November 2011

Meeting Date: 
November 9, 2011


ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

8:00-10:15 am

Texas Union Quadrangle Room (3.304)

8:00 Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by the Study Abroad Office (Thank you!)


8:30 UT Center for Students in Recovery        

Ivana Grahova and Todd Maison spoke about the UT Center for Students in Recovery (CSR), a resource and community on campus that supports students who are recovering from addictions. Ivana and Todd encourage students to engage in social activities that help strengthen their sobriety and provide a variety of related programs and resources, including 12-step meetings every day. The CSR program is a division of University Health Services, but their offices are located in the School of Social Work. The CSR team asks that advisors help spread the word so that students striving to stay in recovery while in college can connect with this community and its resources. Services are confidential, but some students choose to disclose stories about their addictions and road to sobriety. Some individuals may not want this information shared with others (like a potential employer) and in these situations they are protected with confidentiality by the program.


8:40 ACA Treasury Updates

Jay Guevara, ACA Tresurer, reported there is $4,395.00 in the ACA account, as well as $547.52 in savings. There are 220 people who have completed the ACA membership application, but not all have paid dues. Please contact Jay to pay your dues, if you haven’t already.


8:45 Four-year Graduation Rate Survey Results

Nathan Vickers, ACA President Elect, thanked the ACA membership for their participation in the four-year graduation rate survey during the busy registration time. He presented some of the highlights from the meeting between the ACA executive board and ACA Advisory Council representatives and Provost Steven Leslie and Vice Provost Gretchen Ritter. The group discussed various issues related to four-year graduation rates and some proposals on the University can improve. They discussed implementing mandatory advising, however, it was noted that in many departments there would be too many students and too few advisors to facilitate mandatory advising. Provost Leslie discussed the use of “e-advising” or other tools like MyEdu to lessen the number of students coming in and open up advisors’ time for students in need of more developmental advising. The group also discussed bottlenecks in many high-demand courses during registration. Limited access to certain courses can keep students from progressing in their major and thereby prolong their stay at UT. The idea of creating consistent looking degree plans across majors was tossed out for debate, as was emphasizing a four-year graduation plan at freshmen orientation. According to the survey, ACA agrees that students should be allowed to change their major during the course of their academic career. The group discussed trying to start a conversation with students about sticking to a four-year plan as early as possible so that they understand the various policies and requirements for their college and can plan ahead. Nathan reiterated that several people across campus are working to improve the graduation rates, and that ACA’s input has been helpful to those making the decisions. The ultimate goal is to raise the 4-year graduation rates to 71%. Provost Leslie is very interested in and appreciates ACA’s contributions on how to improve student graduation rates.



  • The FUNdraising committee invites ACA members to participate in our "Goody Bag" fundraiser! For every $1 donation, we will deliver a Goody Bag to an on-campus person you designate. The money collected will go toward the ACA Student & Professional Scholarship fund. We are also accepting candy donations.
  • The FUNdraising committee invites ACA members to an American Traditions Potluck on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 from 12:00 – 1:00pm in GSB 5.130.  
  • Professional Development Day will take place Thursday, Feb 9 in the Student Activity Center. The PDD Committee is now accepting proposals! The theme for this year is THRIVE: Transforming, Helping, Resilience, Inspiration, Vision and Education. Please submit your presentation proposals by December 16. 
  • The Awards and Recognitions Committee encourages you to recognize someone you know who does outstanding work by submitting a NACADA advising award nomination. We need your help identifying those individuals and program across campus who deserve to be UT's representatives in the national NACADA awards competition! We're hoping to gather as many nominations as possible this year, and have extended the nomination deadline to December 2nd.
  • Cynthia Gladstone announced the FLAS Fellowship. She sent a message out with program information to the ACA membership.


9:00 Creating Access to Global Education Symposium

Dr. Heather Barclay Hamir, Director of the Study Abroad Office, presented on "The First Abroad Initiative." Heather discussed her research regarding underrepresented students studying abroad, as well as degree completion rates for students who study abroad versus those who don't. The goals of the First Abroad Initiative are to increase access to study abroad for a diverse and underrepresented population, enable seamless integration of study abroad into degree progress, and contribue to student retention and success at UT. SAO plans to achieve these goals through scholarships, partnerships, outreach, and mentoring. 250 scholarships over five years will be awarded to first-gen students with financial needs: Hutchinson International Scholars (awarded at admission) and First Abroad Scholarships (students can apply in first/second year of attendance). SAO has internal partnerships with the College of Liberal Arts (for programming and scholarships), the School of Undergraduate Studies (for programming), and Longhorn Scholars Program (for outreach). SAO has extrenal partnerships with The Coca-Cola Foundation (China-specific) and the Council on International Educational Exchange. SAO has increased outreach and mentoring through a peer advising program and staff support (Coordinator for Hutchinson International Scholars program, Longhorn Scholars Program advising, and student and departmental outreach). 

J.P. Regalado, Senior Program Coordinator for the Longhorn Scholars Program (LSP), spoke about LSP's services and population of students, as well as its relationship with SAO. The LSP staff works to promote the study abroad exprience to underrepresented students at UT. 

Dominick Ruiz, a first-generation student who studied in China last year, also shared his perspective on study abroad.