More than 3,100 incoming students have participated in a Group Planning Session (GPS) since mid-October, and their response to the new advising program has been strongly favorable.
A majority of students evaluating their session indicated that they found it “very helpful” for learning to build a course schedule, registering, and identifying resources to help them succeed.
Among their responses:
What was your overall evaluation of this session?
Excellent – 68 percent
Good – 27 percent
How helpful did you find the information toward developing your educational plan?
Very helpful – 67 percent
Helpful – 25 percent
“I’m leaving feeling aware of the steps I need to complete, rather than feeling overwhelmed.”
“It helped knock out some questions and thoughts and fears I had for ACC.”
“While the short-term results and positive feedback have been encouraging, we are really looking forward to the longer-term benefits of increased retention and persistence,” says Eva Thomsen, Round Rock Campus counselor and GPS planning committee member.
One-on-one, follow-up advising still available
The two-hour GPS session replaces one-on-one initial advising for most new students. In addition to learning enrollment steps, students are introduced to Online Services and the new Degree Map application. By the end of the session, students select classes and are ready to proceed to registration on their eligibility date. The sessions are offered at every campus on varying days and times.
Using GPS to review registration tasks with students allows advisors to use individual advising sessions to focus on student interests, careers, and discussions about individual education plans.
“GPS more effectively prepares students to begin their studies at ACC and allows our individual follow-up advising sessions with these students to better serve their unique needs,” Thomsen says.
Students connect with each other
Vice President of Student Services Kathleen Christensen says GPS provides a consistent way for advisors and counselors to relay important information while offering new students the opportunity to connect with each other.
The success of GPS has been a result of a collaborative, collegewide effort involving all of Student Services and the GPS planning committee, co-led by Virginia Fraire, Pinnacle Campus dean of student services, and Roxanne Royalty, Northridge Campus counselor. The committee will use student and staff feedback to further refine the sessions.
To read more about GPS or see a list of spring sessions, visit the Academic Advising webpage.
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