The University is moving forward with implementing a plan for improving academic advisement that is based on the information shared with the faculty at the Campus Conversation on Academic Advisement on May 24, 2011. One of the primary goals of the plan is to increase the number of Student Service Professionals (SSPs) who can serve as academic advisors. To this end the President has approved searches for ten new SSPs for 2011-2012. The plan also calls for SSPs in Student Affairs and the Honors College to assist in advising students outside of these programs. With the SSPs that are being hired and the addition of the SSPs from other areas, the campus will achieve a student to SSP ratio in 2011-12 of 559:1, which is a significant improvement over last year’s ratio of 1549:1. The additional SSP advisors will provide additional hours of advising, be available during summer and quarter breaks, and complement the role of faculty in providing academic advisement. The permanent faculty will continue to provide advisement on issues related to the major including choosing an option, course selection, and graduate school and career opportunities.
The quality of advising will be enhanced and sustained with training and professional development for both SSPs and faculty provided through the UAAC, the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning, and Human Resources. In addition, Academic Affairs has been working with Student Affairs and ITS to improve the functionality of the Degree Progress Report (DPR).
The coordinated and complementary contributions of the appropriate number of well trained faculty and staff advisors, supported by administrative personnel will 1) improve the quality of advising that is provided to students, 2) allow faculty to advise on matters for which they are best prepared, 3) improve student academic success and 4) help to raise the University’s retention and graduation rates.