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WSU advising hosts open forum with national expert

PULLMAN–The Academic Advising Committee at Washington State University invites WSU faculty, staff, and students to participate in an open forum regarding advising services on campus at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23, in the Lighty Student Services Building, room 405. National advising expert Faye Vowell will lead the forum.  

“Every student is touched by academic advising and a national review, along with recommendations for improvements, could help us find different ways to enhance high quality advising to our students,” said Susan Poch, director of the WSU Student Advising and Learning Center and acting assistant vice president for Educational Development in the Office of Student Affairs.

Poch and Al Jamison, interim vice president of Student Affairs, approached the Faculty Senate in spring with a request to approve a University-wide advising review. The Senate OK’d the proposal that calls for analysis in four key areas of the advising system, plus recommendations for improvement, reshaping, or revising it.

Faye Vowell, a consultant with the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), was selected by the ad hoc advising committee. She will be on the Pullman campus Oct. 23 and 24 to evaluate the effectiveness of the current advising system and how it affects students’ academic success; the relationship between quality advising and a reward system for faculty; and any formal advising policies for colleges and departments.

“Right now, we have indications that advising is inconsistent across campus, plus there may be a limited number of advisors for students in impacted majors. We want to be able to provide the best services for every student and assist them as they explore career options, different choices for a major, and their skills and interests. We may need to revise the current system to continue to help make that possible,” Poch said.

Poch heads the ad hoc committee that will follow the process and provide input as needed. Its members include Chris Cook, from athletics; Bonnie Burkett, business; Larry Hiller, horticulture; John Irby, communications; Mary Sanchez Lanier, sciences; John McNamara, animal sciences; Jane Parker, SALC; Tom Whitacre, general studies; and Bobbi Thomas, Center for Distance and Professional Education.

The SALC, introduced in 1990, serves students in a variety of ways. It provides a peer tutoring and the Freshman Seminar program. It also supports Freshman Focus, a program of Learning Communities in the Office of Undergraduate Education. Faculty and staff in the SALC assign advisors to all new students, maintain that information, help certify students into majors, and provide training to advisors throughout the university. SALC is an affiliate unit of WSU’s OUE. 

More information about academic advising programs can be found online at

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