In the midst of a transformed credit system, a revamped dining plan and several building projects, the College recently underwent yet another reform within its Academic Services Department.
The College’s Developmental Advising Task Force identified the need for a new and better method of advising students.
In response to four recommendations, the Office of Academic Support Programs (ASP) was created, and director James Boatwright was appointed.
The Task Force stressed four critical concepts on which the foundation of the new advisory system should be built.
First, faculty should serve as primary advisors and mentors to students.
Second, advisement should be a team effort; in other words, a student should have access not only to his or her primary advisor, but also to a group of key individuals who can all help the student in different ways.
Third, central coordination should be implemented as part of the new advisement model.
And last, electronic advisory resources should be created to allow both students and staff access to records that illustrate a student’s progress.
The new office is headed by Academic Services, which underwent its transformation in Spring 2004 to accommodate these recommendations and also oversees the Offices of Records and Registration, Career Services, Undergraduate Global Programs and Summer School. Among the new services offered by ASP are College Resources Advisement, College Transitional Assistance, Peer Mentoring, Student Leadership Development and Developmental Workshops and Seminars.
“Advising is not just telling a student what classes he or she should be taking next semester,” Carlos Alves, acting dean of the Office of Academic Services, said. “We are looking at how to provide support to help students succeed and reach levels that they would not have considered before.”
On Sept. 17, a mass e-mail announced the unveiling of the Advising Resources Web site.
As the leader of Advising Resources and Evaluations in the Office of Records and Registration, Delsia Fleming headed up the creation of this advising website, with assistance from her team and Information Technology. The site can be accessed at tcnj.edu/~advising.
This new resource offers a wealth of information for students to guide them towards successful academic progress.
Lists of approved Liberal Learning courses and study abroad programs, as well as several career aptitude tests are only a few of the features available through the Web site.
One of the more interesting features of the new Web site is the invitation for students to contact Advising Resources via America Online Instant Messenger.
The office uses the screen name TCNJadvising, and makes the service available every Wednesday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m.
“The reorganization of Academic Services places a much greater importance on advising,” Alves added. With all the new resources available, students should find it much easier to seek helpful advice and guidance.