Signature Course faculty are encouraged to make use of the wonderful campus partners and resources across the Forty Acres.
Contact: Pauline Strong, Director
Founded in 2006 at the University of Texas, Difficult Dialogues began as part of a Ford Foundation initiative developed in response to reports of growing intolerance and efforts to curb academic freedom on U.S. campuses. Difficult Dialogues seminars are distinctive in their focus on teaching students the skills they need to participate in constructive dialogue about controversial and potentially divisive issues. Difficult Dialogues courses cover areas such as cultural heritage and representation, gender and sexuality, health, human rights and ethics, immigration and cultural pluralism, race and ethnicity, religion in society, and sustainability. To date, UT faculty have developed more than 50 Difficult Dialogue courses, most of which are part of the Signature Course program for entering students. Public forums focusing on current controversial topics complement the courses and engage a broader public. The program also offers workshops and resources for Difficult Dialogues faculty.
Faculty Innovation Center
Contact: Molly Hatcher, Director
The mission of the Faculty Innovation Center (FIC) is to partner with UT faculty, graduate-student instructors, and the university’s programs and leadership to create an environment focused on teaching for student learning and success.
- Instructional Practice They meet faculty where they are by offering diverse offerings designed to enhance teaching and learning for the success of all UT students.
- Graduate Student Development The FIC curates communities and offers training aligned with graduate students’ needs in instructional design and delivery. They prepare future faculty, providing opportunities to advance graduate students’ pedagogical, academic, and professional progress.
- Faculty Partnerships They support individuals and groups seeking to experiment with new teaching techniques and collaborate with colleagues across disciplinary boundaries. Their signature programs include the Provost’s Teaching Fellows and Faculty Innovation Grants.
Support for Signature Course Teaching Assistants
In collaboration with the Graduate School, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences, and the School of Undergraduate Studies, FIC offers a semester-long, zero-credit hour, professional development seminar, GRS 097, supports first-time teaching assistants (TAs) in their instructional duties. In this seminar, TAs will learn strategies for leading effective discussions/labs and receive personalized support to become more confident and effective instructors. Graduate students become part of a community of TAs interested in brainstorming and troubleshooting with each other.
Sanger Learning Center
Contact: Paige Schilt, Director
The Sanger Learning Center (SLC) has been a Longhorn tradition since 1949. More than 10,000 undergraduates use their services every year to brush up on their skills, connect with their peers, and excel in their classes. In fall 2020, the Sanger Learning Center’s online services will include:
- Tutoring for more than 70 traditionally difficult classes
- Peer Academic Coaching for students who want to improve study skills and time management
- Private appointments with our staff learning specialists to explore topics like help-seeking and motivation
In addition, SLC will continue to offer group learning opportunities such as workshops, test reviews, Supplemental Instruction, and Peer-Led Undergraduate Studying.
Services for Students With Disabilities
Contact: Emily Shryock, Assistant Director
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) is a resource for students, instructors, and staff to support UT’s obligation to ensure our programming and educational experiences are accessible to students with disabilities. While SSD typically focuses on supporting students with disabilities who need individualized academic accommodations, SSD is working with faculty and staff to promote more proactive considerations for accessibility. During this time when many students are experiencing an increase in symptoms, new physical or mental health concerns, or inability to access care or treatment, building in more accessibility from the beginning will provide a better experience for all students, regardless of whether they have already connected with SSD for individualized accommodations. Please continue to refer students who may need individualized accommodations to SSD, but we also encourage you to consider how you can improve the overall accessibility of your programs and courses using the resources below.
- Zoom and Canvas Accessibility Best Practices
- SSD Faculty/Staff Webpage
- Faculty Innovation Center Inclusive Teaching and Learning Resources
- SSD Outreach Trainings
Title IX Office
The Title IX Office is committed to supporting the university’s mission to create and maintain an educational and work environment free from all forms of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, exploitation, and intimidation where all students, faculty, and staff can learn, work and thrive. The Title IX Office offers training and professional development opportunities for all UT students, staff, and faculty. Their workshops are tailored to the needs of each group and offer an engaging space to learn about policies, processes, and prevention. You can request a workshop at any time.
The University Writing Center
Contact: Alice Batt, Assistant Director
The University Writing Center (UWC), a unit of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, helps UT students become more proficient, more versatile, and more confident in their writing abilities. Throughout the semester they support faculty indirectly by working with their students. They provide cross-disciplinary writing support and pedagogical training for the instructors and TAs of undergraduate courses. You can schedule a presentation or workshop or view their handouts. Watch this video for more information about the UWC’s presentations for you and your students.
Check out UWC’s new YouTube Channel for helpful information, tips, and expert advice!