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!