The University College
The University of Texas at Tyler
Message from the Dean
The University College was created in 2014 and housed the Department of Academic Success, the Department of Academic Innovation and the BAAS degree completion program. Due to the success and growth of all areas within the University College the 2015-2016 academic year was a time for reflection, planning, and transition.
While at its core, the mission of the University College has not changed, the evolution of The University College as a catalyst of growth and incubator of innovation to the entire University has emerged. To accomplish the aforementioned mission, the new offices of Pre-College Programs, Digital Learning and Degree Completion and Extension were created. The Office of Pre-College Programs currently coordinates all Dual Credit initiatives, the Office of Digital Learning provides unsurpassed faculty and student support for technology enriched face-to-face, hybrid and online courses, and the Office of Degree Completion and Extension coordinates the BAAS degree completion program and is currently examining new and additional opportunities for extended education.
Katy Buerger, the coordinator of UT Tyler’s Partnership in Academic Concurrent Enrollment (PACE) has worked collaboratively with UT Tyler’s academic departments and high schools across Texas to provide high school students increased accessibility to UT Tyler’s excellent curriculum and faculty. Our academic departments are now offering 10 UT Tyler core curriculum courses to over 600 high school students across Texas. We have increased our offerings in areas such as music, engineering, history, writing composition, and political science. There are plans to offer additional PACE courses in business, computer science, and psychology in the near future. While our PACE program provides the same unparalleled quality and rigor of traditional on campus UT Tyler courses, this year we worked hard to provide the PACE high school students access to the same student support services our traditional on campus students receive. These services include access to the PASS tutoring center, the Mathematics Lab, the Writing Center, and a new Student Learning Community designed specifically to assist PACE students with their academic success. In addition, we have created professional development opportunities for our partnering high school counselors and administrators. We are excited about the Office of Pre-College Programs being the conduit between Texas high school students and UT Tyler’s exceptional educational experiences.
Dr. Holley Collier, the interim Director, has hit the ground running with the new Office of Digital Learning. Over the past year, the Office of Digital Learning has conducted over 50 workshops attended by over 300 faculty and staff across all academic colleges. These workshops included topics in Universal Design, Gamification, Open Educational Resources, eBooks, Building Community, and building Faculty Presence in face-to-face, online and hybrid learning environments. In its effort to provide unsurpassed faculty and student support for technology enriched face-to-face, online and hybrid courses, the Office of Digital Learning created the Digital Learning Studios (DLS) and is in the process of creating the Digital Learning Lounge (DLL). The Digital Learning Studios provide Faculty, Staff and Students an opportunity to create digital content like never before. This content is currently being used to provide lectures to online courses, hybrid courses, and flipped face-to-face courses. There have been over 3000 lectures captured within the Digital Learning Studios, and we believe this is only the beginning. The Digital Learning Lounge will be a location for Faculty and Instructional Designers to talk about the use of technology in higher education. It will highlight technologies, provide faculty development opportunities, either one-on-one or in small groups, and most importantly, it will be safe place for Faculty to experiment with their pedagogical strategies.
Kristie Allen, the coordinator of the Office of Degree Completion and Extension, has demonstrated exceptional leadership throughout the 2015-2016 year. Recognizing the need to expand educational attainment through increased accessibility, Kristie worked with me to developed the Bachelors of Applied Arts and Sciences degree program (BAAS), a 100% online baccalaureate degree completion program, with an emphasis on 21st Century Job Skills, created specifically for working professionals looking to finish their four-year degree in an academic environment that recognizes the importance of balancing school, work, family, and other life obligations. Through partnerships with community and technical colleges, the business community, and professional organizations providing credit for prior learning, the University of Texas at Tyler’s BAAS degree completion program is making a strong contribution to the THECB’s 60x30TX higher education plan by increasing educational attainment in adults ages 25-34, increasing the total number of degrees completed, and providing graduates with the 21st Century Job Skills necessary for today’s workforce. This BAAS degree has more than doubled its enrollment in the past year, and just recently surpassed 200 students, making it one of the top 10 largest undergraduate degree programs at UT Tyler.