Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 2013 ACA General Meeting

April social time was sponsored by the School of Undergraduate Studies.  Many thanks!

President Nathan Vickers and "Appreciating Campus Administrators" honoree David Spight of the School of Undergraduate Studies.  David took the opportunity to talk to ACA about the challenge of improving graduation rates at UT.  He emphasized that this is a chance for advisors to distinguish themselves as crucial to this mission.

Patty Micks of the Signature Course office in Undergraduate Studies spoke to ACA about summer and fall 2013 signature course offerings for first-year students (freshmen and transfers), and for students who are beyond their first year. 

Rebecca Wilcox from the Office of Undergraduate Research promoted the upcoming Research Week and urged advisors to attend and see the variety of research projects undergraduates are involved in.

Phaedra White of the School of Undergraduate Studies addressed ACA on a new initiative known as the Discovery Scholars Program, which will replace the Longhorn Scholars Program.  Current students will continue on with Longhorn Scholars until they graduate, but the incoming students for fall 2013 will be the first Discovery Scholars cohort, and they will all be from the School of Undergraduate Studies.  The program will continue to provide the same kind of advising and resources for this cohort that Longhorn Scholars enjoyed. 
From the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), Joe Schaub explained the state-mandated program of assessing reading, writing, and math for all students in all public colleges and universities in Texas.  Students without sufficient scores on the SAT, ACT or TAKS test will have bars on their records; between 200 and 500 students will come to orientation with a TSI bar and will have to prove their college readiness or take developmental course work. 

Kristen Tommey of Undergraduate Studies spoke briefly about Wayfinder and about the website's role in major exploration.  In particular, she discussed the new applicant portal that allows students considering UT to look at the all of the majors the university has to offer.  According to Kristen, 10,000 of the 30,000 students who applied to UT in 2012 accessed the site.

Julia Chinnock and the call for 2013-2014 ACA officer nominations!  Nominees will speak at the next ACA meeting on May 8.

Nathan Kinsman (left) and Uyen-Anh Dang discussed the A Community for Education (ACE) program.  ACE is an AmeriCorps program that works to improve early childhood literacy in Texas.  ACE employs tutors such as Uyen-Anh to go into the public schools and work with young children on their reading skills.  In return, tutors, who are recent college graduates, receive living allowances, loan forbearance, and at the end of their tenure, more than $5,000 that they can use to repay college loans or toward graduate school.  Currently, the program is hiring 90 new tutors. 

From Jane Shaughness of University Compliance Services: University Compliance Services is hosting, along with the UT Staff Council, UT Staff Ombuds, Human Resource Services, another in our very successful Employee Engagement series this year.  This May 6, 2013 (the first no class day) we will be hosting Robert Prentice, a faculty member in the McCombs School of Business and the founding member of the newly-created Business, Government, and Society department who will talk about “Why Good People Do Bad Things.”  The presentation will be held at 11:00 AM in AVAYA Auditorium.

And in honor of Dr. James Vick:

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