New Advising Centre location emphasizes focus on students

Advising in S Building 2015 01 for blog

Some of the advisors who have moved to the new Advising Centre in the Student Union Building: (l to r): Rhonda Colwell (standing), Kristen Switzer, Bobby Jaswal, Joanna Hawkins, Joanne Bishop, Rilla Apostolakis, Cathy Brooks (back standing), Eddie Campbell, Elaine Newman.

A new focus for student advising is coinciding with the opening of the new Student Union Building (SUB) on the Abbotsford campus.

UFV has used part of its portion of the new SUB to bring Arts, Science, and Student Services academic advisors together into one area on the Abbotsford campus. This move to a shared space in the heart of the SUB reflects the accessibility of the new advising model and is aimed at serving the needs of 21st century learners.

UFV Advising will continue to help today’s students on their higher education journey while providing accessible and dependable information and becoming the “go-to” source to assist students with planning their academic and long term career goals.

The new Advising Centre will consist of two units: First-Year & Qualifying Advising and Completion Advising. Chilliwack-based academic advisors will be part of the Advising Centre structure but will continue to be located in the Student Services offices at the Chilliwack campus.

Elaine Newman is the director of the new Advising Centre.

“The fundamental principle guiding the new model is ensuring that all students receive exceptional advising, where exceptional is defined as a central physical space, with targeted program planning instruction that draws on knowledge and expertise from academic advisors, who were previously in three separate units (Student Services, Arts Advice, and Science Advice),” says Newman.

Advisors support educational planning for prospective and current UFV students. They help students plan their educational career, develop academic success skills, and guide them to available resources and services.

“The new advising model is designed to support the life cycle of a student and UFV’s unique and diverse student population,” says Newman.

First-Year and Qualifying Advising will provide students with professional advisors who are skilled, trained, and knowledgeable in the areas of exploratory advising, transition planning, and first-year experience at the front end of a student’s experience. Completion Advising will provide students with professional advisors who are skilled, trained, and knowledgeable about UFV program requirements and assisting students with planning their post-graduation goals. This service will be provided to students who have obtained 30 credits and will continue through to the end of their program completion.

“We remain committed to providing the best possible service to students, and feel that this combined model will allow us to do so very effectively,” says Newman.

The new advising model is linked to the Strategic Enrolment Management plan implemented in 2014 and will ensure enhanced support for students who are part of the Qualifying Studies program. Students who have previously been on “program paths” awaiting formal entry to programs will now be categorized as Qualifying Studies students, and will receive more strategic monitoring and support.

“Advisors will help Qualifying Studies students identify and work on their long-term goals, ensuring that they take the courses and the steps they need to meet program admission requirements and that they are aware of and use the support services available to them,” says Newman. “Students will also benefit from technology in support of the new model. Coming soon is a common appointment booking and note-taking system, as well as degree audit software that allows students to explore “what if” program changes using a student’s actual academic data against their program requirements.”

Advisors will continue to liaise with UFV academic areas, including participating in Faculty Councils, departmental and university wide committees, consulting with deans, and providing input to the curriculum development process.

Students can find more information on the new Advising web page and can book their appointments online at www.ufv.ca/advising.

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