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Revisions to advising aimed at personalizing experience

Revisions to advising aimed at personalizing experience
A student checks in for an advising appointment. Photo by Alejandra Rosas/The Et Cetera
A student checks in for an advising appointment. Photo by Alejandra Rosas/The Et Cetera

In an effort to streamline the advising process, the Office of Student Engagement and Retention has split services for first-year and returning students.
The First Year Experience will focus on orientation and choosing a major for students who have less than 30 credit hours.
The Completion Center will help students with more than 30 credit hours oversee career choice, transferring and graduation.
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Executive Dean of OSER Robert Harper said the college is replicating the advising model used at four-year universities.
Instead of seeing different people at each visit, students are assigned to advisers for a year.
“The data shows if you have an assigned adviser, they would know you,” Harper said. “But if you go to one person at one point and somebody else at another, you’ll get a different message every time.”
Tonya Marbley-Wilson, director of the First Year Experience, said the new process is functional as long as both advising staff and students are on the same page.
Student surveys will be used to gauge its effectiveness.
“We want to make sure that even though we may not be perfect, that we are striving in the right direction and keep students first,” she said.
Evette Hernandez, who is pursuing an Associate of Science, said the advising office was helpful during her recent visit after the program’s changes.
“I had gone there twice and understood more of my academic situation from going to only one adviser,” she said.
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Science major Jaime Caudle, however, said she had trouble with the new process.
Despite making an appointment, her adviser was unavailable at the scheduled time.
Even though there were others available, she could not see them.
“It’s so frustrating to work that into your schedule and be the only one who actually shows up,” Caudle said. “If I were to make my experience better, I would give a heads-up that I’m not going to be there and drop the,
‘Students can only see their assigned advisors.’ ”
The First Year Experience is in C-120. The Completion Center is in C-237.
Students can visit for information or to book an appointment.

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