Who We Are
New Student Services (NSS) is one of the nine departments in the Division of Student Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. The department coordinates student orientation, transition initiatives, provides off-campus resources and leads a number of other initiatives for students.
What We’re Fundraising For
Horns Helping Horns (HHH)
Horns Helping Horns is a program for financially independent students and foster care alumni who arrive at UT Austin with little or no family support and very limited resources. The program provides students with advocacy, community, and support through their time at UT Austin.
NSS supports various initiatives related to first-generation students including representation on the First-Generation Commitment Working Group, facilitating the First-Generation Living Learning Community and providing welcome sessions at student orientation.
Autism Spectrum Support
NSS manages the Longhorn TIES (Transition, Inclusion, Empower, Success) initiative for students who identify as being on the autism spectrum or who have other neuro-related conditions through advocacy, connections and training.
Horns Helping Horn provides each student with the opportunity to be paired with a mentor. Our staff and faculty mentors come from all areas of campus and undergo training at the beginning of each academic school year. This training consists of an overview of the program, tips for being a good mentor, and an introduction to trauma-informed care. Many of our students have experienced some sort of trauma in their past, and our mentors have expressed a desire to learn more about trauma-informed care. We would like to bring in an expert or host a webinar to better equip our mentors to support our students in this area. The cost of this training in addition to training materials and food would be approximately $500.
Mentors are asked to meet with their mentees once a month and Horns Helping Horns invites mentors to attend social and volunteer activities throughout the year. It has been a goal to host a mentor and mentee designated outing to allow our students to better bond with their mentors early on in the school year. Mentor relationships are often cited as a key relationship for students in college as well as a component for career advancement. These relationships have the potential to have a huge impact on our students' experience at UT Austin and beyond. The cost of an outing would range between $500 and $1,000.
First-Generation college students are more likely to come from lower income brackets than their continued-generation peers (https://www.collegegrant.net/first-generation/). Therefore, donations towards housing/dining scholarships can be very beneficial for our students, furthermore this funding can be an additional incentive to maintain engagement with the Living Learning Community, which connects students to even more resources and opportunities. The housing price for the LLC is $12,173 for one year. Scholarship denominations can be less than the full price.
With the expansion in mind, we would like to be able to provide the same amount of service for a larger number of students. For example, to welcome the students and their families to campus, New Student Services purchases welcome bags and provide a catered lunch. The bags and lunch are approximately $25/student. NSS also provides an assessment for students to evaluate their individual strengths so that they may begin to understand themselves and potentially use these skills as professional development. This assessment costs approximately $12 per student.
Lastly, we would like to be able to provide more staff/faculty mentors to meet with our students. This is a large portion of our program and is many students’ favorite resource through the LLC, as they are able to have an additional coach for managing college life. We would love to provide additional resources for them to build their bond with students. With funds, we would be able to provide opportunities for students and mentors to meet over coffee or meals, and plan more social events for our mentors to attend. New Student Services currently invest approximately $500 for social events and resources each year, but would like to increase to $2,000.
Autism Spectrum Support
The Longhorn TIES (Transition, Inclusion, Empower, Success) initiative seeks to enhance the student experience for students who identify as being on the autism spectrum or who have other related conditions. To support these student’s success inside and outside the classroom, Longhorn TIES would like to establish a student emergency fund for students in the Longhorn TIES program.
When unexpected events occur, students have a difficult time adjusting to these changes. Should these events occur, we want to ensure our students have access to the appropriate resources to address their needs. This student emergency fund will assist students in addressing their immediate needs so they can continue fulfilling their academic obligations. Examples of costs that may be covered are medical/mental health copays; other essential academic expenses (other than tuition and fees); replacement of essential personal belongings due to fire, theft, or natural disasters; travel costs related to death or illness in the immediate family. Your gift will mean so much to every participant of the Longhorn TIES initiative.