ACA Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
SSB Glenn Maloney Room
8:15 Breakfast and Social Time
Sponsored by Cockrell School of Engineering
8:30 Cockrell School of Engineering
Laura Wickspoke about thevideos she created to help convey routineadvising messages in
a student-friendly way. The College has received positive feedback about the videos thus
The first video Laura created is called Susie Q Drop Visits the SAO. It depicts a student
arriving at their advising center and receiving information about Q dropping a course.
Laura showed ACA a second video, Moments that Shaped the Cockrell School, which is
shown during Freshmen Orientation.
8:50 University Health Services and Counseling and Mental Health Services
Sherry Bell, Senior Program Coordinator for UHS, gave an overview of UHS and CMHS
Any student entering a Texas institution of higher education this summer under the age of
30 must have proof they received the meningococcal vaccination (bacterial meningitis).
Current UT students need to be aware of this new requirement if they plan on enrolling at
a community college over the summer. UHS offers this vaccination and the appropriate
documentation for verification.
University Health Services Overview
Overall,UHS averages 600,000 contacts with patients a year. UHS usesThe National
College Health Assessment (http://www.achancha.org/) to better understand the issues
students are facing and figure out how to besttailor UHS programs accordingly. The survey
revealed that in the fall 2011, 15% of students reported having a negative academic
impact (for example a lower grade in class or on a project/exam, Q drop or withdrawal)
due to having a cold, flu or sore throat. UHS understands that healthy students will
perform better academically, so they offer several programs to help students stay healthy.
For example, UHS offers Cold and Flu presentations during which they encourage students
to engage in healthy habits.UHS is also undertaking a sleep campaign, because a large
number of students reported that not getting enough sleep negatively affected their
Research alsorevealed that 26% of the students who never used UHS were concerned
about the quality of care provided. The students who did use their services, however, gave
very positive reviews concerning quality of care. The same research showed that 7% of
students had never heard of UHS, but that 24% would seek healthcare advice from a
University staff member.
Any enrolled UT student may use UHS, and they will receive more services than if they
went to their family doctor. UHShas behavioral consultants who work with students who
have psychological issues that manifest into physical symptoms. A student may seeone of
these professionals first if they are reluctant to visit the counseling center. UHS offers a
24-hour Nurse line that students may access anytime, and walk-ins are available in their
Urgent Care office. Physicians may be seen by appointment during regular business hours.
Not all doctor visits are free; there is a $5.00 charge for regular consultations, but if the
student needs more work to be done (like lab tests, x-rays, blood work, etc.), then they
may accrue additional charges. Students should consider getting insurance to help them
offset costs, because healthcare can become very expensive, especially if they are referred
to an outside healthcare professional.
UHS has a Health Promotion Resource Center where they offer classes, information and
population-based initiatives. For example, they are launching a campaign encouraging
students to eat breakfast, even if it’s “bar food,” like cereal bars.
Counseling and Mental Health CenterOverview
Sherry emphasized that CMHC is very accessible to students now. They offer short-term
therapy sessions and many group counseling opportunities. They offer same-day
appointments and 24-hour telephone counseling for those who are concerned about
physically going to a counselor in the center. They offer couples therapy and psychiatric
services as well. In crisis situations, call UTPD. If appropriate, staff are encouraged to walk
to CMHC with a student in crisis. If you’re concerned about a student’s behavior, make
sure to call BCAL (Behavior Concerns Advice Line).
There are 150 people on the UHSstaff who maintain high standards of quality healthcare
and they are accredited. Both faculty and staff may fill prescriptions with the UHS
pharmacy as long as you carry BlueCross/Blue Shield insurance.
9:05 Office of the Student Ombuds
Lauren Bloom, the Student Ombudsperson spoke about her office and the services offered.
The University of Texas was one of the first campuses to house an Ombuds office (1968).
Services are now offered to faculty, students and staff. They see people on walk-in basis,
by appointment or over email. The staff prefers in person contact so that conversations are
“off record.” It was emphasized that this is a very confidential, informal office where they
do not request UT EIDs to assist people. Laura works part time, but she has many
graduate students working with her who meet with students. They are neutral, empathetic
and do not take sides. Their most frequent visits are from upper-class students with a
grade dispute or a problem with a professor.
9:20 Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)
Kelli Bradley, a disabilities services coordinator for SSD, gave an overview on SSD policies
and services. SSD provides accommodations and support for student with disabilities.
There are a number of accommodations available depending on the student’s particular
needs.SSD staff members consult with both faculty and staff regarding students’
accommodations. These accommodations are provided as a result of medical
documentation (assessment) that meets federal guidelines, and not just a doctor’s note.
Once the documentation has been provided, then professors must implement the
accommodations that have been determined. Top 3 examples of accommodations: 1)
Extended time on tests 2) Reduced distraction in environment 3) Copy of class notes.
Students registered with SSDcan take a minimum of 6 hours and still be considered full
time. If they apply for a course load reduction by the deadline, Q drops will not count
toward the six limit.
Many students in need of accommodations aren’t aware that SSD’s services apply to
students with “invisible disabilities.” Priority registration can sometimes drive a reluctant
student to receive services. Invisible disabilities are the most common on campus, whereas
mobility and visual impairments are the lowest. Invisible disabilities would include ADHD,
psychological disabilities and learning disabilities. It was noted that students who have
been diagnosed with ADHD benefit by meeting with a peer coach in the Sanger Learning
and Career Center by helping them stay on track. There is walk-in help for students who
are seeking initial help in determining whether accommodations are necessary for college.
Walk-ins are available 9-4 and a coordinator will answer general questions. The question
was asked whether students should seek help from SLCC or SSD and it was emphasized
that students with unidentified disabilities (only suspected) may have deeper issues that
just time management, for example, and should first visit SSD. They will then refer them
to appropriate offices as needed (they may refer to CMHC instead, depending on the
9:50 R.O.A.D. update
ROAD is a professional development resource for advisors on campus. Road co-chairs,
Kristen Anton, Melva Harbin, reported what was reviewed during the brown bag for the
Professional Development share. They are working on getting a NACADA Webinar over
Legal Issues in Advising together for this semester. They are also planning on having a
new advisor orientation this spring. Both announced they will be stepping down as co-
chairs and invited new advisors to step into this leadership role.
On behalf of the Awards and Recognition Committee, Sarah McKay announced that they
are currently accepting applications for staff and student scholarships. The application is
due March 28th, 2012 at 5:00pm.
Spring Semester Highlights
April 4 ACA Monthly Meeting (8:15-10:00am, Glenn Maloney Room)
May 8 ACA Monthly Meeting (1:00-3:00pm, TBD)
June 12 ACA Monthly Meeting (8:15-10:00am, TBD)
July 19 ACA Monthly Meeting (8:15-10:00am, Stadium)
ACA Argosy Blog
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