After the storm of the first week of classes, the Academic Advising Center is settling into its temporary home in the top floor of the library.
Tamara Long, dean of admissions, said despite the cramped conditions in the center’s current location, the staff made it successfully through one of the busiest times of the semester.
“I think we’re dealing with it as best as we can,” Long said. “There’s a lot of value in being in the same working environment with each other.”
Long said the greatest challenge for the advising center was how quickly the university made the switch from its old advising system to its new one.
“Students left in May with one structure in place and came back with a new structure in place,” Long said. “We’re also using new software so there’s been a challenge of getting used to that and training.”
A benefit of moving to centralized advising, Long says, has been the implementation of a student-to-adviser ratio of 300:1, which she said allows for more meaningful relationships to be formed between student and adviser.
“The goal and the purpose of the center is for students to know they have that one staff advocate right out of the gates,” Long said. “Our advisers will start working with freshmen during their senior year of high school, so when that student gets here and might be in a time of crisis, they know they have a person they can go to.”
Alivia Atkinson, freshman psychology and music education major from North Richland Hills, said she enjoys the current advising system and the reliability of her academic adviser.
“My counselor works really well with me and responds pretty quickly,” Atkinson said. “It’s been nice to have somebody I can rely on for that, especially with my double major.”
Taylor Jacobs, sophomore criminal justice major from Killeen, said he knew about the switch to centralized advising, but has not been to the centralized advising center. Despite not having visited the center, Jacobs is concerned the the new system could be impersonal.
“I haven’t been to the central advising enter yet but I would assume that it’s a little less personal,” Jacobs said. “ I liked my old adviser and she knew everything about my department. I’m not really sure who my adviser is now.”
Long said she expects construction on the permanent home of the Academic Advising Center to be completed by November and the center to be fully operational this spring.