Academic Advising Center, Overview
The Academic Advising Center was created through Academic Initiatives, first drafted in fall 2003 and given final approval by the UW-L administration in spring 2004. Upon recommendation of a search and screen committee and the Provost, the AAC Director began work on July 6, 2004. Since that time, the AAC has been firmly established as a critical component of the academic structure of the university.
Summary of Accomplishments, 2004-05
- Remodeled and equipped the old Academic Discovery Lab in 8 Wilder Hall to function as the Academic Advising Center.
- Hired and trained three new academic advisers and a program assistant.
- Developed an extensive campus outreach program to communicate about academic advising with students, faculty, and staff.
- Formed and began work with the AAC Implementation Team, a campus-wide group that oversees what the AAC does.
- Played an extensive role in June Freshman Registration and student schedule-building afterward. Assisted more than 100 students who could not attend JFR with their registration.
- Developed and carried out a three-day river canoeing trip + academic advising/ campus orientation for 11 ‘undecided’ freshmen who are new to UWL this fall.
- Developed a campus orientation packet for transfer students and have conducted (so far) more than 100 meetings with new transfer students for fall, 2005.
- The AAC was the focus of more than 80 special events and media presentations. These included several community-based workshops, student-developed service learning projects for undergraduates, newspaper and magazine articles (both on- and off-campus), and a television interview. All of these opportunities allowed us to demonstrate to the campus community that UW-La Crosse takes academic advising seriously.
Through the end of June, 2005:
· 1,880 academic advising meetings with students
· 3,741 in-person contacts to promote/ explain AAC
· 11,947 letters/ e-mails promoting AAC to students & others
· 332 e-mail contacts for advising with students
· 7,100 hits to the AAC web site
· 120 new freshman visits and telephone conferences
· 562 UWL student log-ins to Discover Career Program
Our online survey of students who used the AAC showed greater than 90% satisfaction level with our services. Furthermore, the survey showed students learned from their experiences in the AAC and were applying that learning in productive ways to further their academic career.
AAC online survey (demo copy) http://www.uwlax.edu/advising/samplesurvey.htm
The AAC annual report for 2004-05 reviews accomplishments in the area of facilities, staffing, oversight, advising initiatives undertaken, and assessment of these initiatives. The report highlights other measures of success, and verifies AAC fiscal accountability. The report ends with the AAC goals for 2005-06.
Strategic goals for the 2005-06 academic year
- Working cooperatively with the Admissions Office and the colleges, the AAC will assume major responsibility for June Freshman Registration beginning in 2006. The AAC will be involved in all facets of the process, from contact with students before registration to schedule creation for students ‘live’ online at each of the Freshman Registration Days. Most of the academic advising responsibilities now carried by CLS will transfer to AAC for June registration in 2006.
- It is our goal that the Academic Advising Center helps to begin a campus-wide dialogue about academic advising. What is academic advising at UW-L? How do we define it? How do we support it? These questions and others, when answered, will help us establish a mission statement that can lead to specific outcomes and assessment measures. Related to this discussion, we plan to re-name the Implementation Team as the UW-L Academic Advising Council in fall 2005.
- It is our continuing goal to work with Admissions, Career Services, Financial Aid, and Records & Registration to streamline our services and reduce administrative costs for the university.
- Related to the above is our continuing goal of creating the most efficient and helpful structure for the AAC, particularly in regard to effectively addressing the needs of all students when they come in to the AAC. We want to clarify responsibilities of professional advisers, grad students and undergraduate peer advisers and more effectively manage related tasks. We also want to fully integrate the quarter-time release faculty and get maximum use of their talents and skills.
Catalog changes and program updates plus sample SNAPs
- There are many changes to the academic program as a result of this being a catalog year. The AAC is making sure all our materials are updated for the start of the fall semester, and we are sharing our materials with other offices. The AAC is now producing “sample SNAP reports” for students through a request link on our web page. http://www.uwlax.edu/advising/samplesnaprequestform.htm
- The Coate Hall office hours did not generate the level of student involvement we expected, so we’re going to try a different tactic in the fall. It is our goal that the AAC produce a series of informative advising-oriented programs that will rotate between residence halls. There will be two presentations each week in different halls beginning with a White Hall presentation on Sept. 11. We are also working with the Coate Prep Team for extensive/ expansive academic programming in that hall.