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Purpose and Belonging at ACC

There are many activities happening related to purpose and belonging across Austin Community College (ACC). We will be adding more as the year progresses.

  1. Videos of faculty and staff sharing their purpose and belonging stories featured at General Assembly are through social media.
  2. The TLED Calendar, “The Power of Purpose and Belonging in Student Success.”
  3. Alumni office survey included the following question, “Share the name of an ACC employee — past or present– who made you feel your purpose and belonging during the course of your academic and professional career.”
  4. The Faculty Evaluation Subcommittee has a DRAFT Exemplary Teaching Statement that incorporates purpose and belonging:

“ACC faculty are committed to exemplary teaching that engenders student success and is guided by ACC Faculty Values. Intentionally using innovative, evidence-based teaching practices, faculty creatively foster critical thinking, student engagement, learning, persistence, achievement, and sense of purpose. While cultivating a culture of belonging and inclusiveness for all students, faculty pursue excellence and continuous improvement in course design, teaching strategies, assessment and feedback, and student learning. To meet the highest level of exemplary practice, faculty seek out new strategies to intentionally nurture and respect learners’ strengths, interests, needs, and cultures.  Faculty commit to continuous mastery of their disciplines and pedagogy as well as engagement in ongoing reflective practices in support of lifelong learning.”

5. Student Life conversation about using purpose and belonging to align the efforts of their work.

6. The Make-It Center conversation about the focus of the center to help ‘light the fire’ of students through career exploration.

7. Speakers in our Future of Transfer and Transition Summit made references to purpose and belonging.

8. We have reached out to local and national speakers and organizations for our Speaker Series including The Belonging Project at Stanford University (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine), the Othering & Belonging Institute and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, the Colorado State University Center for Meaning and Purpose (Department of Psychology), Bates College Center for Purposeful Work, and more.

9. Faculty and Staff Development opportunities including, “Purpose and Belonging Informed Educator” training and “Design for Belonging” workshops.

10. Weekly blog by AVC TLED connecting our programs and services to purpose and belonging.

11. In 2022, we will launch the first ACC Service Academy focusing on 6 key areas of service: mentoring, volunteerism and civic engagement, service learning, servant leadership, shared governance and sustainability. More information on this will be shared soon.

12. We’ve started conversations about establishing the first ACC Retiree Association as a way to connect with our colleagues and peers after retirement and to establish an ongoing sense of purpose and belonging.  According to the SUNY Retiree Service Corps Website, “They have time, talent, and possess many years of working experience. Many of them continue part-time work or community service. Research indicates that staying involved keeps retirees physically and emotionally strong. Older Americans are often referred to as “super volunteers” and are valued as the most reliable and committed of all volunteers.“