The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Mentoring Students in Connecting Experiences

To complete the BDP certificate, every BDP student must participate in at least one Connecting Experience under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Connecting Experiences can take several forms

  • Undergraduate research (examples: research assistantship or an independent project)
  • Internship with a non-profit organization, government agency, or business
  • Independent creative project to contribute to students’ digital art/media portfolios (for students in the Digital Arts and Media BDP)

A student’s Connecting Experience must be clearly related to the student’s BDP topic. Connecting Experiences give students hands-on experience applying the skills and knowledge they gain in their BDP classes, a context within which to enhance their understanding of their interdisciplinary BDP topic, and the opportunity to reflect on their interests, strengths, and goals for the future.

Role of the Faculty Mentor

The primary role of the faculty mentor is to provide the academic supervision for the experience.

The faculty mentor

  • Meets with the student before the experience begins to discuss the project, agree on the student requirements and basis for grading, and agree on a meeting/contact schedule for the semester. The Connecting Experience contract guides you and the student through this process.
  • Maintains regular contact with the student (either in person or via email) throughout the semester to check on progress and provide guidance.
  • Helps the student connect their experience with concepts/skills from their coursework and BDP topic
  • Encourages the student to make connections between the Connecting Experience and methodologies, controversies, and trends in her or his discipline
  • Helps the student reflect on his or her growth and development through the Connecting Experience, and on how that growth might lead to new directions or possible career paths
  • Assigns the final grade or credit for the experience

Eligibility to Serve as a Faculty Mentor