University rolling out new coordinated advising program 

Students soon will have a one-stop shop for the advising and support they need from enrollment through graduation at Pittsburg State University. 

The university is rolling out a new coordinated advising program this fall through the Student Success Center, designed to create a comprehensive network of support. 

This on-demand center, to be located in Axe Library in an expanded footprint from the existing Student Success Center, will have three components that will work together: first-year programs, academic advising, and career development.  

It will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and extended hours in coming months. Initially, it will be geared to new freshmen. 

Professional advisors in the center will monitor student progress and will intervene early and often if students fall off pace or are challenged in other ways. 

“This proactive approach will catch students and provide the support they need to avoid stopping out,” said Heather Eckstein, who has been named assistant vice president. 

They’ll help students manage their roadmap and path to graduation, lead them through a change in major, help them navigate financial aid, and more. 

The center will fold the Office of Career Services into the Office of Student Success and will include the following staff members, all of whom already were employed on campus in related areas and now will work under one umbrella: 

  • Director of Career Development: Kim Hull  
  • Associate Director of Employer Relations/Events: Heather Busch  
  • Assistant Director for Student Employment: Olivia Biondo  
  • Director of First-Year Programs: Ashley Wadell  
  • Associate Director of First-Year Programs: B.B. Stotts  
  • Director of Academic Advising: David Hogard  
  • Master Academic Advisor: Kati Karleskint  
  • Academic Advisor: Jeannice Parker 

By January, six of the anticipated 16 academic advisors will be in place. The advisors each will become specialists for and maintain close communication with specific academic programs.  

The team will work closely with faculty, who will shift from advising into mentor mode to provide a layer of guidance based on their expertise, industry knowledge, and relationships with students. 

The buildout for the center is expected to be completed by Fall 2023; for Spring 2023, the team will use space in Axe, Horace Mann, and other buildings. 

Also in 2023-24, the center will collaborate with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology to launch a professional development series for faculty mentors. 

This type of all-around support is a proven recommendation of the National Institute of Student Success, according to Howard Smith, provost and vice president for academic affairs. It has been a major initiative from the Kansas Board of Regents for all regent’s campuses to move in this direction. 

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