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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Student Academic Engagement & Success University Testing Center

University Testing Center now accommodates Respondus LockDown Browser for Canvas assessments

The University Testing Center (UTC) is excited to announce a new proctoring software that allows Canvas tests to be administered with the Respondus LockDown Browser (LDB).

The new software, NetSupport School, replaces a previous program, iTalc, that could not facilitate real-time surveillance of students taking Canvas tests with the Respondus LockDown Browser on UTC computers.

With NetSupport Schoolprofessors will no longer have to create non-LDB versions of Canvas tests administered at the UTC — classroom test versions with LDB can now be used without issue.  And, on test day, students will not have to search for a “UTC version” of a Canvas test different from what is given in the classroom.

With its expanded features, NetSupport School streamlines the student and faculty testing experience while enhancing the UTC’s commitment to test integrity and security.

Various academic departments and professors utilizing the testing center suggested this feature and service enhancement, and we are excited to offer this new ability.

For more information, please contact the UTC at 214-768-6064 or universitytestingcenter@smu.edu.

 

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

January Mustang Champions Announced

Champions of the month is a new initiative by SMU Athletics to recognize the achievements of various SMU student-athletes. Every month, 2 female and 2 male student- athletes will be nominated and selected for their embodiment of excellence in one or more of the following areas: Academic Achievement, Athletic Success, and Student-Athletes Success Initiatives. The goal of this is to honor and recognize the effort of our student-athletes to achieve their personal best in these areas; on and off the competition field. For the month of January, the four athletes selected are: Key’Shawn Smith, Chantae Embry, Martin Dominguez, and Gabby Ayiteyflo!

 Key’Shawn Smith (Football):
Key transferred to SMU in the Spring of 2023 and he has consistently worked hard athletically and academically. Over the last year, Key has made huge strides both on and off the field and his positive outlook impacts all those around him. Key took a January term class that took up his entire winter break; during this time, he stayed on task, communicated when he needed support, and took pride in getting a grade reflective of his hard work and dedication.

Chantae Embry (Women’s Basketball):
Chantae has been a steady presence at Black Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (BSAAC) and has even gotten involved in some SAAC meetings/opportunities as well. She has gone out of her way to seek out community engagement and career development opportunities; as well as sharing/motivating her teammates to attend and get involved too!

Martin Dominguez (Men’s Soccer):
Martin is someone who from day one has been a welcoming and warm personality. He takes the time to support other teammates, classmates, and even staff. He has been training relentlessly to prepare for the Goalkeeper competition that will be underway this season. He was a part of the Unity Video Campaign and has continuously searched for a way he could give back, especially to the South Dallas Community he came from. Lastly, he has been doing all of this while balancing school and work; all while having a smile on his face!

Gabriella Ayiteyflo (Track & Field) :
Gabby transferred to SMU in the Fall 2023 semester as a junior. She has persevered during her time as a Mustang, during this difficult transition. Gabby has demonstrated dedication all with a positive attitude, even when things don’t go her way. She has been able to find her stride this semester, and works extremely hard in both her academic and athletic commitments!

PONY UP!

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Office of Engaged Learning Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs University Advising Center University Testing Center

Spring updates from the University Testing Center

Welcome back to campus! It’s hard to believe that the University Testing Center (UTC) has completed its first operation phase since opening in August 2022.  We look forward to continuing our specialized testing services for Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies (DASS) students needing accommodated testing and our student-athletes needing early or make-up testing due to travel during the competitive season.  Beginning this summer, we’ll expand our services to include standard academic make-up testing, fee-based testing for non-SMU students in the local community, and credit-by-exam testing (CLEP) for some SMU courses.

Testing at the UTC is done by appointment weekdays between 8:30 and 3:30 p.m. with extended hours during final exams.  Appointments must be made at least 48 business hours before classroom testing dates using the UTC Portal at www.smu.edu/utcportal.

The UTC Portal’s updated exam submission process allows professors to determine when eligible students can test at the UTC, automatically upload tests by course name and section number, and retrieve completed tests with proctoring documentation. Stop by the UTC in the basement of Clements Hall to tour the facility, meet the staff, and have a one-on-one consultation to make the testing experience easier for you and your students!

Scantron Exam processing at the University Testing Center ends May 10th

The University Testing Center (UTC) scanning and reporting service for exam Scantrons will end after AY 2023-24.  A few faculty members use the service as the migration to Canvas continues, as directed by the Office of the Provost.  This, along with increasing maintenance costs and staffing needs for new testing services at the UTC, was a deciding factor in ending the service.  Official announcements will be sent periodically to faculty users through various channels so they may prepare for alternatives.

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Academic Center for Excellence Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs

ADSA & SASP Hosting a Staff & Faculty Breakfast on January 11th

Student Academic Engagement and Success (SAES) is hosting two upcoming tours of the Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) and Student Academic Success Programs (SASP).  Tours will take place at 9 AM and 9:30 AM at the ADSA & SASP offices located in Loyd All-Sports Center. ADSA is located on the 3rd floor, in suite 316. SASP is located on the second floor, in suite 201.  This opportunity is an invitation to all SMU faculty and staff to tour our academic centers and learn more about the support services offered to students! Breakfast and drinks will be available.

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

Ariana Contreras Uses Heritage To Connect With Hispanic Student-Athletes

 

By: Jordan Mitchell, originally on SMUMustangs.com (October 26)

DALLAS (SMU) – Getting hired on as a senior academic counselor in SMU Athletics’ Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) office was a full-circle moment for Ariana Contreras.

When she was taking a sports law class during her undergraduate career at New Mexico State in 2015, Contreras was struggling to find a topic for a required paper. Eventually, her brother, Alan, suggested she watch the ESPN 30For30 documentary “Pony Excess.” After watching, Contreras decided to write about SMU and completed what she believes was one of the best papers of her undergraduate career.

Fast forward to November 2022. After earning her master’s in sports management from Eastern Michigan University and spending 18 months as an Assistant Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country at the University of Houston, Contreras found a job opening for a football academic counselor at SMU.

During an interview with associate head football coach Rob Likens, she told him about the “brilliant” paper that she had written about SMU as an undergrad and about how she almost came to the Hilltop for graduate school. He laughed.

“I think at this point, I’m manifesting (things) into reality!” Contreras said.

While manifestation is all well and good, Contreras excelled in her career through hard work and a passion for students. A first-generation college student and American from La Quinta, California, she had to wondered on and off different career paths before finding her love of academic counseling in athletics. A love that has only grown stronger since moving to Dallas.

Working with football, men’s soccer and women’s basketball gives Contreras a unique opportunity to build genuine relationships with a diverse group of student-athletes. When working with some men’s soccer student-athletes, she is able to practice her Spanish, her first language, so that she can communicate better with her father back home in California.

While speaking Spanish with Spanish-speaking students isn’t a job requirement, it allows Contreras to create a comfortable environment that feels like home for Hispanic students. Those students regularly praise her for making them feel connected to their heritage when away from home.

Women’s soccer midfielder Layla Garcia-Moreno had immense appreciation for Contreras when she stepped out of her office and called her “mija,” an endearing Spanish contraction translating to “my daughter” in English, and asked how she was doing.

“(Garcia-Moreno) was super excited,” Contreras said. “She was like, ‘You just made me feel like I was back home.’ That made my day.”

Her Spanish not only benefits other Spanish-speaking students, but those taking Spanish classes as well. SMU football offensive lineman Keaton Schultz approached her last Wednesday to talk about his upcoming advising appointment, but did so fully in Spanish. When he stumbled on a word, Contreras let him rummage through his thoughts to recall vocabulary, just as she must do when remembering obscure vocabulary when talking with her dad. But unlike her dad, who tells her to ask her mom for the word and will joke about her losing her grip on the language, she let him fumble until Schultz got it.

“It made me so happy!” Contreras said. “For the guys that are taking Spanish, once I know who they are, I start speaking to them in Spanish. And (Schultz) never used English! We had a full-on discussion.”

While working as an academic counselor allows for Contreras to play to her strengths and use her big personality to build relationships with student-athletes and help them grow holistically as people, she loves that she can be a role model for Hispanics and other minorities wanting to work in collegiate athletics. There aren’t many Hispanic women in those type of senior athletic staff roles, and Contreras believes that if she can be the first in her family to get her master’s and climb the ladder, others can too.

“I’m in this profession because I think it’s important that women of color, especially Hispanic women, be in leadership roles,” Contreras said. “I would love to eventually be a Director of Football Academics, Senior Woman Administrator and Deputy AD one day. I want student-athletes who look like me to have someone they can look up to and (say), ‘If she got there, I can too!'”

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Honors and Scholars Student Academic Engagement & Success University Testing Center

University Testing Center closed for Fall Break

The University Testing Center will be closed on Monday, October 9th, and Tuesday, October 10th for Fall Break.

Testing will resume on Thursday, October 12th.   

Good luck on midterms, and enjoy the break!

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA)

Save the date: SMU is hosting the American Athletic Conference Academic Consortium

Mark your calendars and prepare for an enriching event that promises to bring together the brightest minds in our field!

SMU is hosting the annual American Athletic Conference (AAC) Academic Consortium Symposium. Here are a few reasons why you won’t want to miss it.

Save the Date Details:

  • Dates: April 12- 14, 2024
  • Location: Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)

The AAC Academic Symposium is more than just another conference. The core focus of the event is to discuss programming related to student well-being. These programs will create a structure, process, and programming that fosters partnerships among member institutions and develops initiatives that advance the academic mission of each school. Find additional information about the Consortium on the AAC Site: Academic Consortium (theamerican.org)

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Success & Retention University Testing Center

University Testing Center welcomes Amie DeRegge as Testing Coordinator

As the University Testing Center (UTC) launches its second year of operation this fall, we are excited to welcome Amie DeRegge as our new Testing Coordinator!

Amie brings over 20 years of experience in student academic records management, having served as a Texas charter high school registrar.  Her passion for serving students and her strengths in data management, multi-tasking, and customer service make her a tremendous addition to the UTC team.

“I’m so happy to work in the University Testing Center.  I love the culture and spirit of SMU and look forward to helping our students reach their academic goals for success in life,” Amie said.

Amie’s arrival at the UTC coincides with more new changes coming to the UTC this fall.  In addition to providing testing services to students receiving accommodations from DASS (Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies), the center will expand testing services to student-athletes during their sport’s competition season.  A migration to test scheduling software in the new UTC Portal will provide additional academic testing and credit-by-exam services to SMU students and the local community.

“It’s an exciting time to be at the UTC and be a part of its growth,” Amie said.  “It provides yet another opportunity to become immersed in the life of SMU.”

Amie enjoys spending time outdoors in her spare time, vacationing with family on the beach, being “Minyama” to her grandkids, and having fun with her pets Sparky and Doc.  She and her husband, Andrew, are proud Mustang parents to their daughter, Molly, an incoming freshman and member of SMU Cheer.

The UTC is certified by the National College Testing Association (NCTA) and adheres to professional standards ensuring exam integrity and accessibility for both examiners and examinees.

 

 

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

ADSA welcomes two new literacy specialists

The Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) is happy to add two new Learning Specialists to their academic support team! Welcome Julie Rinker and Kelly Franklin! 

Julie Rinker (Literacy Specialist) 

Julie is back on the Hilltop after she graduated from SMU with her Master’s in Education in 2018. She brings with her an extensive background in providing structured literacy interventions for students with dyslexia and infuses motivation along with mechanics for reading. She previously worked as a K-12 public school educator and enjoyed sharing her passion with others by helping certify other dyslexia practitioners. She is a human rights educator and enjoys inserting these topics into her lessons to create thought-provoking conversations among her students. 

Kelly Franklin (Literacy Specialist) 

Say hello to Kelly Franklin, our newest Literacy Specialist! She comes to the Hilltop from her previous role as an adjunct English instructor at TCU and other institutions. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in English Rhetoric and Composition at TCU and brings over 20 years of teaching experience at the K-12 and university levels. Her work with underrepresented and marginalized communities remains a  through-line in her career and the ADSA welcomes her expertise to their intervention program! 

Our Intervention program is now fully staffed with the addition of Julie and Kelly, and the ADSA staff is ready to provide academic support to our 500 student-athletes for the upcoming academic year! 

Welcome to the Hilltop, Julie & Kelly! 

 

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA)

Introducing Keyana Smith as the new ADSA associate director

As we gear up for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year, Academic Development of Student-Athletes is thrilled to welcome Keyana Smith, as our new Associate Director! 

Smith comes to us with a wealth of experience and a passion for serving student-athletes. Her impressive background and commitment to student-athletes success on and off the field, align seamlessly with our office’s values and aspirations. With the addition of Keyana, we are poised to elevate our academic support and enhance the student experience in new ways!  

A Glimpse into Smith’s Journey: 

Keyana joins the Hilltop from the University of Mississippi, where she was the Assistant Director of Athletics Academic Services working as the lead academic counselor of Women’s Basketball and second of Football. Her previous stops include the University of New Mexico, Utah Valley University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Smith is a previous student-athlete herself, playing two years at Morgan State University on their softball team. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she pursued a Master’s in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology and then later, achieved her Master’s in Sport Administration. She is an active member of N4A and is currently the Co-Lead on the Institutional Partnership Program.  

The ADSA is excited to have the additional leadership and insight that Keyana will bring into the 2023-2024 Academic Year!