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!