Effective academic advising is an essential component of student success. Academic advisors provide holistic support for students at The University of Texas at Austin from orientation through graduation and beyond. The Vick Advising Excellence Center is committed to supporting academic advisors across campus by providing training, tools, and resources to empower advisors to provide the highest levels of support to their students.
Learn more about how we support our advising community below.
VAST (Vick Advising Skills Training)
In Fall 2023, the Vick Center launched VAST, the Vick Advising Skills Training. VAST creates a standardized baseline for onboarding new academic advisors and a comprehensive and accessible reference for established advisors in their daily work. VAST provides the foundation for consistent and exceptional advising experiences for students regardless of their college and relieves advising supervisors of a large amount of time needed to develop training for their new advisors. Visit the VAST webpage for more information.
Advisor Professional Development
In partnership with the Academic Counselors Association (ACA), the Vick Center leads the planning and execution of the annual Professional Development Day conference. PDD began as a small, half-day retreat for members of ACA to share best practices and learn about current issues related to advising at UT Austin. Over the years, the scope of PDD was broadened to include sessions for professional skills and personal growth. Consistent participation and demand for professional development opportunities has spurred PDD’s growth into a day-long conference with attendees from institutions all across Texas.
The Vick Center also leads the Resources for Ongoing Advisor Development (ROAD) committee, which plans training and professional development sessions throughout the academic year. The ROAD committee strives to host sessions with timely topics that are responsive to the needs and interests of the advising community. ROAD sessions are announced during ACA meetings and via the ACA listserv.
Advising Tools and Technology
The Vick Center oversees a variety of innovative advising tools and technologies with an aim to support advising offices in their facilitation of strategic support and communication efforts with their students. The Vick Center manages permissions and provides training and consultation for the following advising tools.
Please note: many of the links below require connection to the utexas network and authorization for the systems themselves. To request access to these systems, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Signal Vine two-way texting platform.
- Academic advising-related dashboards, including the College Advising Dashboard and the Progress to Degree (PTD) Dashboards, which allow advising staff to identify students in their CSU who may benefit from targeted outreach.
- Student Programs Database, which allows student programs (e.g. success programs) to track their student rosters. SPD roster data feeds into dashboards that allow for analysis of students in various programs.
Advocacy and Consultation
The Vick Center serves as a conduit between the advising community and university leadership to elevate issues and champion ideas for the betterment of advisors and their students. We work in close partnership with advising leaders and campus partners to identify issues and brainstorm solutions.
While our main focus is to address university-wide advising issues, we are also happy to provide consultation to individual colleges or advising offices looking to tackle an advising related challenge.
As we endeavor to elevate the advising profession on campus, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your ideas, concerns, and questions. You can reach us via email at email@example.com.