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.

Friday, January 27, 2017

ACA General Meeting January 2017

The first ACA General Meeting of 2017 was informative and engaging thanks to our meeting sponsors the Study Abroad Office, as well as the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement DEI program, and the Leadership and Ethics Institute.

The Study Abroad Office Associate Director Monya Lemery set the tone by asking ACA members to engage in a group brainstorm to answer the following:

  • List reasons why study abroad benefits your students:
    • Independence, Global citizenship, Language acquisition, Great food!, Become more attractive candidates to employers and graduate/professional programs, Expand professional networks, Earn valuable course credit
  • List ways students studying abroad benefits UT:
    • Make UT Austin visible internationally, relieves burden on UT Austin course schedule, Allows faculty to enrich their courses with real world examples, International recruiting/admissions, Students return with a renewed sense of self
  • Which Latin American countries are among the top 10 destinations?:
    • Spain, UK, France, China, Italy, Austria, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Brazil
Did you know that UT austin is ranked third nationally in the number of students it sends abroad?! Our study abroad coordinators work hard!

Monya emphasized the office's BIG goal for the next 4 years: Double the number of students studying abroad in Latin America. By the 2019-2020 academic year the Study Abroad Office plans to send 1,200 students from UT Austin to study abroad in Latin America.

How can you help this initiative? Educate students on the reasons why studying abroad in Latin America can be beneficial including: studying in this region is generally less expensive than comparable programs in other regions of the world, the unique language immersion opportunities for students, and the direct opportunities to study border culture and international business.

Remember: Summer applications are due February 15 & Fall applications are due March 1

ACA Awards and Recognition Committee NACADA Award Nominees:
Outstanding Advisor: Megan Conner
College of Liberal Arts
Outstanding New Advisor: Kelly Frazer
School of Undergraduate Studies
Outstanding Advising Award, Administrator: 
Sarah Kitten
Cockrell School of Engineering
Outstanding Advising Program Award:
Path to Admission Through Co-Enrollment
Congratulations to our deserving nominees! Thank you for representing the UT Austin advising community.

Upcoming ROAD Committee Events:
2/8 Art of Dialogue with LEI, 10-11a in SAC 3.112 Balcony B
2/15 Video Game Addiction, 11a-1p in SAC 1.118
2/16 PDD Presentation Practice

Advising Expo Update - It's now just 2 weeks away!!

Advising Expo Week - February 6-10: There are approximately 16 different internal transfer sessions this week. You can direct students interested in exploring their options at UT Austin to these sessions using this spreadsheet.

Save the Date - February 9: Expo Day
It’s not too late to sign up to table, volunteer, or join a presentation! The Expo Day committee asks that you sign up by 5 pm Monday, January 30th.

Want to promote the event on social media or through your student newsletters? Here's how: email blast template and TV screen powerpoint

Dr. Kristen Hogan, Education Coordinator, UT Gender & Sexuality Center, and Dr. Richard Reddick faculty director of Student Diversity Initiatives, facilitated a short interactive session about the services provided by the Diversity Education Initiative (DEI).

DEI provides diversity education through consultation and educational programs on campus and in the community. Programs are designed to meet the goals and needs of the organization and have included: building awareness of social identities, developing an inclusive workplace, engaging communities through dialogue, and exploring privilege and socialization.

In 2015-2016, DEI staff facilitated 21 workshops and engaged 950 students, faculty, and staff across disciplines at UT Austin including ULN, UWC, Athletics, International Office, Freshman Interest Groups (FIGS) and many more.

Dr. Hogan and Dr. Reddick asked ACA members to participate is a short activity where members voted from their seat on the following questions. It was a small taste of how a full session would be facilitated:
  • How do you feel about the weather?
  • Do you feel UT is an inclusive place for most identities?
  • Do you feel your words and actions make a difference on campus?
Thoughts from ACA members: There is always work to be done, we are good in some areas and not so great in others. We can help create an inclusive climate (how we decorate our office, how we talk to students, etc.) It is important to be intentional in our words and actions.

Think a session with DEI would benefit your unit, class, etc?  Complete this form:

Katie O’Malley, Coordinator of Leadership Development, & Dave Dessauer, the new Director of the Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI), joined us to discuss the benefits of connecting your students to the Leadership and Ethics Institute.

LEI is resource for undergraduate and graduate students or staff for leadership education. The purpose of LEI is to prepare the next generation of individuals to act responsibly, to improve the quality of student and campus life, to serve as peer mentors and to serve the communities in which they live, study and work. Through participation in LEI's leadership programs, such as  Leadership Education And Progress program (LEAP), The CHANGE Institute, and Burnt Orange Society, students develop the skills to serve their classroom, campus, and work communities as an ethical and socially responsible leader.

Please consider attending/promoting these upcoming spring events hosted by LEI:
  • Wednesday, February 8 - ROAD presentation on inclusive leadership
  • Saturday, February 11 - Texas Leadership Summit: a free one day leadership workshop for UT Austin Student
Think your student group would benefit from leadership education? Consider a workshop presented by LEI staff.

Other important announcements:
Kudos! to you as we wrap up the add/drop period next week. You can find our January meeting Kudos on our website: ACA KUDOS!

ACA Member Spotlight for January: This month we met two UT pros Mandy Davidson and Diane Larson. Try reaching out for coffee sometime next week to get to know Diane and Mandy better!

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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ACA November Meeting 2016

Provost and Executive Vice President Maurie McInnis provided clarity and guidance the morning following the 2016 Presidential Election. As an historian, Provost McInnis reassured the room that history has proven that we will survive. She called on ACA members to provide counseling and advice for our students left feeling insecure as a result of the election. She also noted that the University is looking at developing a University-wide diversity action plan.

Provost McInnis joins the UT Austin community from The University of Virginia (UVA) where she served in many roles including student, faculty member, associate dean for undergraduate programs, and most recently vice provost. In her address to ACA, Provost McInnis stated her admiration for academic advising. At UVA, faculty act as academic advisors, and even as she moved through leadership roles Provost McInnis insured that she continue advising undergraduate, first-year students because she believes it impacts student success.

Provost McInnis provided a outline of the initatives she will continue over the next year and plans for moving forward.
  • She will continue to focus on increasing the 4 year graduation rate to 70% (2015-2016 graduation rate was 61% University wide). Provost McInnis believes improvement in the four year graduation rate is important for many reasons. It allows students to avoid acquiring more debt, it is benchmark for many employers, and is proof of goal attainment.
  • Provost McInnis plans to reduce the institutional barriers that prevent students from graduating in 4 years. She noted UT Austin's Project 2021 initiative as a step in the right direction - a way to simplify complex degree plans and encourage departments to think hard about curricular decisions. The Provost's Office is also looking to change small rules and exceptions (ex. whether flags should be implemented at the instructor or course level) that can impact progress toward degree completion. Finally, she hinted at a complete change in the course numbering structure and other course rules. There is no timeline in place for course number changes.

Next Up: Health Professions Office with Director Leslie Riley and University Writing Center with Assistant Director Alice Batt

Health Professions Office (HPO), housed in the College of Natural Sciences, serves all UT Austin undergraduate students pursuing pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, pre-veterinary, pre-optometry, pre-physician’s assistant, pre-physical therapy, and pre-occupational therapy programs following graduation. Around 5,000(!) UT Austin students are currently pursuing pre-health a track.

HPO staff help students understand the expectations of pre-health programs and prepare for the admission process. Their services include conversations about pre-requiste coursework, preparation for admission exams, and recommendations regarding co-curricular experiences that can enhance a students' application. With so many students to serve and a small staff size, Leslie recommends that students plan 3 weeks ahead to meet with an HPO coach. If students require immediate assistance, they can meet with a peer advisor or attend group advising sessions.

Fast facts: 1) Health profession graduate programs do not require students to complete their undergraduate program in 4 years. They want students to start graduate programs when they are ready, so a gap year or post-bacclaureate programs are ok. 2) The Pre-Health Professions Certificate helps HPO to track non-CNS enrollment but does not improve a student's chance to get into a graduate program.

Alice reminded ACA members of a recent name change from Undergraduate Writing Center to University Writing Center because the Center can now serve graduate students! The University Writing Center is located in the PCL Learning Commons. With a new space, a new name, and an expanded mission, the Center has noted a 17% increase in student visits.

The UWC employs 150 undergraduate and graduate consultants to provide non-directive and non-evaluative writing instruction to help all students, including ESL students, improve their writing skills. Students may meet with a UWC consultant 3 times per writing assignment. For longer writing projects such as research papers, theses, or dissertations, students may meet with consultants 3 times per chapter. Alice encouraged ACA to think of UWC for in-class presentations including FIG to help students learn more about UWC services.

HPO and UWC have teamed up! Starting this spring semester, UWC will consult with pre-health students applying to graduate programs. In the past, HPO has helped students brainstorm and revise the content of their personal essays. Now UWC will help students with revisions to their written personal statements.

A special thank you to the Health Professions Office for sponsoring the November Meeting.

ACA Updates

Kayla Ford swears in President-Elect Ana Dison
Kayla Ford swears in President-Elect Ana Dison. Congratulations!

**Call for nominations for the NACADA Awards reminder- Due November 30. The process is time intensive so check with someone you’re nominating before you do so. Please contact Tepera Holman or Kayla Ford with any questions

Webb College Prep Academy Volunteer Opportunity on November 12. Check out the rest of the slideshow for details about the service event and to see ACA in action.

  • Fall Goody Bag Drive: The last day to order is Nov 30. Please consider a donation of $1 per goody bag & show a colleague your appreciation.

**Mark your calendars for the ACA/APSA Holiday Party on Thursday, December 8 at 3-5pm in the Legacy Room, CBA 3.202. Join the Holiday Planning Committee for food (including a dessert competition!), games, prizes, holiday music and much more. The formal invite has been sent to the list serve.

**Save the Date for Professional Development Day (PDD) - February 22 at the Commons Learning Center located at the JJ Pickle Campus. Please visit the PDD website for more information about early bird registration specials (ends December 31) and how you can submit a presentation proposal.

So many Kudos! You can find them on our website: ACA KUDOS!

We are bringing back ACA Member Spotlights and doing a spotlight or two during each meeting. This month we met a seasoned pro (Meet Michelle!) and a new face to the advising community (Meet Carter!). If you see them this week, ask about GOT.

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.

Next Up: Adjunct Professor Marion Rocco with the School of Information asking you to recommend  INF 322T to students interested in Children's Literature instruction.

INF 322T has been revamped over the past few semesters to make the course more challenging and meaningful for students. With only 100 students in the classroom and a flipped model of instruction, students are encouraged to engage in group discussion and the children's literature used in instruction. The course is open to all undergraduate students regardless of major.

Next Up: Sorority and Fraternity Life (SFL) - Marilyn Russell, Director; Suzy Day, Prevention and Risk Management Specialist; and Jaden Felix, Coordinator

Sorority and Fraternity Life staff joined ACA to discuss SFL through the lens of academic counselors and academic administrators. We started with a quick brainstorm to address the issues in SFL and recognize the positives.

The staff provided an excellent slideshow detailing the history of Sorority and Fraternity life on UT Austin's campus as well as an info guide highlighting affiliated organizations and their governing councils. In short, SFL wants to celebrate the good while also addressing the challenges of sorority and fraternity life. If you have a student concern related to SFL, let the office know.  A culture of change cannot be fostered if campus administrators are unaware of the concerns. You can also report to BCAL and the Campus Climate Response Team.

The staff had a little time for a quick Q&A:

Q: Do you segregate graduation rate stats/data based on family income?

A: They do not have access to that data- it is separated by council and organization.
Q: Do you see cross-council work to learn about each other?
A: In pockets, yes; but it depends on the year and where the particular chapter is in terms of their own organization. There is a leadership course in EDP so they can learn about each other; the all presidents meeting also helps make that synergy and learning about each other. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October ACA General Meeting

Thanks to the School of Undergraduate Studies for sponsoring the October meeting!

Dean Brett Iverson, Dean of School of Undergraduate Studies kicked off the October meeting to discuss two problems that the UT community is working to solve: 1) choice of major and availability of major, and 2) erosion of the core curriculum.

Problem 1: Choice of Major and Availability

This problem is created because most 18 year olds do not know what they want to study, too many students initially choose from a handful of majors (top five majors: computer engineering, biology, business, computer science, economics), and students choose a major before they have even heard of what UT has to offer.

UGS Fact: 1 major, 1 minor or 1 certificate combo = over 10,900 possibilities

Problem 2: Erosion of the Core Curriculum

UGS was created to protect the core curriculum which in turn was created to provide educational breadth to degree requirements. With the increase of dual credit programs statewide, the state mandate to accept AP scores of 3 or higher, and the 2.5 week intersession courses that transfer as 3 credit hour equivalents, Dean Iverson believes students are left with the impression that the core curriculum is not that important. (ex: The Gutting of Gen Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2015)

UGS Fact: 40% of core hours were completed non-residence by 2016 FTIC grads (transfer students not included); 18% credit-by-exam, 21% transfer courses

According to Dean Iverson, UT is addressing these problems with the help of Undergraduate Studies. The signature courses, curriculum reform with the core curriculum flags (2752 different courses have flags), unique programs such as the Discovery Scholars Program and the Bridging Disciplines Program, and the Vick Center for Strategic Advising and Career Counseling are all ways of helping students to find their path and maintain the integrity of general education requirements.

Dean Iverson thanked the Undergraduate Studies staff for their hard work and asked ACA to continue to refer students to utilize these excellent resources.

UTeach Urban Teachers (UTUT) - Alina Pruitt & Tiye Cort, Doctoral students with the College of Education in Language and Literacy Studies

UT Urban Teachers is a Texas teacher certification program for UT undergraduate and graduate students focusing on the skill-set needed to help English and social studies educators thrive in the context of urban classrooms, grades 7-12. Please enjoy this awesome video about the program:

Alina and Tiye invited an undergraduate and graduate student to discuss their experience:
Alex Felan
  • Alex Felan, a senior history major with the undergraduate certification program, saw UTeach Urban Teachers as a way to get involved and found that the program fulfilled a call to service. At age 41 and a transfer student, Alex felt that the program provided new perspectives on education. He asked ACA to recommend UTUT to other transfer students who might not know that a program like his one exists. 
  • Kent Coupe
  • Kent CoupĂ©, a graduate student seeking a M. Ed with secondary certification in social studies, sought out the program because it marries theory and classroom practice. He taught briefly in an urban classroom before enrolling in the UTUT program. He discovered a passion for instruction, but his experience in the classroom revealed a need for a deeper understanding of theory.
The ROAD Committee held an event with UTeach Urban Teachers called ROAD to Urban Schools: Preparing Teachers for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Communities on Thursday, October 13.

ACA Updates:

Congratulations, Ana!
Anne Pugh, ACA Secretary: Presented a special election for the open President-Elect ACA executive board position. Ana Dison ran unopposed and after an excellent speech was confirmed as President-Elect of ACA for the 2016-2017 year. 

Josh Barham: A request on behalf of the ROAD Committee to please respond to ROAD survey with your ideas for professional development events: respond here.

Tepera Holman: ACA Awards and Recognition Committee is working on NACADA awards for Spring 2017. Please look for an e-mail from the committee and think about who you may like to nominate.

Thank you for sharing, Lovelys!
Lovelys Powell: Provided a brief but spectacular story about how the ACA Argosy was named. Lovelys once lived in an apartment complex called The Argosy, which means a grand ship traveling through the ocean. It was his fellow ACA historian that suggested ACA name their new newsletter The Argosy to represent the role of advising professionals on campus.

Vicki Packheiser, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Social Work, “From Surviving to Thriving: Developing Professional Resilience in Challenging Times”

Vicki provided three tools/tricks for all of us to develop a greater sense of professional resilience.
  1. Claim the day to prevent “work trance”
    • Vicki's tip: Within 2 minutes of arriving at work, do something that connects you to why it is that you do this work (ex. a picture or a motto). This will allow you to be more focused.
  2. Use your legacy as a compass 
    • Vicki's Tip: Ask yourself "what do you want your gift to this University to be?" and use this as a guiding principle. This aim will allow you to notice gradual progress toward your overarching work goals.
  3. Practice positivity
    • Vicki's Tip: Random acts of kindness, gratitude letters, and visits with coworkers are all excellent ways to practice positivity in your work life. It is possible to set aside 10-15 minutes most days to learn something about professional resilience. Consider conducting independent  research about time management, stress management, etc. and share it with others in your office or ACA!

So many Kudos! You can find them on our website: ACA KUDOS!

We are bringing back ACA Member Spotlights and doing a spotlight or two during each meeting. This month we met a seasoned advising pro (Meet Shirley!).

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.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 9

Monday, September 26, 2016

ACA September 2016 General Meeting

Thank you to Moody College of Communication for sponsoring the September ACA meeting - a meeting filled with ways to encourage our campus community, our students, and ourselves to be more. Even though the meeting started a little earlier than usual, we hope you noticed the music at the beginning. Our ACA Vice Presidents are shaking things up a bit.

First up: Dr. Bob Harkins, Associate Vice President of Campus Safety and Security

Dr. Bob Harkins stated that his office has had two major tasks over the past several months - campus safety following Haruka Weiser’s death and the Campus Carry law which went into effect August 1, 2016.

Dr. Harkins provided many updates and clarification on the state's Campus Carry law. He directed ACA members to the Campus Carry website where his letter penned July 29, 2016 provides an excellent recap of his points of emphasis: He also directed ACA members to the Handbook of Operating Procedures, Campus Carry Policies and Implementation Strategies, and other details about Campus Carry law important to UT Austin Staff.

Many of you raised questions regarding the oral notice employees may provide to prohibit concealed carry handguns in their solely assigned offices. A recap of the committees decision is outlined below:

"University employees who are solely assigned to an office are permitted to prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in that office. If an employee chooses to exercise this discretion, he or she must provide oral notice that the concealed carry of a handgun is prohibited in the office. Oral notice is the only legally effective way to provide notice about the prohibition."

This decision is in the process of being fleshed out. Oral notice may be provided by phone, by office assistants, in classrooms or other spaces that convene large groups of students, and possibly by video although the legality of that form of notification is in question. Dr. Harkins confirmed that you may post signage inside your office (not in outside facing windows) prohibiting firearms; however, oral notification is still required.

Dr. Harkins briefly touched on the TX DPS campus safety assessment and outlined a few ways his office is meeting those concerns:
  • TX DPS found lighting and landscaping deficiencies which are being met in part through the efforts surrounding Waller Creek
  • SURE walk is now a joint effort from Student Government and Parking and Transportation Services (PTS)
  • The Be Safe safety education campaign started for the 2016-17 academic year and resources can be found on the Be Safe website:
  • Dr. Harkins asked ACA to encourage students to practice bystander intervention practices by reporting concerns to the police. 
Please contact Dr. Bob Harkins with questions or concerns at

Next up: the meeting sponsors, Moody College of Communication with Dr. Meme Drumwright, Associate Professor; Dr. Jennifer Jones Barbour, Lecturer; and Theresa Thomas, program academic advisor

Dr. Drumwright presented on Moody College's new major and a labor of love - Bachelor of Science in Communication and Leadership. This interdisciplinary major emerges from the Bridging Disciplines Program certificate in Ethics and Leadership after 12 years of hard work. The program is designed to prepare students to practice the art and science of leadership. The ethical implications of leadership are integrated throughout the program. For more details on degree requirements visit: Students who are interested can start with COM 301L, Introduction to Communication and Leadership with Dr. Jones.

According to Dr. Drumwright and Dr. Jones, students are seeing this as a major for entry into public policy, social justice, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and various other pursuits. At this time there is not cap to the number of student in the major. The College's goal is to have 50 students in the major by start of spring 2017; 100 by fall 2017. If you have a student that wants to apply they can do so through the College of Communication's Internal Transfer Process, but currently priority is given to Moody students.

Dr. Art Markman, founding director, Human Dimensions of Organization (HDO) & Dr. Amy Ware, Associate Director, HDO, presented on one of the College of Liberal Arts' newest majors the Bachelor of Arts in Human Dimensions of Organization (HDO).

The program started with a masters program in Human Dimensions of Organization before spinning off into the undergraduate program in the 2016-18 catalog. The field of study aims to teach people about people in the workforce - to understand people as individuals, groups, and cultures in order to work and communicate effectively. HDO helps students to realistically apply the skills they learn through the liberal arts to the workplace. For more information about the major, visit the HDO website:

At this time, HDO is an open major and students do not need to apply to the major before taking HDO 301- Introduction to the Human Dimensions of Organizations. Interested students can contact Jillian Sise, HDO Academic Advisor, for more information.

Next up: ACA Updates
The ACA Executive Committee plans to build more time into every general meeting for ACA to mix, mingle, and share with ACA Updates.

Kayla Ford, ACA President, led the charge with a call to be "more than a member" in her first address to the ACA membership as President. Her call noted that ACA General Meetings are more than a standing meeting; the meetings are an opportunity to come and connect with colleagues from across campus. As an organization gets larger, it is our job as members to make it feel smaller by connecting with each other on a small scale such as ACA committees or networking before the general meeting.

Opportunities from ACA Committees to be "More Than A Member":

Justin Brady-Joyner, ACA President-Elect, provided an ACA Advisory Council Update. The ACA Advisory Council consists of 10 or more members from different campus departments and aims to represent every advising community on campus. This year the ACA Advisory Council is working on a survey about retention, employment, etc. It is still in the works but keep an eye out for their outreach in the next few months. (update: Thank you to Justin Brady-Joyner for his service to the ACA Executive Board. He  decided to step down from his position as President-Elect due a change in job responsibilities.)

Don't forget about the R.O.A.D. Committee Certificate & Minor Update Day this Friday, September 30 in UTC 4.104 from 9am - 3:35pm. Check your email inbox for more information about this event from Josh Barham.

ACA Advising Event Committee, co-chaired by Susan Somers & Rose Mastrangelo, is moving away from the old Advising Expo format to a new format designed to help students learn more about the internal transfer processes, explore the new minors, and develop creative ways to promote new majors on campus. The event is scheduled for February. The Advising Event Committee needs more members to give this bigger, bolder event the support it deserves. Interested in joining? Check your email inbox for more information about this committee from Susan.

Aida Gonzalez, Chair of the Graduate Coordinator Network (the ACA of graduate programs on campus), asked ACA members to reach out to their undergraduate students about the GCN graduate school fair on Tuesday, October 11 in the Union (more information from Aida to come). Over 100 graduate programs from across the country will be available to meet with students. The Graduate School Fair is open to all students, freshman to seniors.

So many Kudos! You can find them on our website: ACA KUDOS!

We are bringing back ACA Member Spotlights and doing a spotlight or two during each meeting. This month we met two new College of Liberal Arts advisors (Meet Marc and Megan!), but we want to spotlight members from across Colleges, across positions, and across lengths of experience at UT Austin. Please consider nominating someone to spotlight.

If you still have not paid your ACA dues, please contact Sara Sanchez, ACA Treasurer, for more information about next steps.

Don't forget to join the FUNdraising committee at Space 24 Twenty this Wednesday, September 24 for our Welcome Happy Hour. The committee will raffle a $50 gift card to members donating to the  Student and Staff Scholarship fund.
The FUNdraising Committee set a $1,500 fundraising goal for the year. Help them reach it this Wednesday!