VSUniversity College Offers Students a New Advising Experience Starting Oct. 15
Published date: October 1, 2012
VSU’s freshmen can expect a brand new co-ed support experience beginning Oct. 15 with the official launch of the VSUniversity College (VSUC). This progressive endeavor will provide students with a convenient, centralized location to access much needed enhancement services geared to improve retention and graduation rates within freshmen cohorts.
On Oct. 15, which is also the first day of pre-registration for the Spring 2012 Semester, all students who have earned less than 30 credit hours and are majoring in programs at the following schools will be advised by VSUniversity College staff, rather than advisors in their academic departments:
- Reginald F. Lewis School of Business
- School of Liberal Arts and Education
- School of Engineering, Science and Technology
- School of Agriculture
Freshmen who have not yet decided on a major, those in the Individualized Studies Program and all incoming transfer students will also be advised through the VSUniversity College, which is located in the Academic Success building commonly known as “the shed” by students, and soon to be renamed the VSUniversity College & Student Center.
The goal of the VSUniversity College, directed by Dr. Evelina McIntire Davis, is to ultimately improve retention and graduation rates at VSU while providing its students with an atmosphere that is “stress-free and student friendly”. A staff of five academic advisors, who will also serve as personal life coaches, will mentor students, guiding them in making their academic/life choices and also pointing them toward other campus resources as needed.
“We will serve as liaisons between the university schools and students, bridging the gap between academic and student affairs,” said Daniel Hamlet, a former VSU grad and one of five VSUniversity College academic advisors.
One new strategy the VSUniversity College will use is to loop in parents early when students are showing signs of struggling. Students will be encouraged to sign a release form allowing the VSUniversity College staff to contact their parents if necessary.
The College will initially serve approximately 2,000 freshmen students this academic year, but will expand its focus in 2013-14 to serve sophomores and transfer students, two student populations which have also been shown to benefit from extra academic support. The long-term goal is that the VSUniversity College will handle all academic advising, allowing students to connect with one advisor throughout their college experience, according to Dr. Davis.
Besides the new academic advising role, the VSUC houses other services such as the Academic Success program, which has been restructured as the “Student Enhancement and Support Program” (SES) headed by Ms. Sandra Garner. The SES’s role includes University withdrawals, attendance monitoring, one-on -one remediation and National Student Exchange services. The VSUC will also be the home for the First Year Experience program, headed by Dr. Sandra N. Evans, which helps freshmen to acclimate to the university environment.