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When in doubt, seek advice

Monica Gudiño

As of last Thursday, 8,413 advising appointments had been made on both campuses for Spring 2016, a 7 percent increase in student appointments from last fall semester.

The center faced some challenges at the start of last semester, as it was not prepared for the number of students that needed assistance, according to Gabriel Bermea, director of Academic Advising.

“We were getting all the advisers ready to go,” Bermea said. “So, when we opened, there were long lines, there was wait times, the calendar was full and those were issues that we were not fully ready for.”

By Fall 2016, the Advising Center on the Brownsville campus will have seven new advisers, for a total of 17, and the Edinburg campus will have 25.

Advising is not mandatory for every student. It is required for freshmen who began at UTRGV in Fall 2015, all student athletes, all international students, Texas Success Initiative students, veteran students who are freshmen or sophomores and College of Engineering and Computer Science sophomores, juniors and seniors.

To make an advising appointment, students can go to myUTRGV.edu and click the link “Grades First.”

Students can choose on which campus they want their appointment to take place, the time of the appointment, the kind of session it is and the adviser of their choice. Once students complete the appointment process, they should receive a confirmation email to their UTRGV account.

The 360 advising session is a 30-minute session that allows the student and adviser to review the degree plan, determine relevant program admissions and develop course options for the next term.

In the 10-minute walk-in session, students can ask quick questions. The sessions are only available from 1 to 4 p.m. on both campuses.

“One of the things that we want our students to recognize is that advising is a two-way process,” Bermea said. “It is not simply just us telling you what to do, it’s us having a conversation about your academic journey.”
Students going to advising should review their online degree evaluation, which can be accessed through the evaluation tool in ASSIST. They should also have two or three course schedule options before going into the session.

“If you have the right questions, they can answer it for you,” said Ana Jasso, a psychology senior. “That’s why I come every semester because I can choose the right courses.”
The students who have mandatory advising must go to the Advising Center, and not to their respective school. Bermea said all advisers are trained to know the different programs of the institution.
“I think that the advising process is constructed very well,” said Derek Sauceda, a criminal justice freshman. “I like the people that are here. They are very professional, they know what they are doing and they do their best to assist the students.”
The Advising Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday on both campuses. For more information, call 882-7362 in Brownsville and 665-7120 in Edinburg.

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