This year’s General Assembly theme has been announced. “Light Your Fire” calls us to focus on the role that creating purpose and belonging play in student success and in our personal and professional growth.

Now more than ever is the time to reflect on what draws us to what we do here at Austin Community College District (ACC). It goes by many names across many cultures — ikigai, mission, Dharma, passion, your story, your “why” — and this multitude of descriptive words and definitions across civilizations signifies the importance of PURPOSE in our lives.

Current research in the Guided Pathways movement and beyond shows that the nature of student success is based on motivation and purpose. Motivation and purpose are inherently linked to grit and persistence and serve as the accelerators that get our students across the graduation stage. While purpose drives engagement, belonging drives retention.

If we can model this passion for what we do in our disciplines and daily work, if we can share with students the meaning behind what we’re asking them to learn about, then they will find their way to what matters most – their own purpose. They will know that ACC is for everyone — that they belong here.

The Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) will be sharing information on this topic, The Power of Purpose & Belonging in Student Success, throughout the next year, and you’re invited to start the conversation!

Share your purpose & belonging story in a one-minute or less video:

  • What sparked your interest in your discipline? What “lights your fire” now?
  • How did you know you belonged in your field?
  • What advice would you share with someone searching for their own meaning?

Pro Tips: Film vertically with your phone, find good lighting, and get creative! We’d love to see you in action.

All ACC employees are encouraged to share their stories. Email submissions to [email protected] and automatically win TLED swag! 

Contributed by Courtney Grams, TLED Communications Director