Establishing a Centralized Drop-in Advising Center Ms. Elizabeth
Establishing a Centralized Drop-in Advising Center Ms. Elizabeth A. Stevens, MA, MSEd. Senior Academic Adviser Academic Commons Buffalo State College, SUNY [email protected] 716-878-5399 Profile of Buffalo State College Name
Location Buffalo State College, City of Buffalo, urban SUNY 125-acre campus Enrollment Fall 2016 Acceptance Rate 9,475 students 64 percent (First-time 8,482 freshmen; fall 2016)
undergraduate 993 graduate Founded: 1871 Buffalo Normal School Profile of Buffalo State College Faculty and Staff Academic Offerings Profile 79 undergraduate programs Full time: 1,239 64 graduate programs Part time: 572
Total: 1,811 Five schools School of Arts & Humanities School of Education School of Natural & Social Sciences School of the Professions The Graduate School Student Profile Enrollment Status
Age of Students Full time: 7,598 Part time: 884 Total: 8,482 Under 25: 7,772 25 and over: 1,415 Gender Geographic Origin
Female: 4,792 Male 3,690 Residence Halls 3,017 Erie County: 4,512 Niagara County: 661 Other NY State: 3,691 Outside NY State: 95 International: 128
1096 Caucasian Asian 4036 249 American Indian 44 African American 0
2620 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 Map of Buffalo State College Studen t Union A
Librar y Colleges Advisement Organizational Model Shared Structure Faculty advise majors in their departments Advisement Office advises undeclared students Starting fall 2017, advisers working with majors All freshmen are now assigned a Professional Staff Adviser
(PSA) for their first 24 credits Some majors use the PSA as the only adviser for freshmen Other majors advise all of their own students, PSA backup 2 full-time advisers work within the Academic Advising Center Staff 1 Director (Academic Commons: Advising, Tutoring, Starfish)
1 Work-study student for secretary/reception area Currently hiring for: 1 Assistant Director (grant funded) 1 Completion Coach (10 month, grant funded) SUNY Buffalo State Mandatory Advisement Plan Effective Fall 2017 for J-Term/Spring 2018 Registration Definition of Advisement: Academic Advisement
at SUNY Buffalo State is a relationship between students and advisers that prepares students to successfully navigate college processes; understand the parts and purpose of degree requirements; follow a meaningful, experience-rich path from matriculation to choosing majors to timely graduation; evaluate post-graduate career options; and become positive, contributing members of the Buffalo State alumni Student Learning Outcomes for Academic Advisement: Students will be able to successfully navigate
academic college processes. Students will be able to access academic advisement resources, such as advisers and online tools, to achieve timely graduation. Students will be able to connect with resources on campus to choose an appropriate course of study and evaluate post-graduate career options Main Location: South Wing Advisement Center Offices
South Wing Office Suite: 3 Advisers Inside South Wing Office Suite An Advisers Office Questions This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC What Led to Development of Drop-in?
Fall 2014: Concern was expressed about the state of advising by the College Senates Standards for Students committee. Spring/Summer 2015: Advisement sub-committee was charged to conduct a CAS (Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education) selfstudy on Academic Advising Programs. 2015: The Academic Advisement component of both the FSSE (Faculty Survey on Student Engagement) and NSSE (National Survey on Student Engagement) were utilized. What Led to Development of Drop-in?
Fall 2015/Spring 2016: Campus Advisement Committee (CAC) formed to address deficiencies. Spring 2016: Campus Advisement Committee submits report recommending improvements for advising at Buffalo State. Fall 2016: Drop-in Advising Center opens. Spring 2017: Provost forms the Academic Advisement Advisory Council (AAAC). Fall 2017: Mandatory advisement with PINs begins. Related Events of 2016
New library renovation project, which includes development of an Academic Achievement Center (now Academic Commons) Dissolution of University College & Academic Support Programs, which housed advising and tutoring Immediate goal of our provost to get advisement into a more visible, central location. Hiring of a director for the Academic Commons Change in leadership of the Academic Advisement Center
Library Renovation Project Project cost: $10.4 million Design start: September 2016, Construction: Summer 2018 - ? Occupancy: Spring 2020 Butler Library is a 3 story building constructed in 1951 President Katherine Conway-Turner and Provost Melanie Perrault conceptualized the AC as a one-stop shop that will centralize all academic support services in E.H. Butler
Library, rather than have students seek help through offices scattered across campus. Provost Melanie Perrault: Ultimately, Butler Library will become a hub for face-to-face and virtual support services that will enable all Buffalo State students to get timely assistance for the vast majority of common academic issues. Plan for Academic Commons in Library The AC will include:
Concierge reception area Tutoring Academic Advising The Writing Center The Math Lab EOP Academic Center for Excellence Student Accessibility Services Variety of shared spaces for testing, and individual and group tutoring/advising space. Butler Library: Academic Commons
ADVISIN G The Future Academic Advising Center Announcement of Grants: October 2016 Although the completed facility wont open until 2020, a $75,000 grant from the John R. Oshei Foundation made it possible to begin the first phase this fall (2016).
The Oshei grant was a key factor in enabling us to immediately create the new Drop-in Advising Center to jump-start the design of the center and integration of the academic support services that will be housed there Provost Perrault Announcement of Grants, continued Another element of phase one, a new Drop-in Advising Center located within the librarys Information Commons, also opened this fall, thanks to Millington Lockwood Business
Interiors. The Advising Centers cubicle has been outfitted with sleek furniture that Millington Lockwoods president, Michael Bonitatibus, 79, provided at a special rate. Announcement of Drop-in Tuesday, August 30, 2016 Published in the Daily online newsletter Drop-In Advising Center Now Open in Butler Library Spread the word! This fall term, students will be able to access advising services at a new drop-in center in
Butler Library. Although it will not replace the existing advising structures on campus, the drop-in center will enable students to obtain immediate, accurate answers to pressing questions about degree program requirements, assistance with schedule changes, etc. The drop-in advising center is located near the RITE Support Desk on the first floor of the library. Hours are as follows: MondayThursday, 10:00 a.m.8:00 p.m. Friday, 10:00 a.m.2:00 p.m. Introducing the Drop-in to Faculty
Director of the Academic Commons, Dr. Aimee Woznick, attended all department chairs meetings and many department meetings to make them aware of our services and hear their questions and concerns. The response on the whole was positive. Faculty were excited about having somewhere to send students for assistance when necessary. Student Union/Butler Library Quad
E.H. Butler Library Sign for Drop-in at Bottom of Ramp Inside Library: Entrance to Information Commons where Drop-in is located View of the Drop-in Center from Doorway The Drop-in Advising Center
Looking into the Drop-in from Entry Door One end inside of the Drop-in One of the 4 Work Stations Inside Adviser with Students in Dropin View from the Drop-in Center Looking Toward Room Entrance View from Inside the Drop-in
View of Drop-in Questions This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC Drop-in Procedures One adviser is on duty at a time except during peak periods, then 2 are scheduled for each shift. Student signs in on clipboard on the front table,
takes seat, waits to be called into the cubicle. First come, first-served. Most advisers do not make appointments to see their own advisees during Drop-in hours except during very slow times of the semester or if there is no alternative time to see the advisee. Hours Open Per Week by Semester 45 44 44
44 43 42 42 41 40 39 38
38 37 36 35 Fall 2016 Spring 2017 Fall 2017
Spring 18 Hours & Staffing: Year 1, Fall 2016 Hours: 10 am 8 pm, M-Th, 9 am 2 pm, Fridays 44 hours/week 1 Director: 3 hours per week 4 Full-time Advisers: 5 regular hours, 5 back-up hours 1 Part-time Librarian on Extra Service: 7 hours a week
3 Part-time Advisers on Extra Service: 12 hours a week total Drop-in Schedule: Year 2, Spring 2018 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 11:00 AM 12:00 PM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM
Monday Ken Ken Mary Mary Laura Carrie Carrie Carrie Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Jill Ken Carrie Jill Ken Tracy Jill Mary Tracy Horace Mary Tracy
Horace Laura Tracy Sally Jill Sally Elizabeth Horace Sally Elizabeth Horace Sally
Hours: 9 am - 5 pm, M-Th 9 am 3 pm, Fridays Friday Bert Bert Bert Bert Elizabeth Elizabeth
38 hours/ week 9 full-time advisers each working 4 hours per week 1 part-time adviser working 2 hours per week Adviser Procedures
Follow the Sign-in Sheet in order Call student in and introduce self Ask what the student needs help with today Ask what major student is in and if they have seen their assigned adviser. Ask for BID and name Keep notes as you go
Go as far as you are comfortable with in assisting the student to counteract shuffle Document meeting in Starfish and in Degree Works Email assigned adviser/s to make them aware that you saw student and that notes are in DW. Some students require follow-up phones calls/emails. Record-Keeping: Year 2, Fall 2017, Starfish Adding a Drop-in Meeting in Starfish
Starfish: Outcomes Tab Starfish: Speed Notes tab # of Student Sign-ins by Semester Chart Title 1200 1030 1000
800 600 400 200 0 303 150 Fall 2016 100
Spring 2017 Fall 2017 Spring 2018 Spring 2018 #s through 2/20/18 N u m b e r o f M e e ti n Duration of Drop-in Meetings:
Spring 2017 90 79 80 70 58 60 50
40 40 30 20 20 10 0
7 8 5 1 2 3
2 5 7 1 8 15 1
9 2 5 1 2 1
10 15 20 22 25 28 30 35 40 45 50 60 75 Length of Meetings in Minutes # Seen at Drop-in by Major: Spring 2017 Top 5 Majors Seen Undeclared: 40 Criminal Justice: 34 Business Administration: 32 Sociology: 17 Psychology: 12
# of Students Seen by Academic School: Spring 2017 UNC; 40; 15.69% NM; 9; 3.53% AH; 26; 10.20% EDU; 4; 1.57% PROF; 100; 39.22%
NSS; 76; 29.80% NM: Non-matriculated UNC: Undeclared Questions This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC Most Frequent Help Requests Schedule Adjustment: Drop/Add week (1st week)
Explanations of audit sheet in Degree Works Majors requesting advisement: focus on General Education requirements, not major requirements How do I .? Change or Declare a Major or Minor?
Drop or Withdraw from a Course Take a Course Pass/Fail Take a Leave of Absence or Withdraw from College Find my adviser, my department, other offices Get my transfer credits applied differently? Student Response Very positive! Students come in frustrated, angry and leave relieved that their problem was solved or improved. Happy! A lot of thank-yous What would all of us new transfer students do without
this here? Im so glad I met you! When are you here again? Ill be back to see you Can I bring my friend here for help? Adviser Responses to Drop-in Duties Some like it; some like it not Difficult adjustment at first: took time away from appointment availability in
offices Concern about lack of privacy with students Keeping up with Drop-in notes in both DW and Starfish Noise level inside corral when 2 or more working at once Expectations from students vs reality of what we can do Become a place to refer students for just about anything Learned a lot more than ever imagined about the state of advising on campus in departments Faculty and Staff Responses Positive
A place to refer students for a variety of issues, from creating an entire schedule to taking a leave of absence. Referrals from academic department secretaries when faculty advisers are not available. Referrals from Residence Life, Admissions Office, Career Development Center, Registrars Office, Department Secretaries. Obstacles & Concerns Students following initial Drop-in directions Students walking into the corral/peeking over the top
Writing illegibly on sign-in sheet despite reminders Sign-in sheet minimally filled-out by students Waiting during busy times could be 30+ minutes Time spent with students: too little or not enough Obstacles & Concerns Consistency among advisers in terms of purpose of drop-in. A quick question turns into not one Answering the phone when busy Distraction of students/staff in the room: Computing HELP desk, reference librarian, Bengal Card machine, copiers, eating & talking allowed
Temperature of room can be both too cold and too hot Germs and sanitation Lessons Learned
Filling a definite need Administrations support is key Utilize studies and assessments Consider the library or student union Find donors for physical structure, computers, etc. Keep advisers informed of coming changes as they are developing to lessen confusion and worry Have a staffing plan solidified before opening Produce an FAQ and Guideline documents for quick reference, especially for newer advisers Lessons Learned
Be prepared to triage: trouble-shooting and problemsolving essential skills College needs a better communication plan to students regarding academic policies and deadlines Transfers and non-traditional students need targeted assistance Non-matriculated students are often underserved Majors need to do earlier graduation checks Some students hadnt seen an adviser until PINs became mandatory Fall 17 Future of Drop-in Center Parts of the library going off-line Summer 2018, including
area of the Drop-in Center New Location in Library? Advisers Offices starting fall 2018? Cons of losing Drop-in Center: No longer centrally located. Student use will most likely decrease if coming to Advisement Center in South Wing, instead. Pros of not having a Drop-in Center: No more treks across campus for advisers. More time spent in advisers offices. Thank you!
Special thanks to Ms. Susan Stiner and Mr. Bob Hudson Ms. Elizabeth A. Stevens, MA, MSEd. Senior Academic Adviser Academic Commons Buffalo State College, SUNY [email protected] 716-878-5399
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