As San Jose State University works to enhance advising on campus, efforts have been made in both increasing the number of professional advisors available to students as well as expanding online advising tools. The university is recruiting and hiring 20 additional professional advisors with plans to add advising staff in each of the college’s student success centers. The colleges have determined common goals for the success centers and responsibilities for the new advisors to ensure all students get the support they need.
“The need for the university to improve access to advisors was a strong and recurring theme from the campus community as the Four Pillars of Student Success plan was being created,” said Stacy Gleixner, AVP for the Office of Faculty and Student Success. “This showed up in all the focus groups, the Campus Climate survey and the National Survey for Student Engagement results. These new advisors will ensure students have the opportunity to connect face to face with a professional to help them make sense of the curriculum, sort through their own personal issues, and stay on track for graduation.”
The university launched a suite of online tools to support students in planning out their graduation pathways in spring 2016. Called MyGPS (Graduation Pathway to Success), the suite of tools includes:
- MyRoadmap – allows students to see the required classes for their major and provides a four-year pathway for freshmen and a two-year pathway for transfer students to complete a 120-unit degree.
- MyProgress – allows students to see their own progress toward completing GE and major requirements as well as courses they still need to complete for graduation.
- MyScheduler – a scheduling tool that allows students to create and compare multiple class schedules as well as other commitments such as work, sports or family obligations.
- MyGradApp (pilots of online graduation application in three colleges) – creates a more efficient way for students to apply for graduation compared to the current hardcopy paperwork they are required to file.
Academic Affairs and Information Technology staff members are working together to add another tool to MyGPS in fall 2017 that will be piloted in select majors. The MyPlanner tool will allow students to plan out a personalized plan for their entire SJSU career. It will be especially helpful in allowing students to see the impact that each course they select will have on pre-requisites and course sequences and their intended graduation date. It will further familiarize students with the need to take at least 15 units each semester for first-year students to complete a degree in four years or for transfer students to complete a degree in two years.
Through awareness efforts this summer with #FinishInFour, the number of first-year students taking at least 15 units doubled from last year. The average unit load has increased by 0.5 units for new students and is up 0.2 units for continuing undergraduates.
“Together the combination of the MyGPS tools and the additional advisors will help students connect the degree requirements with their own personal situations to create a clear path to graduation that works for them,” Gleixner said. “Advisors will be able to monitor and work with students throughout their SJSU career to help them stay on this path.”