming international student about US, Texas, and UT Austin culture as students prepare for fall 2017 classes. Lunch and student resource fair will follow and all are welcome to attend.

Feel free to contact Tatiana at the following email address: 
If you have International students needing help during orientation, please direct them to reach out via the following email address: or call 512-471-247.

Liberal Arts Online Courses
Jim Henson, Associate Director, and Myra Gibbs, Course Manager

Liberal Arts Online Courses is working to expand its options for all long semesters, but especially the summer sessions. Jim Henson and Myra Gibbs joined ACA to discuss the new and continuing online options for students and to answer questions. Approximately 6,000-7,000 students are enrolled in primarily online courses at this time. By expanding to courses outside of COLA, specifically University Core courses, Liberal Arts Online Courses and LAITS hope to have more students participate in online offerings.

The ACA membership asked the following questions:
Q: Will these courses have on-campus tests?
A: Generally, no, but there are a few courses that may require on-campus testing (GOV 312L may be the only one that might).

Q: Are the summer courses the same content as the courses offered in-person? If so, why are students asked to pay the same amount as a course completed in-person?
A: The courses are the same online as they are in person. We have found that students tend to connect better with the professors in these online courses since the courses we have adapted to an online format are typically large lecture courses when taken in person. The courses are designed  for students to feel as though their professor is in conversation with them directly. The experience becomes more direct.

College Scheduler
Brenda Schumann, Associate Registrar, Office of the Registrar

Office of the Registrar presents a new initiative to help students visualize the course schedule called UT Planner.
Editors note: Here's a link to UT Planner available in May 2017-


We want to continue to spotlight members from across Colleges, across positions, and across lengths of experience at UT Austin. Please consider nominating someone to spotlight at the May ACA meeting!

Monday, March 27, 2017

ACA General Meeting March 2017

Special Thanks to Student Success Initiatives for sponsoring the March 2017 meeting and for beginning the meeting with helpful reminders as graduation approaches.

Student Success Initiatives with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
Cassandre Alvarado, Director of Special Initiatives in Enrollment and Graduation Management; Kathy Uitvlugt, Program Manager; and Carolyn Connerat, Associate Vice Provost

Cassandre Alvarado provided the most up-to-date information on the spring/summer 2017 graduating class and their projected 4 year graduation rate. As a reminder, the 4 year graduation rate landed just short of the 70% 4-year graduation rate goal in 2016. 60.9% 61% (rounding up is more fun) of spring/summer 2016 graduates completed their degree(s) in 4 years.

UT Austin is moving toward the 70% 4-year graduation rate goal for class of 2017. This goal is possible because the 4.5 year graduation projection is 70.3%. Cassandre provided the following breakdown at the meeting:
  • 657 students already graduated - early grad (2017 class) 
  • 2,789 students 100% PTD 
  • 899 - 97-99% complete 
  • 466 - 94-96% 
  • 250- 92-93% 
If all of these students below 100% PTD are brought over the finish line, SSI projects that UT Austin will hit the 70% mark by Summer 2017. Of course these numbers are changing daily as students (with the help of advising staff) submit outstanding transcripts, claim credit, and submit petitions to bring their PTD to 100.

PTD Dashboard is a new visualization of cohort Progress To Degree. The dashboard is color coded to signal which students in specific FTIC cohorts need extra help to get across the finish line. The PTD dashboard allows SSI and Colleges across campus to help any student who wants to graduate in 4 years to do it and remove barriers to graduation. If you would like access to the PTD Dashboard, contact the Student Success Initiatives Office.

Kathy Uitvlugt provided an update regarding the Senior Countdown and a new initiative called Auto Graduation.

Senior Countdown: To date 21,000 students have already been coded for Senior Countdown. Coding students in Senior Countdown links students' PTD to the dashboard and allows SSI to celebrate with seniors and provide intentional advising for seniors and juniors. It is recommended that students are coded for the Senior Countdown during their junior year; however, students can be coded as early as their freshman year as long as the Countdown is revisited as their path to graduation firms up.

Auto Graduation: The 4-year graduation rate for the spring/summer 2016 cohort could have been 63%, a 3 % increase, if all students who were eligible to graduate during that time period actually applied to graduate. The Auto Graduation effort will complete graduation applications on the behalf of students with a 100% PTD who have not applied on their own. This effort should help the institution to meet the 70% 4-year graduation rate goal for spring/summer 2017. 

Students will be auto graduated if one of their audits is at 100% through a "soft" launch effort regardless of time at the institution. Students with a remaining semester or more can appeal their Auto Graduation decision. International students and students with concerns related to Financial Aid should work with the respective offices as well as the Graduation Help Desk with this process.

Students will be notified as follows:
  1. SAN from SSI 
  2. Colleges follow up with second SAN 
  3. Students will be able to appeal an auto graduate decision. Appeals will be centralized through the Office of the Provost. 
Questions from students for Auto Graduation should be directed to SSI and/or Graduation Help Desk

In addition to providing a few updates on the Graduation Help Desk, Associate Vice Provost Carolyn Connerat provided a few reminders about MyUT and the College to Career Task Force.

MyUT New student portal for students. Thousands of students already use this portal and during Orientation please remind first-year students to use this portal as a first stop for UT Austin web resources.

The College to Career Task Force was formed to assess the extent to which UT Austin is providing students with the support and resources to achieve the needed skills, experiences, and co-curricular knowledge to prepare students for life after graduation.

4 sub-committees are working to develop recommendations for the Provost based on the natural progression a student takes while at UT Austin:
  1. Discovery (internships, career advising, major exploration, etc.) - K. J. Harris (Chair) 
  2. Transition (A student knows what they want to do, what resource(s) helps them with the next step?) - Mark Bernstein (Chair) 
  3. Post-Graduation (What happens after graduation? Alumni, extended canvas, networking)- Courtney Roehling (Chair) 
  4. Data (How are we collecting, managing, and using big data? How do we know if students are accessing the resources they need?) - Rita Thornton (Chair)

ACA Updates
Michelle Hiatt, PDD 2017 Co-Chair: On behalf of the PDD Committee, we would like to thank all PDD attendees. If you loved PDD or want to change everything, please consider joining the committee next year!

Ana Dison, ACA President Elect: Advisory Council Update
Advisory council is currently reviewing ACA bylaws and plans to present proposed changes within the next few meetings. The Council is also in the process of developing a new logo for ACA. The logo will need to be reviewed by ACA executive board first, but expect a new logo by summer.

An update on the Advisory survey sent to the ACA list-serve in December and January: The Council collected 120 usable surveys to better understand the trends in turnover, compensation, outside employment, and retention within the academic advising profession at UT Austin. Advisory Council is using the data collected to compare job titles, salary averages, etc. Hopefully by summer the Council will know more and be ready to prepare recommendations.

Kayla Ford, ACA President: Honoring 2017 Vick Advising Award Winners (Please take a minute to read their nomination letters here.)

The Texas Exes James W. Vick Award for Academic Advising recognizes individuals who improve students’ overall experience at The University of Texas at Austin through outstanding advising. Each year, five winners are awarded $500 and are recognized with an awards ceremony in March. The nomination and selection process is done solely by students.

Congratulations to all of the 2017 award winners!! Thank you for all that you do for UT Austin students and the advising community. 

Andreyez Alvarado, Academic Advisor, Moody College of Communications

Jasmine-Rose Schmitt, PACE Program Coordinator, College of Liberal Arts

Letitia Monsey, Business Honors Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor,
McCombs School of Business

Megan Rovang, Senior Academic Advisor, College of Natural Sciences

Holly Smith, Senior Academic Advisor, College of Liberal Arts

Office of the Student Ombuds
Kouang Chan, Director and Student Ombudsperson

How does the Student Ombuds help UT Austin Students? The Student Ombuds listens as a neutral, independent, confidential, and informal source; identifies students' needs; provides a sense of agency for students; and helps students to feel in control of their concern(s).

How the process works for students:
  1. Inquiry 
  2. Framing for solution 
  3. Questioning - what can we do 
  4. Working together to find a solution 
Primary hope: Students visit the Student Ombuds at the very beginning of their issue to avoid getting pinballed around the complex UT Austin system
The Student Ombuds does NOT advocate for students, investigate their concerns, and they do not make policies or decisions. The Ombuds office CAN help students navigate the system and get plugged into the appropriate resources for their concern.

Contact Kouang Chan and the Student Ombuds office with questions and please refer students in need of a informal, confidential source.
Student Services Building, Room G1.404
Phone: 512-471-3825

Core Curriculum Updates
Jen Morgan, Program Manager, School of Undergraduate Studies

There are very few changes to Core Curriculum for 2017-2018 academic year. Undergraduate Studies does not have the final word from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board regarding approval of new core curriculum courses. Once courses have been approved, UGS will conduct a core attributes review and approved courses will be reflected in the course schedule. Jen sent a tentative core list on March 8 to the ACA list-serve highlighting the changes and will send a final list once approved. There were no deletions to the core for this academic year.

Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
Phil Stanforth, Senior Lecturer; Brian Farr, Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Promoted the 6 Kinesiology and Health Education majors and provided some additional information about the requirements of each and the internal transfer process.

Restricted Majors:
  1. Athletic Training 
  2. Health Promotion & Behavioral Science 
  3. Sports Management 
  4. Exercise Science
Open Majors:
  1. Applied Movement Science (New 2016) 
  2. Physical Culture & Sport
Specializations in these areas require 15-18 hrs with 6-9 hrs of field/internship work. There is no certificate yet.

Students interested in Internal Transfer to the College of Education for one of these 6 majors should attend an information session and should have a 3.0 GPA, although the GPA standard may be flexible.


Dr. Omi Jones, Professor, Department for African and African American Studies
Spring semester in San Francisco Domestic Study program studying gentrification and Black out-migration through ethnographic methodologies. Students will travel around San Francisco working in activist and artistic organizations, conducting oral histories, and learning how cities make development decisions with Dr. Omi Jones.

This unique experience asks students to engage in an independent research project with San Francisco community organizations that are responding to economic and social changes in their neighborhoods while also taking 12 credit hours at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Students stay in a dorm in SFSU, and take 2 courses taught by Dr. Jones as well as 2 courses taught by SFSU professors. Students host block party at the end of the semester to bring together all participating organizations and use their community organization experience to conduct a comparative study between San Francisco and Austin. 

The program is open to students in any major with a 2.0 GPA. Students DO NOT need an arts background or previous experience with AFR coursework to engage in this program. The cost is most prohibitive for students because it is in addition to UT Tuition (can be folded into Financial Aid). To help offset this limitation, the Domestic Study Program offers $2,000 to first 10 students to sign up.

Students are invited to attend an information session on Wednesday, March 29 at 5:00 pm in GWB 2.116.

Student Testing Services
Maria Zollar with an update on AP, IB, SAT, ACT score changes per Mellanie Patterson’s email sent March 5.

Scoring conventions have changed for SAT, ACT and there are several updates to AP exam scores and courses awarded for those scores such as AP Computer Science Principles (new AP exam) will award CS 302. Other changes impact AP US History, AP European History, AP Statistics, IB Environmental Science, and SAT and ACT Writing tests. The Student Testing Services website has been updated to reflect those changes.

All changes are effective May 1, 2017. Please recommend that current students send their AP exam scores as soon as possible. Questions? Call STS at 512-232-2653

Brittney Cox with a reminder that Lavender Graduation is May 17. Learn more:


We want to continue to spotlight members from across Colleges, across positions, and across lengths of experience at UT Austin. Please consider nominating someone to spotlight at the April ACA meeting!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Event Recap: Advising Expo 2017

Congratulations to the Advising Expo Committee (Susan Somers, Rose Mastrangelo, Anne Pugh, Jordyn Harrison, Beth Labate, Diane Larson, Olga Koutseridi, Bri Liu & Jeff Mayo) for a successful reimagining of the annual Advising Expo!

Over 40 departments (representing 13 different schools and colleges) and more than 60 advisors, faculty, and staff participated throughout the week with internal transfer and information sessions, by tabling at the Expo event on February 9 in the Flawn Academic Center, and presenting in one of the 4 themed sessions. Your help in promoting and organizing this event encouraged over 300 students to complete the Advising Expo passport and many more to engage in major, minor, certificate, and career exploration during the Advising Expo week (February 6-10).

From mariachi to roulette, students had fun while learning about the opportunities available to them on campus at the department tables and during the themed sessions. Students participating in the Expo passport program earned free pizza and a UT-themed souvenir cup.

A special thanks to the Advising Expo Committee chairs Susan Somers and Rose Mastrangelo for your leadership and to the Student Success Initiatives (SSI) team, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and all the wonderful advisors and students who volunteered for their support of the 2017 Advising Expo week.

Not able to make it to the Advising Expo? Check out a few photos from the day below and all of the fun in the Advising Expo Photo Album.