February 2011

Meeting Date: 
February 9, 2011

9:00        The SERU Survey: 2010 Results and the 2011 Launch

                Dr. Gale Stuart, Director of Assessment for Student Affairs

                Lauren Ratliff, Research Associate, Office of the President

Gale explained a little history of the inception of the SERU survey. She described it as the ultimate student survey. It was developed in 2000-2001 at Univ. of California Berkeley to obtain feedback from students on large research campuses. The NESSI survey doesn’t quite capture the information the SERU does. The SERU is focused on undergraduate student’s experiences and is designed as a census, unlike the NESSI that surveys a sample group.

In 2005 other universities began using the SERU and in 2010 UT Austin participated in a pilot. UT Austin signed a 3 year contract with UC Berkeley to administer the survey for 3 years. The 2009-2010 academic year was the pilot year. The current 2010-2011 academic year is the current/second year and 2011-2012 will be the third academic year. The UT Austin 2010 launch was during April, after spring break and before finals. There was a much lower response rate than expected and Gale explained they have decided that undergraduates are too consumed with exams, registration and summer plan preparation during April, to complete the SERU. Only 21% of undergraduates participated and 15% persisted through the entire survey. The UT Austin SERU website is: www.utexas.edu/SERU

Lauren explained the randomness of the survey question modules and that every student does not receive the same survey questions to answer. Students access the survey with their UTEID. It went live on Feb. 1st and students who do not complete the survey will continue to get a weekly email notice/request to complete the survey.

Lauren explained where to find the SERU survey results on the website. They can be sorted by college and sorted further by specific majors. Lauren discussed some basic findings listed on the survey site and on the handout she distributed. She explained there is a college competition, amongst UT Austin colleges, to be the college that submits the most surveys. The Student Senate, Student Government, and college councils are working to advertise the survey to students. They have been tabling on the West Mall and yesterday distributed 2000 t-shirts in front of Gregory Gym. Each business day, survey completion results are updated on the SERU website.

Gale asked the ACA membership to help communicate the SERU information to students and encourage them to complete the survey. There are some incentives that students who complete the survey will be eligible to win (Some prizes: IPad and tickets to UT sporting events). Gale encouraged us to contact her if we have any ideas or suggestions on how to best encourage and incentivize students to complete the survey. She said they don’t have a budget to purchase prizes and incentivize, so their creativity is limited in that regard.

Gale also explained there are some open ended questions on the SERU survey and students have been writing in responses. One particular question asks, “Who has been the most influential person on this campus?”  Advisors have been named in some responses from students, thus far, and these answers have been forwarded to Vice Provost Gretchen Ridder. If colleges want to view specific write-in survey responses, they can contact Gale to retrieve this data.

9:30        2011 New Student Orientation: Cristi Biggs, Assistant Dean of Students

Cristi distributed 3 handouts: Summer 2011 Orientation Dates, Transfer Orientation Schedule, and Freshman Orientation Schedule. The orientation website opened on Feb. 1 and, to date, over 900 freshman and 1 transfer student have registered for a session. She announced the biggest change from last summer’s orientation is the shorter, 2.5 day Freshman Orientation and longer, 2 day Transfer Orientation. The previous Day 1 and Day 2 sessions of the freshman orientation schedule have basically been combined into 1 day. The college meetings will be held on Day 1 and students will be told they must participate in a college meeting in order to register.

The freshman orientation sessions will run from Monday – Wednesday, except on July 6 – 8 (Wednesday – Friday). Cristi emphasized the importance of advising the last session of transfer students to register for at least 1 course since their 2nd  and final day of orientation is July 15. This is also the last day of the registration access period during the summer and fee bills will be mailed at midnight.

Other points made:

  • Confirmation on ALEKS test offering during summer orientation will be conveyed to Cristi in the next 60 days.
  • The pre-advising center will open at 8am.
  • Day 3 registration will be open to all students from 11- 12:30pm.
  • Cristi noted a suggestion from the membership to move the college transfer information sessions to day 3 from 9-10am instead of the current 10-11am that is scheduled.
  • Orientation staff encourages students to register in the computer lab around orientation staff and advisors, however, they are well aware that many students use their own laptops or do not go to the computer lab to register. Students can register from any internet source they prefer. NSS is trying to secure space for laptop users.
  • Cristi is working to catalog events going on across campus during the first few months of the school year in order to create a reference tool for everyone to utilize. Please inform her of what events you and/or your college host.

Cristi closed with a big thank you to all of us that assist students while they adjust to The University. She feels we make a vital contribution to the lives of the students we assist. Cristi also welcomes our input.

9:45        Update on One-Time Exception Policy: Andi Poag, ACA President

Andi explained the Ed Policy committee had proposed the new policy for the one-time exception and it was revised then sent back to the Student Deans committee. Their revisions will be made then sent back to the Ed Policy committee. Once this happens, the policy should be approved.  The one-time exception policy being considered would allow first and second year students to drop (or withdraw) any course at any point throughout the semester, no matter their grade in the course. Third year students would be allowed to drop a course at any time in the semester, only if they are earning a “D” or “F” in the course. This one time drop will not be counted towards a student’s 6 drop limit. Andi believes this will be updated in the General Information Catalog.

9:50        Announcements

  • Andi explained the academic calendar will be changing to reflect the alignment of the Q-Drop/Withdraw/Graduation Application deadline with the financial aid deadline. The In Absentia graduation application deadline may be moving to a later date in the semester. *More information on these topics to come.
  • Andi also shared the committees she’s on have been discussing the variance amongst colleges with their Q-drop processing. She says the resolution has been for all colleges to allow the student 5 business days to submit their Q-drop paperwork and if initiated on the deadline day, they have until 5pm on the 5th business day following that deadline day to submit their documents.
  • Patty Micks introduced a new staff member in the BDP office: Erin Thomas
  • Rose Sklar introduced a new staff member in the Registrar’s office: Gina Bomgardner
  • Jennifer McHam reminded everyone to register for Professional Development Day ASAP! The schedule for the conference will be sent via email on Monday, Feb. 14th.

10:00     Meeting Adjourned

Presentations and handouts posted to the ACA Slideshare account: http://www.slideshare.net/UTAustinACA


February 17        Professional Development Day

March 9               ACA Monthly Meeting (8:15-10:00am, Room TBA)

April 6                  ACA Monthly Meeting (8:15 – 10:00am, SSB, Glenn Maloney Room)

May 11                 ACA Monthly Meeting (TBA)