Undergraduate Experience

Lecture

Goal

Capitalize on the unique resources and expertise of our residential research campus to create a holistic, diverse and transformative undergraduate educational experience for UT Austin students as they learn to become tomorrow’s innovators, problem solvers, inventors and entrepreneurs.

Solution

Improvement and enhancement of the undergraduate educational experience requires an ongoing and evolving effort, especially given the rapidly changing landscape of social, professional and intellectual challenges graduates will encounter professionally. Our solution is multi-faceted, including: Student Success Initiatives that bolster persistence and academic excellence for all students; expanded experiential learning opportunities such as the Freshman Research Initiative and Signature Courses; and endless opportunities for discovery and growth outside the classroom that complement learning, foster new relationships and build confidence, responsibility and independence.

In 2013, Provost Fenves organized a strategic planning process, the Campus Conversation, focused on improving the distinctive value offered to undergraduate students at the crossroads of education and research. Drawing on inclusive dialogue and feedback from hundreds of faculty and students in 2014, a series of enhancements will begin implementation in 2015 such as updates to academic degree programs, more collaborative and innovative teaching arrangements for faculty, and more opportunities for students to pursue experiential learning and receive credit towards their degrees for learning experiences outside the traditional classroom.

residential research university such as UT Austin is a unique learning ecosystem where undergraduate students benefit from interacting and collaborating with faculty, graduate students and full-time researchers who are actively involved in research and discovery that complements what students are learning in their classes and laboratory sessions. The residential experience also encompasses a living/learning environment outside the classroom through activities such as on-campus study sessions, library exploration, small group community service projects and student leadership opportunities.