UTSA named NASPA Gold Honoree for E.P.I.C Journey program

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(May 25, 2012) -- The UTSA Division of Student Affairs recently was selected as the NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, Excellence Award Gold Honoree for development of the E.P.I.C. Journey program. Student Affairs staff members presented the program developed by a collaborative effort of Student Life offices led by the Student Conduct and Community Standards group. The presentation was at a pre-conference and concurrent session and poster presentation at the 2012 NASPA Annual Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

"The E.P.I.C. Journey philosophy was developed to address behavioral and scholastic dishonesty cases at UTSA," said Jan McKinney, UTSA assistant director of student conduct and community standards. "As staff reviewed the cases, many had root causes in the underdevelopment of four distinct skill sets: engagement with the university, personal development, interpersonal development and community membership."

The E.P.I.C. model provides UTSA the tools to evaluate students' underdeveloped areas as a means to transform decision-making patterns. This process allows administrators to meet students where they are in their development and enhances due process through incorporating student perspectives. E.P.I.C. addresses the underlying factors contributing to student choices that diverge from the university's standards. Since its implementation in 2007, the E.P.I.C. Journey Sanctioning Model has changed the way discipline is handled at UTSA by managing risk, due process and student development, while keeping policies standard.

The mission of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is to create an environment that strives to ensure a fair and objective process that upholds the high behavioral and academic standards articulated in the UTSA Student Code of Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards encourages students to actively participate in the full university experience including the intentional transformation of their decision-making patterns through engagement, personal development, interpersonal development and community membership.

NASPA Excellence Awards recognize the contributions of student affairs practitioners who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services and effective administration. Programs selected for recognition receive one of three award designations: Gold, Silver, or Bronze. The three levels of recognition are awarded in each of the ten Excellence Award categories.