November 2013

Meeting Date: 
November 13, 2013

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Santa Rita Room, Texas Union

8:15      Breakfast

Matthew Haynes, ACA Vice-President, kicks-off the meeting. He welcomes ACA members and the speakers.

8:30      Welcome

Rob Poynor, ACA President

Rob says hello to the ACA members.

8:35      Erika Frahm

Erika speaks about The University of Texas at Austin Staff Council (UTSC). She starts by introducing herself. She has been at UT just over 10 years and previously worked in Biology. She currently oversees the CareerSmart Program. Erika then provides an overview of what UTSC does. There are 72 districts at UT to represent staff, the people “who make this place run.” UTSC conducts an all-day retreat in the summer to plan for the year ahead, focusing on what is universal, what is actionable, and what can have the biggest positive impact. UTSC currently has 5 committees: Communications, Staff Ed Benefit, Sustainability, Shared Services, and Special Projects. She asks the UTSC representatives in ACA to stand; 4 ACA members do. Erika fields questions from members and directs members with future questions to the issues forum on the UTSC website.

8:43      Emily Watson and Erin Thomas

Emily and Erin speak about the Bridging Disciplines Programs (BDP). Emily begins by introducing the BDF staff. She then provides an overview of the certificate programs and who can participate: BDP is open to all students, all majors, and the certificate programs are transcript-recognized. She gives a breakdown of student representation in BDP by college and clarifies that students must apply to BDP, so they need to have a reason for pursuing a certificate program.

Erin reviews the BDP handout, which gives an overview of the certificate programs as well as program snapshots. BDP currently has 11, soon to be 12, different certificate programs. Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies, the 2nd newest certificate program, is the only certificate program for which students can receive 2 certificates. The newest program is Public Policy. Next, she reviews the 3 eligibility requirements: 1) students should be degree-seeking undergraduates; 2) students must have a minimum of 2 semesters remaining to apply (which can be helpful for students who are thinking of doing a double major but do not have time to do a double major); and 3) students must have a 2.0 minimum GPA (although students can write a statement if their GPA will be a red flag on their application).

Emily reviews the 2 types of BDP coursework: 1) foundation courses (basics, BDP 101); and 2) stand courses (interdisciplinary, allow for specialization). BDP 101 is a one-credit hour class that introduces students to a topic, a great option for 1st and 2nd year students. Students can take BDP 101 before applying to a BDP certificate program.

BDP has 2 components: 1) coursework; and 2) Connecting Experiences. Erin discusses the Connecting Experiences aspect of BDP. Connecting Experiences focuses on experiential learning and help students integrate BDP with a major. She gives a few snapshots of what students have done for Connecting Experiences.

Emily concludes by discussing how students apply to BDP. There are 2 application deadlines per year (October and March). Students must complete an application and an essay. BDP advisors meet individually with students to review applications before the applications are submitted to the faculty panel. To get started, interested students should attend an information session (Tuesdays 11-2 and Wednesdays 3-4 in FAC 4). They should meet with an advisor and take a BDP 101. For more information, contact or 512-232-7564. Emily and Erin field questions from ACA members.

9:09      Dr. James Henson

Dr. Henson discusses the new online Government (GOV) 310L. He explains that online GOV 310L is an opportunity to experiment with a new mode of technology and instruction. The course takes place through Canvas ( He introduces himself; in addition to working on this online GOV 310L project, he runs the internship program in Government and runs the Texas Politics Project, which creates an open access, online Government textbook. The online course project began with online PSY 301, with Dr. James Pennebaker and Dr. Samuel Gosling. Dr. Daron Shaw and Dr. Eric McDaniel teach the online GOV 310L course. Dr. Henson pulls up the course, actually taking place at the time, to show ACA members how the class works and give them a chance to experience the class as it is happening. The idea behind online GOV 310L is to make the large classroom environment better by making available to students distinguished guest speakers, interactive activities, visual demonstrations, and materials/resources and make the class experience more personal than sitting in a large classroom. Dr. Henson explains that this class is different from other online classes in terms of quality and interactivity. The class is filmed live in the studio in between Batts and Mezes. Two sections of GOV 310L will be offered in the spring; he is not sure what will happen in the summer; in the fall, PSY 301, GOV 310L, and GOV 312 will be offered. The plan is not to make online GOV 310L and 312 the only GOV class option but to help keep the in-person GOV classes smaller. The same material for the online courses will also be turned into non-UT courses. He says that ACA members can use this information to help students re-consider going elsewhere to complete GOV 310 and GOV 312. Dr. Henson fields questions from ACA members.

9:35      Alanna Bitzel and Justin Brady, with Beth Andre

Alanna and Justin, PDD Co-Chairs, and Beth Andre, APSA Co-Chair and ACA member, speak about PDD. Justin provides an overviewof what PDD is and when it is taking place, Thursday, February 13, 2014. He asks PDD committee members to stand and be recognized. He encourages ACA members to submit proposals,explaining that the audience for the proposals is broad (academic support professionals in the Central Texas areas), and that proposals should help academic support professionals think about how to enhance their work, not simply supply information about an office/program. Alanna and Beth distribute a handout Alanna created to guide discussion. Alanna explains that the handout can help members brainstorm with the other members at their tables about potential proposal ideas.

9:47      Announcements

Curtiss Stevens, Program Coordinator, in the International Office makes 3 announcements. First, the deadline for faculty-led programs is December 1. Second, there is an International Office Open House taking place on Wednesday, November 20 from 2-5 at their new office, 2400 Nueces Street. Third, UT’s Study Abroad program has moved up in the ranks to be #2 in the country.

Emily Schroeder, FUNdraising Co-Chair, announces the FUNdraising Potluck on Wednesday, November 20 from 11:30-1:30 in GDC 2.104.

Sarah McKay, Awards and Recognition Co-Chair, announces the deadline for NACADA Awards Nominations, next Friday, November 22.

Eric Carter, ACA Holiday Party Co-Chair, announces the ACA Holiday Party in December. The committee should send out more information about the party later this week.

Sara Schulz, ACA Historian, encourages members to submit ideas for member spotlights for the ACA blog.

Jessica Hust, ACA Treasurer, reminds members to pay their dues if they have not already.

Julia Chinnock, ACA President-Elect, announces Peer Advising Advantage: Creating Meaningful Connections webinar, put on by PLAN and ROAD, taking place tomorrow, Thursday, November 14 from 1-2:30 in MEZ 1.306.

9:50 Meeting Ends