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Provost's Update

November 2013

At your service: Parker Center among new academic advising initiatives

Parker CenterEMU students within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) who have not declared a major now have a convenient, one-stop resource for academic and career planning.

In June, Eastern opened the Francine Parker Advising Center, where students can meet with trained professional advisors without an appointment. The center is located in room 120 of the Student Center, adjacent to the food court area.

The new center is among the initiatives designed to enhance Eastern's general academic advising services, says Rhonda Longworth, EMU associate provost and associate vice president for Academic Programming and Support Services.

"Eastern is committed to improving the quality and availability of academic advising," she says. "The center represents our dedication to student retention and academic success."

Prior to the opening of the Parker Center, undeclared CAS majors went to the University Advising Career Development Center (UACDC) for general academic advising. The CAS had no dedicated advising office. Now, the Parker Center caters directly to CAS students. Once a student declares a major, regardless of their college, they proceed to their academic department for advising related to their program.

"The Parker Center's professional advisors can assess any general academic problem," Longworth says. "Students often ask about how to add or drop a class, how to find a tutor, or how to identify and declare a major. The advisors can also refer students to other offices for additional support. The Parker Center bridges the gap from general advising to program-level questions."

To make the center inviting to students, Eastern modeled it after modern technology retail centers. Roaming advisors can respond quickly to short inquiries and help students access updated online academic and career planning resources. The rear of the center features a state-of-the-art training room for small group sessions and counseling. Students with in-depth questions can schedule a one-on-one meeting with an advisor.

This new approach to advising at Eastern also extends to the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), which is developing a permanent office dedicated to its students. The office is expected to open during the Winter 2014 semester.

"The professional advisors in CHHS will also work with pre-professional students—like pre-med and pre-nursing—to ensure they're taking the right curriculum for the program they're pursuing," Longworth says. "All these endeavors are part of Eastern's strategy to provide excellent service and support to our students."

The Francine Parker Advising Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center also maintains extended hours during registration periods. For more information about its services, call 734.487.4599.