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One Stop Shop: How Centralized Advising Enhanced the Graduate Student Experience

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The many services and offices around campus that graduate students often need to visit throughout their graduate careers can be very daunting and often confusing when attempting to navigate them on their own. The Biomedical Sciences graduate program at Texas A&M University has taken a one stop advising approach, which has allowed graduate students to have one single office to visit instead of multiple to receive necessary information. This new approach to graduate advising has allowed students to access an advisor with almost any issue that they may have at any time. This session will focus on how redesigning the Biomedical Sciences program allowed advising to be in one easily accessible location. Through this advising approach, we have seen that it has enhanced the students experience and has increased the comradery among students and advisors in the college.

Presenter: Katharina Ojala

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One Stop Shop: How Centralized Advising Enhanced the Graduate Student Experience

  1. 1. One Stop Shop: How Centralized Advising Enhanced the Graduate Student Experience Katharina Ojala Graduate Academic Advisor
  2. 2. Background • The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences – Five departments – One major with two graduate degrees – Each department had their own processes – Program lacked consistency
  3. 3. Why the Change • Programmatic changes were happening • Each department had different methods when serving their students – Admissions – Advising – Mentoring
  4. 4. The Transformation • Programmatic changes were occurring for both the Master’s and PhD programs • Advising from the departments was consolidated into a centralized location • The Dean’s office gained two Graduate Academic Advisors
  5. 5. The Concept in Action • Shifting advising responsibilities – From the departments to a newly created advising team • Working off the strengths of the new graduate advising team • Providing one location for graduate students to receive answers
  6. 6. Advising Structure • Three Graduate Academic Advisors with different focus areas – Enrollment Services • Recruitment and Admissions – Academic Services • Graduate Student paperwork – Student Services • Graduate Student Association
  7. 7. New Benefits to Students • Graduate students have one place to visit • Advisors collaborate with other offices on campus – Office of Graduate and Professional Studies – International Student Services – Other Student Services
  8. 8. • Graduate Students are able to visit one office for any issue they may have – Academic – Faculty Mentor related – Tuition and fees – Personal issues • Many of our students come by just to say check in with us • Advisors serve as liaisons between students and campus offices
  9. 9. Initiatives • InclusiviTEA – Open forum advising – Cultural InclusiviTEA • World Map – All graduate students are able to pin where they are from
  10. 10. • Graduation Regalia Loaner program – For Master’s students • Week long orientation with Graduate Oath Ceremony
  11. 11. Student Feedback • Consistently receiving positive feedback from students – Advising – Events that are hosted – Professional development opportunities • Students that have seen both sides of advising – Departmental vs. Dean’s Office level
  12. 12. Where to now? • Constantly creating new opportunities – Workshops – Events – Cultural inclusion • Learning more about the needs of our students • Continuing to work for the students
  13. 13. Questions kojala@cvm.tamu.edu 979-845-1533 Thank you!

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