Compass celebrates Advisors of the Year, first-year success

Oglethorpe’s Compass advising program has announced its 2017-2018 Compass Advisor of the Year Award recipients, selected based on student surveys and retention data: Dr. Iona Wynter Parks, Dr. Brian PattersonCarson Raymond, and Susan Sharfman.

Compass badge

During the 2017-2018 academic year, 43 faculty and staff served as Compass advisors. On average, students met with their advisors three times per semester.

Compass helps first-year students to identify, clarify, and achieve their education, career, and personal goals. Advisors encourage and guide students through their first year at Oglethorpe University, inspiring them to seek academic-professional-personal-social balance.

During Compass’ inaugural year, retention from fall 2017 to spring 2018 increased 3% to 96% overall retention for first-year freshmen, according to René Alvarez, director of academic success/advising.

A string of other successes distinguished the year.

Alvarez’s peer-reviewed article “Trans Student Narratives of Transitioning While in College” was presented at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in April and will be published this fall.

Following successful presentations at the March regional conference, three Academic Success staff were invited to present at the NACADA National Conference in fall 2018.

A global community for academic advising, NACADA is an association of professional advisors, counselors, faculty, administrators, and students working to enhance the educational development of students.

Cecil Rose presented at the NACADA regional conference in March in Pine Mountain, GA.

Cecil Rose, associate director of academic success, will present “Planting the Seeds of Academic Growth and Recovery,” which received community-sponsored status, an honor given to only a few conference sessions out of hundreds.

Rose will discuss the EXCEL Academic Recovery and Coaching program, developed for Oglethorpe students who are on academic warning/probation. This program provides priority access to a variety of academic support services that positively influence the retention and persistence of academic at-risk students.

Tracy Hall, assistant director of academic success and accessibility services, will present “The Humanistic Advising Toolbox: Advising Students Registered for Accessibility Services,” a look at the use of humanistic counseling principles with students who have physical, psychological, or learning disabilities, helping them to establish academic goals in a welcoming environment where their strengths are emphasized.

Hall recently also earned her license to practice independently, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), an accomplishment that takes more than three years to complete.

Miriam Smith, senior academic advisor, will present “Intervention Intersection: The Academic Advising and Residence Life Connection,” an overview of Oglethorpe University’s academic advising approach and its integration with the residence life structure, and how these elements are transferable to other institutions.

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