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College of Health Sciences Student Services and Academic Advising Succeeds in Helping Students Navigate University

The new centralized Student Services and Academic Advising (SSAA) experienced great success in its first six months. The advising team experienced a drastic increase in numbers due to a requirement that transfer students and freshmen attend an advising meeting prior to registering for the spring term; yet the team rose to the challenge and student feedback has been very positive.

Advisers, including peer advisers, have had more than 1800 appointments between July 1 and Dec. 31. These appointments are not just about assisting students with course selection, but assisting students to identify career paths. In addition, countless emails and phone calls rounded out the advising services.

Olga Salinas, pre-nursing adviser, states that the number of students the SSAA has advised “are amazing; I believe that they would favorably compare to the numbers given in any college on this (or any other comparable campus). Our students were not just assisted, but assisted well. We were proactive in our approach, using technology and a variety of options for our students to full this [mandatory advising for first time students] requirement and we were successful.”

However, students are not the only commitment that advisers have had. In addition to serving on a number of college, university, and national committees and organizations, the advisers also teach classes, write articles and book chapters for nationally-recognized publications, and travel to conferences and meetings to further their understanding of the professions and educational needs of the students they advise. Salinas also presented at the annual National Academic Advising Association with a presentation that was sponsored by the Commission on Peer Advising.