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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    The Advising Center Makes Itself Over

    The Academic and Pre-Professional Advising Center at Stony Brook is currently revamping its services to students. The new advising structure creates a network of academic advising units that will offer more personalized attention and efficient communication of information to students.

    As of this year, specialized advising will be offered to all freshmen within their respective undergraduate colleges and to transfer students at the Transfer Office. Special academic programs like Educational Opportunity Program/Advancement on Individual Merit (EOP/AIM), the Honors College, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), and Freshman Learning Communities will also operate individual advising units.

    Beginning in their sophomore year, students will report to the Advising Center for career and degree-related counseling. This includes pre-law or pre-health advising, guidance in choosing a career path and major, satisfying degree requirements, finding internships and study abroad opportunities. For further degree-related advising, students might also contact the advising units in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as the individual major and minor departments.

    According to Dr. Richard Gatteau, Director of Academic and Pre-Professional Advising at Stony Brook, the Advising Center will now function as an “overarching umbrella” to provide training and communication of information to all of these advising units. Dr. Gatteau reports that one of the Center’s most crucial roles and greatest challenges is to effectively communicate with students about new policies, deadlines, programs, events and opportunities available to them. Stony Brook hopes that the decentralization of advising into more specific categorical units will help to combat confusion and unawareness of valuable resources available to students.

    Some of these resources provided by the Advising Center include special events and information sessions. For example, on September 26th, the Advising Center will host Academic Advising Day in order to promote the services that it offers to Stony Brook students. Also, the Advising Center sponsors academic major events, which allow students undecided about their major to meet with faculty from various academic departments.

    The second component of Stony Brook’s plan to improve undergraduate advising is to expand its advising staff in order to better accommodate the university’s large undergraduate community. The Advising Center has increased its staff from six to nine advisors, and is currently in the process of hiring six more, in the hopes of developing more one-on-one relationships with students.

    As a further effort to revolutionize advising at Stony Brook, all advisors will now be required to undergo a certification course that will train university staff to be better equipped to counsel students as they make important career decisions. The university hopes that this course will improve the manner and content of academic and pre-professional advising at Stony Brook.

    Academic advising is a valuable but often under-utilized resource available to Stony Brook students. Dr. Gatteau hopes that these changes will help to foster a more close-knit relationship between students and the Advising Center and to make the services offered by the Center more easily accessible to the entire undergraduate population. He believes that the undergraduate colleges, improved advising, and the freshman 101 seminars will allow students to become well oriented with the University and to make informed decisions about their futures.

    “Our goal is for students to be academically successful and to graduate in a timely manner. If we can be more proactive about our communication, we hope students will take advantage of the opportunities available to them, be it internships or jobs, whatever they can do to follow a roadmap that they create for themselves along the way to a successful career,” Dr. Gatteau said.

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