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College of Health Sciences academic advising experience inspires student into peer advising role

Sidney Carscallen

With a heart for helping others, Sidney Carscallen (BS, Respiratory Care, 2022) excelled at Boise State University.

Carscallen dedicated her time outside of the classroom to being an orientation leader, a Relay for Life advocate and a peer academic advisor for the College of Health Sciences. Upon passing her boards, she moved to Durham, North Carolina, to work as a registered respiratory therapist for Duke University Hospital.

Carscallen applied to be a peer academic advisor when she saw her supervisor would be Olga Salinas, her professional staff academic advisor. Salinas had a huge impact on Carscallen by helping her navigate the unique academic requirements in her chosen clinical degree program – respiratory care. Carscallen was inspired to do the same for other students who shared her passion for healthcare.

“Students asked more questions to their peer advisors. They were comfortable with us and trusted us to be honest since we were in their shoes such a short time ago,” Carscallen said.

Peer academic advisors take care of preparation work so professional advisors can maximize their time working one to one with students. Their work also increases the number of students professional advisors can meet with, which provides students with timely access to effective academic advising. Academic advising is at the forefront of student success because it keeps students on track to finish their degrees and become the future healthcare professionals of our community.

Due to the substantial growth of the College of Health Sciences in the past five years, the Student Services and Academic Advising Office expanded the size of the team from eight to 18, which includes seven peer advisors. The college hired five new professional advising staff since the summer of 2022 to increase access for health sciences students.

The college seeks gifts to sustain the peer academic advisors and add three additional positions to further build the advising team. Your gift to our academic advising efforts will help health sciences students achieve academic success and become the healthcare professionals Idaho needs.

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