Advising center to offer support for confused freshmen

Kinsey Gustafson

Kinsey GustafsonReporter

Freshmen with undeclared majors will soon receive more personalized attention to help guide them down their academic path.

As part of the First-Year Experience of SDSU’s Student Success Model, a new freshman advising center is in the works. Students will receive assistance becoming acclimated to campus, researching majors of interest and ultimately declaring a major.

The Office of Academic Affairs has been researching students’ success at SDSU for the past 18 months, which led to the conclusion of implementing the advising center.

“The first-year advising model was identified as the best practice utilized by universities that are successful in helping students progress and graduate,” said Keith Corbett, dean and professor of General Studies.

“Research in student success indicates that first-year students need a common portal of entry to a university where they are intentionally assisted with the transition to college,” he said.

A pilot of the program is currently running through students majoring in psychology, history and pre-economics. Students are assigned to work with Academic Development Specialist and Instructor Mark Binkley, to give them the best advising information possible.

“We will likely expand the pilot to at least one full college (arts and science) beginning the Fall 2011 term. Then if all goes well, the Provost’s Office may approve the plan for all first year students beginning fall 2012,” Binkley said.

The center would go beyond just helping students pick out classes for their schedule. It would offer insight into all the majors and minors offered at SDSU, as well as help students learn more about different leadership opportunities on campus.

The intention is to prepare students for their future at SDSU and help utilize all of the programs, such as free tutoring and the Writing Center.

“Once students decide on their major, they are placed in the appropriate department to work directly with faculty in their major,” Provost Laurie Nichols said.

Freshmen Luke Erfman and Randee Matz said they would benefit from an advising center.

“The freshman advising center sounds like a great idea,” said Erfman, an aviation major. “Even though I already have a major selected, I think that it would be nice to have something like this available.”

There is currently a team on campus that will soon propose a time line to the Office of Academic Affairs for when the advising center will be set into effect.

“That definitely sounds like something that we could have gotten a lot of use out of,” said Matz, nursing major. “Freshmen in the years to come would probably get a lot of helpful advice from it.”

#1.1814367:3595471019.png:Advising-1-Ryan-Robinson.png:Abbie Schuring, freshman pre-pharmacy major, speaks with her adviser, Teresa Delfinis, about classes necessary for the upcoming semester. With the implementation of a freshman-specific advising center, students may receive advice and insight in addition to class guidance.:Collegian Photo by Ryan Robinson