2012-2013 Meeting Minutes


September 2012

Meeting Date: 

September 19, 2012

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


NHB 1.720


8:15   Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by the Undergraduate Real Estate Certificate Program (Thank you!!)

8:30   Welcome from ACA President Nathan Vickers

Nathan welcomed everyone and thanked Theresa Thomas for her hard work as president last year.  Nathan noted that advising is more important than ever on this campus and that ACA is here to benefit us by offering us a way to connect with each other and become better advisors.  He encouraged everyone to find a way to connect and remain involved with ACA throughout the year.

Nathan also introduced the theme for the coming year: “Appreciate, Engage, Shape.”  It is important to Appreciate our past, Engage with our present, and Shape our future.

8:40   Undergraduate Real Estate Certificate Program

Rachel Allen, the Program Director, and Will Way, the program’s advisor, spoke about the Texas URE, beginning its first semester.

The program is housed in the McCombs School of Business, but is interdisciplinary in nature and is open to students in any major, as long as they meet the requirements.  The Texas URE requires that applicants have:

  • Upper Division standing
  • An interest in commercial real estate
  • Credit or registration for FIN357 or FIN320F
  • A recommended GPA of 3.0.
  • Optional:  a course in Economics; a course in basic Statistics.

The program consists of 3 Real Estate core classes and 3 additional approved elective courses, in addition to FIN 357 or FIN 320F

Rachel Allen stressed that this program is designed around commercial real estate with a financial and investment focus.  It does not lead to a real estate license.

9:10   MapWorks

Patty Micks from the First Year Experience Office spoke about MapWorks, a web platform designed to increase early intervention, students success and student retention.  The program is being implemented this year for all first-time freshmen and each department can decide if and how to use the program.

MapWorks will send a survey to all first-year students this fall and student responses will indicate their risk level for leaving the university and for poor academic performance.  It also allows what are called “direct connects” to interact with the survey information and with each other.  “Direct connects” are people who interact directly with a student, and for this year they will include advisors, residence life, FIG mentors, Signature Course faculty and Campus Resources.  Patty indicated that each “direct connect” has very different levels of access to the survey information as necessary to their position and use of the information.

Each college and unit will decide how to use the program this year.  Patty will be meeting later with each office to give more information.

9:45   Questions/Announcements

The Advising Expo will take place Oct 9.  Jay Guevara and Ola Okubanjo (co-chairs) will be sending out more information soon

Many new advisors were introduced from many departments.  Welcome to UT!

ACA Committee sign-up was conducted.  Members can contact Matthew Haynes if interested in joining a committee.


October 2012

Meeting Date: 

October 17, 2012

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


SAC Ballroom


8:15   Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by Texas Parents (Thank you!!)

8:30   Appreciating Campus Administrators:  Vice Provost Gretchen Ritter

ACA will recognize a campus administrator each meeting.  This offers us the opportunity to recognize administrators who make an important or significant contribution to advising on this campus.  If you have an administrator you would like to recognize, please let the Executive Committee know!

The first administrator chosen was Vice Provost Gretchen Ritter.  She received a certificate from ACA recognizing her support of advising.  The Vice Provost noted that the campus couldn’t achieve the things we are trying to achieve without Academic Advisors.

8:40   Texas Parents

Gregory Gym 1.107


Susie Smith and Holly Gardovsky spoke about the program, located in the Division of Student Affairs, as “the best kept secret on campus.”

Texas Parents is both an organization with paid membership and an office on campus.  In both capacities it acts as a resource for all parents, families and students.  Their main goal is to help parents help their students.

As a membership, parents can join at any time (dues can be paid by the year or in a 4-year package) though most join when their students are freshman or sophomores.  Texas parents puts out a newsletter each month on the 15th with information to help parents connect to resources on campus.  They also work with Texas Belles to organize Family Weekend and Family Orientation in the summer.

They also offer grants, scholarships and the Outstanding Student award (which had 23 great students nominated for it this year!)  All scholarships and programs are funded by the membership dues.

Susie wanted to stress that Texas Parents does not see itself as “a landing pad for helicopter parents” and that their primary focus is to empower parents to empower their students.  They make every effort to encourage parents to support their student taking action rather than making calls for their student.

Susie also noted that she would like to collaborate more with advisors.  If there is a message that advisors or a specific office or program would like to communicate to parents, the monthly newsletter or other contact is a great way to do that.

9:00   Certificate in Scientific Computation

WCH 2.104


Vicki Keller, from the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation, and Sam Moore, from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), spoke about the Certificate, required coursework and advantages it can offer students.

The Certificate in Scientific Computation is a certificate-granting program compiled of courses designed to prepare students to use high-end computing resources.  It is open to any major and many science and engineering majors find it useful.  Industry partners helped develop the program and are interested in training researchers to make discoveries that improve the quality of life, no matter the field.

The certificate requires:

  • M408D or M408M
  • SSC222
  • 1 course in Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics or Differential Equations
  • 2 Scientific Computing courses (from approved list or suggest an equivalent)
  • 1 Applied Computing course
  • Research project with a faculty supervisor

All requirements can overlap with other degree requirements and the final research project can be part of a student’s capstone or thesis project.  Like other certificate programs, the Certificate in Scientific Computation will be listed on a student’s transcript and students can complete the last 50% of requirements up to a year after they graduate.

The application can be downloaded from the Certificate Program website. Students or advisors can contact Vicki Keller, Student Affairs Administrator, or Richard Leu, Advisor, with questions.

9:15   Student Veteran Services

SSB 4.104

512.475.9771 – Ben Armstrong

512.232.2677 – VA Services

Ben Armstrong and Dr. Jay Morrison from Student Veteran Services spoke about what the office does, the services offered and discussed the student veteran population at UT and their mindset.

Ben gave statistics of students using any kind of veteran benefits (either a veteran or a dependent of a vet) at UT.  In 2008, there were 152 students using state benefits of some kind and 419 using federal benefits.  In 2012, that number has grown to 715 state and 794 federal, a 164% increase.  Ben and his office help students using these benefits with the academic process, with the state and federal regulations to receive benefits, and with many other concerns.

For VA benefits, the Registrar occasionally needs documentation that a specific course for an elective or minor is in the degree plan.  The sooner a student can get this documentation the better.  Repeat coursework is not always covered by the VA.

SVS has updated and streamlined their website, allowing students to access resources on and off campus more easily.  The office also has a number of programs in progress, including additional orientation events, emergency funds for student veterans and a training and awareness programs for staff and faculty.

Dr. Morrison spoke about the role he plays on campus and noted that UT is the only university in the country with a VA Psychologist on campus.  He works with a program called VITAL (Vet Integration To Academic Leadership) and offers direct care for student veterans.  He also works to reduce the stigma of mental health care by offering an open-door policy and quick, drop-in style meetings where possible.

He spoke about raising military cultural competence on campus through awareness, training programs and communicating UT’s long history of support for veterans.  Most American veterans have a family member who also served.  2 of every 3 Americans know someone who has served in the recent conflicts.  But very few know much about the situation of veterans who have returned.

9:40 Longhorn Internship Connection

Bianca Cusimano spoke about the database being created for students to share information about their internship experience.  The database is searchable so other students can learn more about the programs, options and companies.

In surveys, students have reported that they would like to share their internship experience and that they would like to have this information about other students’ internships.  The database allows for any student to submit and is EID protected so only students with current affiliation with the university can see the information being reported.

Eventually this program will transition to Student Government and will allow for a more thorough monitoring process.

9:50 Announcements

FIG Updates – Lisa Valdez

Applications for FIG Mentors are now being accepted.  The deadline is Nov 9 at 5pm.  If a FIG would like a brief presentation about being a mentor, please contact the FYE Office.

Awards & Recognition Committee – Sarah McKay

National NACADA nominations will be open soon so please start thinking of colleagues you would like to nominate.  This year, the nomination process will include incentives.  If your nominee is selected for the award, you will win a small gift card too!


November 2012

Meeting Date: 

November 14, 2012

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


SAC Ballroom


8:15   Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by the Business Foundations Program (Thank you!)

8:30   Appreciating Campus Administrators:  Dr. Mark Bernstein, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, College of Communication

Dr. Bernstein was unable to attend to receive his certificate but expressed his gratitude via email.

8:35   Committee Announcements

FUNdraising Committee

Lovelys Powell spoke about Thanksgiving Goodie Bags and about the upcoming American Traditions Potluck

Mentor Program

Lovelys Powell and Julia Chinnock announced the return of the ACA Mentor Program, looking for both Mentors and Mentees.  An email announcement will be sent soon.

8:40   Business Foundations Program

CBA 2.210


Regina HughesDr JJ Riekenberg and Dr Kristie Loescher discussed the Business Foundations Program as a whole and theHalliburton Summer Institute.  The BFP offers students the “tools to be successful” in business.

Approximately 4000 students enroll in BFP classes each year and around 1000 certificates are granted each year.  The program will be celebrating it’s 20th anniversary next year.

The program includes coursework in:

  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Management Information Systems
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • and a selection of 3 classes from International Business, Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Business Law.

An updated list of courses that may fulfill the Statistics and Management Information Systems requirements is available on the program website.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade (or earned through transfer or Credit-by-Exam) and can be taken as traditional day classes or through University Extension.  The BFP also offers a for-credit summer internship course.  All coursework must be completed within one year of graduation.

The Halliburton Business Summer Institute consists of 5 courses taken during the summer.  This summer will be June 3-July 31.  Students are in class from 9:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.  At the end of the time, credit is earned for ACC310F, MAN320F, IB320F, FIN320F and MKT320F.  The most unique feature of the summer institute is the Marketplace business simulation, allowing students to create a simulated business with a small group and make decisions that impact it in positive or negative ways.

The summer program is open to all majors and is especially useful for students whose major coursework is very structured, not allowing for the BFP courses to be taken during long semesters.  Students must have a 3.0 to apply.  The program will be accepting 150 students this summer and Financial Aid can be used toward the tuition cost.

9:00   Vice President for Student Affairs

MAI 121

Dr. Gage Paine, the new Vice President for Student Affairs, is on a self-styled “Learning Tour” of UT.  She hopes to connect with as many student and staff entities as she can to learn about the mood and culture of UT and what concerns and issues people have.  She answered questions from the membership about:

  • her use of Twitter and Facebook as a way to engage with students and new professionals
  • the use of technology in sharing confidential information
  • the changes she has noticed since she was last employed at UT
  • what she sees as the future of universities and student life with the shift to online learning
  • and her progress toward her quest to meet all students on campus

9:20 Office of Undergraduate Research

FAC 22


Rebecca Wilcox stated the Office of Undergraduate Research is always interested in ideas for how they can support students, so please contact them if you have thoughts or suggestions.  The goal of Undergraduate Research is to connect undergraduates with research all across campus, encouraging they to engage with the process of inquiry in their discipline.

The office presents Information Sessions about what research is and what students should expect and also offers individual advising to address individual concerns, identify interests, brainstorm topics and other assistance.  Undergraduate Research also sponsors Research Week (this year, April 15-19) for students to present posters and talk about the work they have been doing.

If a student needs to earn class credit for research, UGS310 and UGS320 courses can be utilized.  The Office of Undergraduate Research’s website has a lot of useful information, both for students and for faculty and staff.

9:30 Office of the Registrar



Shelby Stanfield and Brenda Schumann explained the proposed changes to the Zap Process and then took questions from the membership.

Brenda noted that, in theory, the zap is designed to clear out spots in classes for other students however research has shown that most zapped students end up in the same courses they were zapped from and only 2.6% of all opened seats are in “key courses” (as identified by the deans’ offices from each college or school).

Further information on the changes to the Zap Process was sent to the membership via email.


January 2013

Meeting Date: 

January 31, 2013

ACA Monthly Meeting

Thursday, January 31, 2013


SAC Ballroom


8:15   Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

8:30   Appreciating Campus Administrators:  Dr. David Laude, Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment and Graduation Management

8:40   Words from Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment and Graduation Management

Dr. Laude spoke about his role on campus and his plans for achieving the 70% 4-year Graduation Rate he has been tasked with meeting.

He began with a synopsis of how he began advising as a professor and how lucky he feels to have been able to teach, research, publish and advise students.  Dr. Laude is a past winner of the James W. Vick Award for Academic Advising (1997) and noted how much influence an advisor can have on a student.

He shaped his view of advising from his time working in the College of Natural Sciences to include:

  • Importance of the individual student – there is no “one size fits all” situation and it is important to adjust to each student and their needs
  • Advisors should not be “the bad guys” who have to say no – the advisor should be able to advocate for and represent the student and support a fair process for each student
  • Every student should have support – inclusive communities such TIPHonorsBiology Scholarsare important

Dr. Laude acknowledged that some challenging questions have been posed to us as advisors, but reminded us that in the struggle to do what’s right for students is where we can make a difference on campus.

As the Champion of 4-year graduation rates, the President’s initiative is an important focus of Dr. Laude’s job however he indicated that he has been asked if he really believes in it.  He responded that he is in favor of student success and feels that if a university does what is best for the student anywhere along that path, 4-year graduation will happen.

Dr. Laude mentioned that his job also focuses on data.  He discussed a program called “the Dashboard” that has created a data-driven way to evaluate the student population and create reforms.  The data from this program can be used in recruiting, admissions, student success programs and other areas.  Many new and proposed initiatives are being based on data taken from this program.

The importance of all departments to work together as a campus was mentioned many times in Dr. Laude’s talk, with the example of this fall’s incoming class given as evidence of success when campus works together.  This fall’s class was compared to another overly large incoming class approximately 10 years ago.  In spite of record-breaking numbers of incoming first year students, more seats were offered in course areas for these students.  This incoming class has the best overall grades and the lowest first-semester probation rate of any incoming class at UT.

Dr. Laude concluded his time by answering questions about the OTE, how staff impact is reflected in the Dashboard, who has access to data from the Dashboard and other issues.

9:45 Awards & Recognition Committee

Cindy Gladstone announced the UT NACADA Advising Award nominees, as follows:

Outstanding Advising Program AwardUTEACH Liberal Arts

Outstanding New Advisor Award (Primary Role):  Jinane Sounny-Slitine

Outstanding Advising Award (Primary Role):  Alexia Apollo

Outstanding Advising Award (Administrator):  Sean Smith

Pacesetter Award:  Dr. Gretchen Ritter

Cindy also announced the upcoming ACA Student and Staff Development Scholarship applications.  ACA is offering $200 scholarships to students who work in advising & academic support services.  ACA is also offering up to $500 scholarships to paid ACA members.  Applications are due by March 5.  Contact Sarah McKay with any questions.

9:50 Announcements

The Bridging Disciplines Program announced that the deadline to apply for BDP will be March 7.  Interested students are encouraged to attend an information session.

Many new advisors were introduced.  Welcome to ACA!

ACA now has storage space for any files, decorations, or other ACA-related materials.  If you have any of this, contact Jay Guevara.


Next Meeting:  Feb 27, 8:15-10:00am, SAC Ballroom


February 2013

Meeting Date: 

February 27, 2013

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


SAC Ballroom


8:15   Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by Study Abroad (Thank you!)

8:30   Appreciating Campus Administrators:  Dr. Charles Roeckle, Deputy to the President

Dr. Roeckle has long been a supporter and advocate for advising at UT.  He discussed a little of the history of advising on our campus, his original role as a Student Dean/Advisor/Degree-Checker and the many initiatives he has been a part of that have impacted UT advising.

8:35   Update on 2012-2014 Core Science & Technology

Jen Morgan discussed some updates to the Science & Technology requirements for the core curriculum.  For the 2012-2014 Catalog, Physics and Physical Science are considered the same field of study and cannot be used to complete both Part I and Part II.  Additionally, NSC 306J & K are deemed similar to Physics and Physical Science and cannot be used in combination to complete both Part I and Part II.  See degree audit rule text and chart below for clarification:

Students who take the NSC306J and K sequence to complete Science and Technology Part I may not use physical science or physics coursework to satisfy Science and Technology Part II.  Students who use physical science or physics coursework to satisfy Science and Technology Part I may bot use NSC306J to complete Science and Technology Part II.

Physical Science 303 may not be counted with Physics 301, 302K, 303K, 309K, or 317K to complete Science and Technology Part I.  Physical Science 304 may not be counted with Physics 302L, 303L, 309L, 316, or 317L to complete Science and Technology Part I.  It is recommended that students complete one of the following pairs of courses:  Physics 301 & 316; 302K & 302L; 303K & 303L; 309K & 309L; or 317K & 317L; Physical Science 304 & 304

Allowable Sequencing:

Part I Part II
PHY/PS Any course other than NSC306J, PS or PHY
NSC306J & K Any course other than PS or PHY


8:44   Study Abroad

Heather Barclay Hamir and Rhonda Waller spoke about new initiatives Study Abroad is putting forth in order to give access to education abroad to all majors and all populations.  They are working toward 3 main goals:  to reduce real and perceived financial barriers, to reduce real and perceived academic barriers and to reduce real and perceived participation barriers in order to reach populations that are often under-represented in study abroad participation

The office is also mindful of the concept that study abroad can inhibit 4-year graduation rates and is working on programs to mitigate that impact.  Study Abroad has developed Curriculum Integration programs with several departments that outline a 4 year plan of study including a study abroad experience.  Brochures for students have been created and the office hopes to eventually develop Curriculum Integration for all majors on campus.  The database MyCA (My Credit Abroad) is another step toward reducing academic barriers.  This database contains courses through different programs abroad that have already been evaluated and certified to transfer as specific UT courses.  Students and advisors can use this tool to help plan courses to be taken abroad.

The Global Pathways program has been developed to further combat common myths about education abroad – that a student must be a junior, must already know the language, or must have a high GPA.  Global Pathways allows for all students in good standing to have access to a study abroad experience.

Scholarship initiatives have also been developed to support education abroad.  Planning scholarships are designed so students can use funds awarded within 2 years of the award, allowing students time to plan and determine the best program for them.  122 awards were given this year to students in their first 60 hours.  Global A$$ist helps students find scholarships for which they qualify.  Through this database, $900,000 in scholarship funds were warded in the 2011-2012 school year.

Finally, Study Abroad is increasing Outreach efforts and has already seen doubled student contact through presence at Summer Orientation, the Fall and Spring Study Abroad Fairs, presentations to FIGs and remote advising in Jester and CLA.

9:05   Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

Elizabeth Wilson came to address the resources CMHC has to offer both staff and students.  CMHC offers programs for students, staff and faculty to build awareness of suicide and its prevalence on college campuses.  She reported that half of university students have thought about suicide, 1 in 4 have seriously considered it and 1 in 10 have attempted suicide.

CMHC programs are designed to educate, reduce stigma, raise awareness and offer practice talking and asking about suicide through skill-building activities and role-plays.  Videos on the CMHC website, part of the together>alone initiative, are also used to encourage students to get involved in campus conversation.

Various resources are offered including:

9:25   Student Engagement in the Research University (SERU) Survey

Dr. Gale Stuart and Gina Gordon discussed the upcoming launch of the SERU survey, a survey to learn about students’ experiences in a large research university.  The SERU survey is specially designed for large research universities like UT and is more comprehensive than any other survey of its kind.  Interesting data has been pulled from the most recent survey and is already being considered in development of new programs and course design.

The survey will launch in March and all undergraduate students will be invited to take it.  In order for data to be relevant and complete, a large response is needed.  Dr. Stuart asks advisors to support the survey efforts by encouraging students to take it, passing out bookmarks and distributing emails.  There will be incentives offered to students who take the survey, including drawings for gift cards, items donated from Athletics and other items.  It should be noted that the survey is on the longer side, requiring approximately 30 minutes to complete, however students can save their progress and return to finish the survey later.

Results and a list of questions asked on the 2011 survey are available on the SERU site.  If the data you would like to access is narrower in focus, requests can be made to Dr. Stuart.

9:45   Announcements

Upcoming Meetings:

  • March Meeting – Wednesday March 20 at 8:15am
  • April Meeting – Wednesday April 10 at 8:15am
  • May Meeting – Wednesday May 8 at 1pm!


March 2013

Meeting Date: 

March 20, 2013

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


SAC Ballroom


8:15   Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by the Undergraduate Energy Management Certificate Program (Thank you!!)


8:30   Appreciating Campus Administrators:  Former Vice-Provost Dr. Terri Givens

When accepting her award, Dr. Givens stated that advisors make professors’ jobs possible.  She noted that advisors are central to everything professors do and help to keep students the focus of the university.


8:40   Undergraduate Energy Management Certificate Program

CBA 6.432

Jessica Miller and Tanya Andrien spoke about the certificate program, housed in the Energy Management and Innovation Center in theMcCombs School of Business.  They noted that the certificate is seen as a replacement for the now-defunct Petroleum Land Management degree plan.  The 18 credit hour certificate is designed for anyone interested in the energy industry, regardless of major, and is designed to integrate into a student’s degree plan.

An application is required before beginning the program so students can have access to courses.  A 2.5 minimum GPA is preferred and the application includes a short (a few sentences) statement of why a student is interested in the program.  There is currently no set application deadline, but applications should be submitted at least one week before the student hopes to register for the certificate courses.

Three of the six required courses are only offered during the summer.  These three courses are designed to be taken together over nine weeks in a cohort model.  Courses are taught Monday through Thursday with Fridays reserved for site visits, etiquette lunches, resume workshops and other professional development.  This summer cohort will fit best into the summer between a student’s sophomore and junior year, but can be taken in a different summer.

The program is currently focused on the oil and gas industries, not on renewable energy, but Jessica and Tanya noted that much of the skills and information gained through the program is relevant to renewable fields and that additional coursework on green energy sources may be added in the future.

The Undergraduate Energy Management Certificate Program is already receiving notice from professionals in the field and companies are calling to ask for graduates.

Information Sessions will be held in the coming weeks.  The program website will have dates and times as soon as they are available.  The certificate program will also have a presence at summer orientation to provide information to incoming freshmen.


9:00   Flags and Flag Petitions

FAC 22


Herpreet Singh, the Flag Petition Coordinator, shared information about Flags and the Flag Petition process.  Herpreet is part of theCenter for the Core Curriculum in the School of Undergraduate Studies.  The Center for the Core Curriculum provides support for the 42 hour Common Core and the Flags.

Flags are the result of a faculty-led initiative to expose students to skills and experiences they will encounter in their professional life.  As of the 2012-2014 Catalog, three colleges have integrated all six Flags into their degree plans and the Center for the Core Curriculum hopes to have all Flags fully integrated into all degree plans for the 2014-2016 Catalog.

There are 6 Skills and Experience Flags and each has specific requirements in order for a course to carry that flag.  Those Flags are:

  • Writing (Wr)
  • Global Cultures (GC)
  • Cultural Diversity (CD)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Ethics & Leadership (EL)
  • Independent Inquiry (II)

A class can carry up to three Flags and students will earn all three with the exception of the Global Cultures and Cultural Diversity Flags – a student cannot earn both the GC Flag and the CD Flag from the same course.  Flags are designed to be earned through Core requirements, major requirements and elective hours.  Students should not have to take additional coursework just to earn Flags.

Currently, Flags are assigned to courses only when the professor submits a proposal that the course carry a certain Flag.  The petition process is simple and professors are encouraged to submit proposals for classes they teach.

Classes taken elsewhere and transferred to UT do not carry Flags but students can petition that their transfer coursework have a Flag.  Students should review the guidelines for the Flag and determine if their class meets those guidelines.  Students should also meet with their advisor prior to to submitting a petition.  Dual credit and courses taken through Study Abroad are considered transfer coursework, so can be petitioned as well.  Courses taken in residence that do not carry a Flag can also be petitioned, if the student feels the course meets the Flag guidelines.  Credit earned through AP, IB or other Credit-by-Exam method cannot be petitioned.

In order to petition for a Flag students should:

  • Meet with their advisor
  • Be enrolled in the college or school from which they intend to graduate
  • Have the course already listed on their UT transcript
  • Obtain syllabus from the actual course they took

Petitions are reviewed by a faculty committee and are generally reviewed within 2 weeks.  The petition process is all online and the website offers resources for students and staff.  Herpreet is also available to answer questions or meet with students about their Flags or their petitions.


9:15   The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

BAT 2.116


Dr. Lorraine Pangle described the Center, housed in the College of Liberal Arts, as providing the essentials of a liberal arts education to all students.  Thomas Jefferson was dedicated to the kind of education students need to become leaders in a democracy and theCertificate in Core Texts and Ideas helps to further his ideals.  The Certificate focuses on the great books, ideas and controversies that have shaped Western Civilization and can help students of any major broaden their scholarship.

The courses teach students how to think, to examine basic questions of human nature, to ask good questions, to wrestle with ethical decisions and prepare students for leadership in an organization and in our country.  There are 4 required course areas and 2 elective courses.  Students must take a course in each of the following areas:

  • Classical Philosophy & Literature
  • Major Texts and World Religions
  • Political Philosophy in the West
  • American Constitutional Principles

Some of the course options can fulfill core or major requirements, including Government, Social Science, VAPA and the Signature Course, if students plan ahead.  The elective coursework can be used to further explore Core Texts and Ideas within their major area, such as Biology, Behavior and Injustice for a Biology student.

The certificate is great for students who like to read, are curious, are interested in religion and politics, or who want to learn to think in a broader context.  Info sessions are being offered regularly.

Dr. Pangle also described the differences in the three options to fulfill the second part of the Government Core Requirement.

  • GOV312L – Issues and Policies in American Government: each section focuses on a topic related to the specialty of the professor teaching
  • GOV312P – Constitutional Principles: Core Texts focuses on main documents that have shaped US democracy
  • GOV312R – Constitutional Principles: Challenge on Equality focuses on an underrepresented minority population in the US


9:35 UT Energy Symposium (UTES)

Erik Funkhouser spoke about the UT Energy Symposium Speaker Series and Course.  The Symposium series is designed to give entry to the world of energy- and environmental-related careers.  A leading expert comes each week to talk about energy issues and future possibilities, modeling programs at Stanford and MIT.  The UTES can be taken as a 1-credit-hour class for undergraduates and graduate students.

Speakers are chosen from the worlds of academia, industry, non-profit organizations and other commissions.  They are world-class speakers and often use their time at the Symposium to discuss new studies and debut breaking research.  Often speakers stay after the formal talk to interact with students, answer questions and occasionally help students connect with internships and job opportunities.

The UTES provides many benefits for students including:

  • serving as an introduction or primer to the energy world, jargon and communication style
  • providing information on different pathways in energy or environmental careers
  • presenting upcoming topics and theories for research
  • accessing internship, research, networking and graduate study resources both from the speakers and from other students attending
  • offering an interdisciplinary perspective on the energy industry

To earn course credit, students must attend every lecture in a semester, post to Blackboard discussions and write research notes that connect talks to their area of study.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in a research showcase and open house to present the work they are doing as well as interact with others.  Though course credit can be earned, any student, faculty or staff can attend any of the lectures without having to enroll in or audit the course.

Speakers present each Thursday at 5:15pm in MEZ1.306.


9:50 Announcements

Psychology Advising has moved!  They can now be found in BUR 230

Computer Science Advising has moved!  They can be found in GDC 2.702


April 2013

Meeting Date: 

April 10, 2013

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


SAC Ballroom


8:15   Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by the School of Undergraduate Studies (Thanks!!)


8:30   Appreciating Campus Administrators:  Assistant Dean David Spight

Assistant Dean Spight spoke about his appreciation for ACA and the family created.  He noted that when other universities want to know how to conduct advising, they look to UT Austin for examples.  He also discussed the current burden of responsibility being placed on advisors for graduation rate and his view that it offers an opportunity for advisors to show the campus community what we do well.  He charged the membership with doing one extra little thing for the student and considering the difference that one extra thing might make.


8:40   First Year Experience Office

FAC 338


Patty Micks spoke about Signature Courses being offered for upperclassmen in the summer and fall and distributed lists of “Upperclassmen Friendly” sections.  She reminded the membership that students outside of their first year at UT (either as freshmen or transfer) should call the First Year Experience office during their registration access times to be added to an open section of UGS 302 or UGS 303.


8:50   Office of Undergraduate Research



Rebecca Wilcox returned to discuss opportunities for research for undergraduate students and also to promote Research Week, coming later in April.  Students participating will display posters, present theses and offer other presentations of their research including art exhibitions and musical performances.  For further information, please visit the Research Week website.


9:00   Discovery Scholars



The program currently known as Longhorn Scholars will be transitioning in the fall to the new Discovery Scholars.  Phaedra Whitediscussed the work already underway.  TIP ScholarsGateway Scholarsthe Longhorn Center for Academic ExcellenceLonghorn Scholars and other programs are working together to change and enhance the way students are served through their offices.  The goals of the program are the same but the new Discovery Scholars will work solely with students who are enrolled in the School of Undergraduate Studies.  Current Longhorn Scholars will continue to work with the program under the new name.  The Discovery Scholars Program plans to expand its population, offering services to more students.


9:10 Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

CRD 23


Dr. Joe Schaub began by thanking the membership for responding to the survey he recently distributed about TSI.  He offered some basic information about the state-mandated program designed to assess college readiness in math, reading and writing.  He explained that most incoming freshmen are exempt based on their SAT, ACT or TAKS scores but that some of the data must be entered by hand, so the process takes time.

Students who do not meet basic readiness standards can take the THEA in the area they are non-exempt.  The exams will be offered on Day 2 of Orientation and a high-assurance EID will not be needed.  The TSI office is trying to connect with students who will need to take the exam before they arrive so they are aware.  The TSI office will also send lists of non-exempt students in each college or program to that body’s orientation contact or program coordinator.


9:20 Wayfinder

Kristen Tommey gave updates about Wayfinder, which now includes nearly all majors and certificate programs.  This year, the site was an optional part of the application portal for all applicants, including activities breaking down myths about selecting majors and asking potential students to rank major choices.  It is possible that the activities will be mandatory for students starting in fall 2014, but no decisions have been made.

The site is continually changing and expanding as majors and programs change and expand.  Please contact Kristin with updates, edits or additions you might have.


9:30 ACA Nominations Announcement

Nominations for the 2013-2014 Executive Committee are now being accepted.  Please consider offering your talents to our great organization!  Email Julia Chinnock with nominations or questions.


9:35 A Community for Education (ACE) Program

Charles A. Dana Center


Nathan Kinsman and Uyen-Anh Dang spoke about A Community for Education, an AmeriCorp program to increase childhood literacy.  AmeriCorp volunteers are trained as tutors and partnered with children struggling with reading in elementary schools.  The program goal is to help children meet grade level reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade.  Nathan noted that 75% of children in the program meet this goal and are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.

Uyen-Anh, a current program participant, spoke about her experience working with her student and the progress she has seen.  She also discussed her interest in education and the personal fulfillment she has gotten from the program.

The volunteers are mostly recent college graduates willing to give one year of service to the program.  They receive a housing allowance, health insurance, loan forbearance and other AmeriCorp benefits.  Many participants are interested in education and pursue an alternative certification to teach.  The program is currently hiring and has need for more than 90 full-time tutors.


9:45 Announcements

Texas Round Table is holding Pancakes for Parkinsons, an event to honor Dr Vick.  Proceeds will go to support and research for a cure.  The event will be held April 24 from 9am -3pm in Gregory Plaza.