Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
Public Relations and Marketing Communications
ATLANTA— Georgia State University has made another commitment to ensuring all students succeed with the opening of a new University Advisement Center that already has more than 700 appointments scheduled over the next two weeks.
Students will meet with one of more than 60 advisers in the center at the 25 Park Place building.
“This opening represents a significant new resource to help our undergraduate students, as well as a change in the structure of academic advisement on campus,” said Timothy Renick, Georgia State’s vice provost and chief enrollment officer.
By adding more than 40 new academic advisers to its staff, the university has succeeded in reducing the student-to-adviser ratio from more than 700 to one in 2011 to the nationally recommended average of 300 to one today.
“We’re very pleased to have an opportunity to serve our students better,” said Allison Calhoun-Brown, Georgia State’s assistant vice president for student retention. “More advisers and a more reasonable ratio allow the advisers to really get to know the students, and to help them chart a course among their academic goals, their academic needs and what the university provides.”
The Advisement Center, which will be directed by Carol Cohen, will serve freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Seniors will continue to be served by the Office of Academic Assistance in the college of their major.
Academic advisers in the center represent every college and undergraduate major. There’s also a group of advisers trained to help students select and, when necessary, transition between majors, Renick said.
“The average Georgia State undergraduate moves between three majors and graduates with well over 20 hours of course credits that do not apply toward his or her degree,” Renick said. “We have to do better. In providing a single advisement location for all majors, we hope to reduce student confusion and limit the number of students who are bounced between offices.”
In addition to face-to-face meetings, Georgia State advisers are also using an innovative web-based advising system that receives nightly updates from university data systems to track every student’s academic progress and to indicate when interventions are necessary.
“For students who are not able to be successful in their current majors, the system provides analytics based on seven years of data that predict those majors in which the students are likely to succeed,” Renick said.
The opening of the Advisement Center is another step in Georgia State’s plan to demonstrate that students from all backgrounds can achieve academic and career success at high rates. Georgia State’s institutional graduation rate is now at a record high — up 19 points from 10 years ago.
Ariana Gordon, a sophomore majoring in psychology, visited the Advisement Center this week to discuss class options and to make sure she is on track to graduate on time.
“I wanted to make sure that I got the right classes without adding some that I didn’t need,” Gordon said. “Now I know which classes I need for summer and fall and I know what I need to do graduate.”
Victoria Voelkel, Gordon’s academic adviser at Georgia State, said her interactions with students have been a lot more personable since the center opened.
“The number of students we’re responsible for seeing is a lot smaller than it has ever been,” Voelkel said. “We can really find out what students are interested in and pair them with what’s going to make them the happiest at Georgia State.”
The University Advisement Center will host a series of kick-off events during the week of Feb. 18. For more information or to make an appointment, visit http://www.gsu.edu/advisement.
Feb 14, 2013