Jasmine Rose Schmitt

At Your Own Pace: Jasmine Rose Schmitt on her hobbies, nontraditional college experience, and role as PACE program manager

By Jacqueline Magno | Social Media Intern

November 16, 2021

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If there’s one thing Jasmine Rose Schmitt learned throughout her college career, it’s that there’s no one-size-fits-all path to graduation.

Jasmine Rose Schmitt showing medals and trophies she won as a member of her college cheerleading team

Jasmine Rose Schmitt in college

“School did not come naturally to me. In fact, it took me eight years, two states, and five institutions to complete my bachelor’s degree,” she shared. “I wasn’t prepared, but more importantly, I didn’t know how to ask for help. That entire experience encouraged me to reach out and seek academic resources, and it really fostered my interest in providing support to other students.”

Now an award-winning academic advisor and the current program manager of PACE (Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment), Schmitt helps part-time students at The University of Texas achieve full-time enrollment and stay on track to graduate.

“Students who participate in the PACE program are co-enrolled at UT Austin and Austin Community College during their freshman year. They take classes on both campuses before becoming full-time UT students,” Schmitt explained. “As program manager, I’m responsible for academic advising, teaching first-year seminar events, and supporting peer mentor teams. It’s an incredibly gratifying job.”

She attributes much of her academic and professional success to her grandmother, who emphasized the importance of higher education.

“My grandmother was a college graduate, which wasn’t typical for black women at the time. She was adamant on the idea that education opens a lot of doors and helps you learn more about yourself.”

Schmitt also garners a lot of inspiration from Dr. Latoya Smith, the current Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement at UT.

“When I was a graduate student here at UT, I worked with Dr. Smith when she still served in the Dean of Students Office. I was really impacted by her leadership style, as she led with a lot of empathy and understanding.”

Schmitt tosses a bocce ball as her teammates look on in the background

Schmitt playing bocce ball with her league team

When asked what activities she enjoys outside the office, Schmitt smiled.

“Do people still do things that aren’t work?” she asked with a laugh. “Back when a majority of events were still in-person, I would go to Harry Potter conferences. I also host a bocce ball league here in Austin, though we switched to playing Mario Kart for some time during quarantine.”

As an experienced academic advisor, Schmitt encourages Liberal Arts students to embrace their academic individuality and not compare themselves to others.

“It’s going to seem like everyone has it all figured out except for you, but that’s just not true. No two degrees look exactly the same, especially in the College of Liberal Arts. No two people have the same majors, minors, certificates, and internships. Understanding that and really embracing your own individual journey is so important.”

She also urges students to take full advantage of the resources provided by UT and the College of Liberal Arts.

“There’s this misconception that college is something you do by yourself, and I adamantly disagree with that. You should be going to the Sanger Learning Center and the Liberal Arts Career Services office. You should be meeting with your advisors and attending office hours with your professors. College is something you should do for yourself, but not by yourself. We’re here to help.”

You can learn more about the PACE program on their website. You can also find a comprehensive list of student resources on the Liberal Arts website.