SBCC academic senate hopes to improve student counseling

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TAYLOR WILLIAMS, Associate Editor

City College’s Academic Senate discussed plans on Wednesday to improve the Counseling Center’s advising services to students in the fall semester.

The Counseling Center will attempt to reduce challenges many students have in reaching their academic goals by assigning counselors to each student.

“It’s a prime time for us to evaluate the way we deliver services to our students,” said Educational Support Senator Gwyer Schuyler. “We’re trying to do what we think is best for students.”

The center will also introduce Degree Works, a software used by other colleges to improve communication between advisors and students. The program helps organize each student’s information needed for transferring by evaluating all degree requirements. It also keeps track of all interactions advisors have with students.

The changes will eliminate excessive time students spend working with the center to create transfer plans.

Schuyler explained students also are often confused about who to speak to for academic or transfer counseling, while others complain they never receive help because of the long lines endured to meet with a center advisor.

“We look at special programs on campus like EOPS and see how those students needs are being met,” Schuyler said. “We want that to be avaliable for all students.”

Programs on campus such as the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services and the Transfer Academy assign each of their students a counselor, which gives them better access to guidance than other students.

All other City College students currently have to request a 30-minute appointment with an available counselor on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Schuyler said the center will begin assigning counselors to students in the coming fall semester, to ease confusion about who students should talk to about academic or transfer needs.

The college will also create a transcript evaluation office in the Counseling Center to improve its methods of handling transcripts from incoming high school and college students.  

Schuyler stressed the importance of faculty and advisors working together to encourage students to connect with the center to make sure they are on track to reach their goals.

“This is wonderful information given to us on how faculty can work with this department,” said President-Elect Priscilla Butler.

All senate members are in support of the changes planned for the fall semester.