Summer is one of the busiest times of year for the Arkansas Tech University Roy and Christine Sturgis Academic Advising Center.
Beginning the third week of May, the advising center staff is hard at work to meet with each freshman individually to register the student in fall classes.
Linda Clarke, director of the Academic Advising Center, says while scheduling the numerous individual appointments can be a challenge, it is part of what makes Arkansas Tech special.
“We want the Advising Center and the freshman registration process to exemplify Tech’s friendly, positive and family-oriented atmosphere,” said Clarke. “We work to make sure a student’s first academic interaction with Tech is as stress free and welcoming as possible.”
As part of the Academic Advising Center’s procedure, students receive individual interaction with an advisor during their hour-long appointment.
“By giving the students a full hour, they’re able to ask questions and share concerns they may have,” said Clarke. “Unlike many schools, we also invite parents and other family to join in the registration process. Our belief is this helps the parents understand how they can offer support during their child's collegiate experience.”
Dr. Jason Warnick, assistant professor of psychology, serves as a faculty advisor at the Academic Advising Center during the summer, and he says parents appreciate the opportunity to attend the advising session to learn how they can help their student succeed.
“After finishing one session, I had a father ask what he could do to help his son succeed,” said Warnick. “The father explained he never had the opportunity to attend college, so he didn’t understand the college process. We had a great discussion about ways he could stay connected and help his son succeed.”
To help with the advising process during the summer months, the Academic Advising Center hires seven faculty members to assist by serving as advisors.
“We work to hire faculty advisors who are student-oriented and genuinely care about the well-being of students,” said Clarke. “Additionally, we try to make sure we have one faculty advisor from each of the more popular majors on the campus. This allows students to get individualized attention in these areas.”
Clarke says she believes the advising process at Tech serves an important role in helping students succeed.
“At Tech, we always say we are a family. I think our advising process exemplifies this by allowing us to work with each student individually to ensure all of his or her needs are met,” said Clarke. “Helping these students begin their collegiate career with thorough advising is some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.”