By: Gisselle Venable
In a change that is being pushed across IU campuses, IU South Bend is creating a centralized advising center on the first floor of the Administration Building. Through this endeavor, the university hopes to create an area for students to easily access almost any academic service they may need.
Multiple regional IU campuses, including IU South Bend, have had a system of academic advisors implemented in each independent school, where students visit their departmental headquarters to receive advising help from faculty or staff in their program.
Moving advising services to the same physical area will deter any confusion that may arise and allow students a better navigation of their needs. The change is especially beneficial to new students adjusting to campus. Andy Williams, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, said the consolidations will allow “a natural flow for new students” and will serve as a “one-stop student central”.
The Administration building already houses necessities such as the admissions office, financial aid, registrar and more. With the new inclusion of advising services, it caters to almost everything a student needs. The exception to this is the CrimsonCard office, which is located in the Education and Arts Building.
Finding space for centralized advising on the first floor of the Administration building also means that some offices have moved or will move in the coming weeks; for example, Accessible Education Services (previously called Disability Support Services) now shares a suite with the Student Counseling Center.
According to Lee Kahan, Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Academic Affairs, in a meeting with the Student Government Association, the centralized advising plan also involves hiring more full-time advisors and standardizing the advising process.
For example, many students are currently advised by faculty with heavy workloads from both teaching and advising, while fewer students have access to a full-time professional advisor. Kahan told the SGA that the centralized advising model will lighten the load on these faculty and facilitate students’ relationships with their faculty advisors while also providing knowledgeable full-time advisors who can help students from a variety of degree paths.
The move is still in its early stages, but it is expected to take around six weeks to complete with a goal of the end of October. There is a “culture of cooperation”, says Williams, that will allow the process to run as smoothly as possible.