by Tahira Carter
Cameron University’s Academic Advisement Center (AAC) was in full swing on March 25 with the beginning of Senior Enrollment Days.
Enrollment for classes is as old as the university itself but Cameron has refined this service in an effort to make the process more efficient and student friendly with the new AAC.
“It’s not so much that it’s a new service as much as it is a more complete service,” Director J.R. Larson said. “Whereas before you might go to an academic department and talk to someone who advises specifically or you might meet with a faculty member, we’ve changed it a little bit so that all new students can come to one place.”
The students also benefit from the expertise of the advisors at Cameron’s AAC because of their hands-on experience with the degree and course material.
“Some of our advisors are faculty. So, students are not just getting a sort of administrative expertise but rather people who know the curriculum. They develop it, they teach it and you might see that person in your class. This really helps build the relationship,” Larson said.
Specific advisors have also been assigned to different areas of study. Advising Specialist Debbie Crossland is one of the four advisors on staff at the AAC.
“I’m the allied health advisor and I take on science, math and technology,” Crossland said. “Velton Flowers has the School of Business, Terri Gentry has the School of Liberal Arts and Lorinda Rogers has education and psychology.”
The advisors spend roughly one hour with every student during which time they introduce the students to AggieAccess, show the students how to search for classes online and attempt to tailor the semester’s classes in a manner that best suits the student’s personal lifestyle.
“Some people work better in the morning or the afternoon and some people will only want to come to school two days a week,” Larson said. “Once we have got the framework, we look to see if you want to take classes just at Cameron here in Lawton, would you like to go to Duncan, or are you interested in Fort Sill. This breaks it down and makes it easier for the student to pick the schedule that fits them. We are able to be much more personal.”
Arranging the schedules of hundreds of students can be a hectic task if it is not handled systematically. The advisors understand that good advising takes time and encourage students to make appointments before coming into the office to ensure that they are attended to in a timely manner and all their needs are met.
Despite the fact that the AAC is very new to campus, students have been eager to make use of the new offices.
“Traffic has been pretty high. Each advisor probably sees about 12 appointments a day and that would not include walk-ins. We’ve had a lot of walk-in traffic.” Larson said. “Sometimes students have last minute things that they need to deal with so we do have a person available for walk-in students, but this may require a small wait.”
The AAC is located in Room 113 on the ground floor of North Shepler.
Senior Enrollment Days will continue on April 1 and 2 and again on April 8 and 9.