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Signature Course Stories

Signature Course Stories
Transforming Undergraduate Learning

Faculty and students at the University of Texas at Austin discuss the Signature Course program, which connects every first-year student at one of the nation’s top research universities with distinguished and innovative faculty members in unique learning environments.

Series: Tower Books Imprint

The School of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
May 2015
160 pages | 11 x 11 | 26 b&w photos |

This compendium of student and faculty essays, augmented with the history and details of the Signature Course program, paints a colorful picture of the Signature Courses that have transformed the undergraduate core curriculum at the University of Texas at Austin. These groundbreaking courses embrace the mission of connecting every first-year student at one of the nation’s best research universities with distinguished faculty members utilizing innovative teaching techniques in unique learning environments. The professors’ areas of expertise and passion are the vehicle for this rigorous intellectual experience, in which students develop a common set of important college-level skills in research, writing, information literacy, communication, and discussion through an approach that is interdisciplinary, collaborative, experiential, and contemporary. Ultimately, the courses teach effective and critical thinking that transforms young participants into adults ready for their academic experiences, their disciplines, their careers, and their contributions in the world.


Austin, Texas
Holleran Steiker, an addictions therapist turned educator/scholar, is a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. She is the recipient of multiple awards (Regents’ and Friar included) and is chair of the Signature Course Advisory Committee.