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Academic advising adjusts to COVID-19 regulations

by Hannah Onder

Priority registration deadlines for summer and fall 2020 are still on track for their regular dates even with the COVID-19 virus.

To comply with the City of Fort Worth’s “Stay Home, Work Safe” order, the Academic Success Center moved academic advising online through email, phone calls, and Microsoft Teams, according to academic advisor Muhye Hammattah.

Priority Registration Deadlines:

  • Seniors (91+ credit hours) – March 30-31
  • Juniors (61-90 credit hours) – April 1-2
  • Sophomore (31-60 credit hours) – April 3-6
  • Freshmen (0-30 credit hours) – starting April 7

*Drop dates for spring 2020 extended to May 5.

“We are finding that using Microsoft Teams allows us to communicate in real time with the ability to see and hear each other as if we were in our offices,” Hammattah wrote in an email.

This online transition follows the initial change to the advising system that started on Feb. 10. Originally, students just had a faculty advisor, but under the new system they will also have an academic advisor.

“We are very excited to launch this new shared advising system,” wrote Dr. Helena Bussell, the associate provost of Academic Policy and Support and Accreditation Liaison. “We believe it takes the expertise of both faculty and academic advisors and combines them to create a successful blueprint for graduation and career success for our students. It is truly a Smaller. Smarter. way to advise.”

Bussell wrote that the changes come in order to assist students with graduating on time while still having access to experts in their field of interest.

“Under our new shared advising system, students will have an academic advisor that will assist them with planning their degree and schedules to ensure they graduate on time,” Bussell wrote. “They will also have a faculty advisor who will serve as a mentor by providing knowledge about particular majors and help the student determine if that major is a good fit.”

Hammattah is optimistic about the new shared advising system giving students more support then ever even with the bumps that usually come with change.

“Anytime there is change, opportunities for improvement present themselves, and we will navigate those with students’ best interest in mind,” Hammattah wrote.

Bussell wrote that students can find their new academic advisors at https://txwes.edu/academics/academic-advising-and-student-success/ or by logging into Ramlink.

Academic Advisors:

  • Alyssha Munt: criminal justice, history, history with secondary education, sociology
  • Muhye Hammattah: mass communications, paralegal studies, political science, psychology, undecided
  • Beth Jackson: bachelor of applied arts and sciences in interdisciplinary studies, early childhood – grade 6 general/ESL, early childhood – grade 6 bilingual, English, liberal studies, religion, Spanish, Spanish with secondary education
  • Mayra Hernandez: biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, exercise science, math with secondary education, physical education
  • Kimberly Shamshoian-Sakamoto: accounting, computer information systems, general business, finance, forensic accounting, management, marketing

“Students will have the same advisors throughout their studies unless they switch majors,” Bussell wrote. “This way, students will be able to work with their advisors and build a relationship that ensures success. Academic advisors will also be cross-trained so that someone is always available to students who drop by or call the Academic Advising Center.”

Senior Director of Academic Advising and Student Success Michael Brown wrote that the best thing students can do during this time is stay connected.

“[My advice is] to be rest assured that the Advising staff are committed to serving your needs from any location,” Brown wrote in an email. “The best thing students can do is look for our emails, posts on social media, tweets and texts. Look for the hashtag #TxWesAdvisingAnywhere.”

Students can get in contact with the advising center by emailing advising@txwes.edu or emailing their advisor directly.

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