Peer advising program expands to provide support when academic advisors are unavailable

September 05, 2016

Jasmine Nelson

jnelso14@uccs.edu

     Choosing what classes to take isn’t as easy as choosing your favorite ice cream flavor.

     To aid in this task, a team of peer advisors will now be available for walk-in academic advising weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to assist students with questions about academic advising. Peer advising does not require an appointment and is available to all students.

     The new, larger team of peer advisors consists of four staff members, all of who are relatively new to the position.

     Chad Noble, a new peer advisor, is starting the Student Affairs and Higher Education master’s program this fall at UCCS and looks forward to helping students with their questions.

     “Getting into student affairs was a big deal for me. Advising was something that I’ve done a little bit of in the past, and I’m really looking to get into it,” said Noble.

     The increased advising support offered to all students is partially a response to the growing student body and the addition of more degree options, especially in certain colleges on campus, according to peer advisor Hannah Derosier.

     “The peers are probably going to be most helpful in the LAS schools,” said Derosier.

     The goal of the re-vamped peer advising program is to provide reliable support to all students with their academic choices.

     Some of the support they are able to provide include answering questions about transfer credits, placement tests, the UCCS portal and running degree audits, according to Brett Fugate, director of academic advising.

     “We want students to be able to trust the advice they’re getting and to be able to know who they can go to. We are trying to keep that as consistent as possible,” said Fugate.

     The program also hopes to streamline the process of answering questions students have when their advisor is unavailable.

     “If a student wants to check in at our front desk and they just want to speak with somebody—maybe an advisor is booked up for that day—the student can work with the peer advisor and maybe get the question answered or at least get some help, so they can meet with an advisor later.,” said Fugate.

     Peer advising is also meant to be a resource to upperclassmen that have questions about writing portfolios, graduation requirements and compass curriculum, added Fugate.

     Students transferring to UCCS from another school or who are enrolling as freshmen are more likely to need generic questions answered. Fugate said the guidance offered by the peer advisors allows students to avoid scheduling an appointment to ask a simple question.

     Students can still schedule an appointment with their academic advisor or do walk-in advising in Main Hall 208 on Mondays from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m., but if an academic counselor is not available, at least one peer advisor will be available to fi eld any concerns.

     For more information on peer advising, call Academic Advising at 719-255-3260.