First Year Advising Center adds new academic coach, lab

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First Year Advising Center adds new academic coach, lab

Oakland's First Year Advising Center was selected as the 2019 winner of the Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award.

Oakland's First Year Advising Center was selected as the 2019 winner of the Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award.

Courtesy of Cory Glover

Oakland's First Year Advising Center was selected as the 2019 winner of the Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award.

Courtesy of Cory Glover

Courtesy of Cory Glover

Oakland's First Year Advising Center was selected as the 2019 winner of the Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award.

Bridget Janis, Staff Reporter

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In the winter semester, the First Year Advising Center (FYAC) added two new features to help students: an academic coach to assist with individual needs and a FYAC lab.

The FYAC lab is for students to receive extra help from other students outside the advising center.

“It is a space for first-year students as they’re working with their First Year Advising Center adviser,” said Sarah Webb, senior director for First Year Success. “[They] are able to utilize the lab, which is staffed by student leaders we call FYAC assistants.”

The FYAC assistants are there to help students navigate through Oakland University systems, helping them understand Moodle, look through GrizzOrgs or fill out a change of major form, to make the process easier. This allows for the meetings with the advisers to be about things only advisers can help with, making the meetings more beneficial for students.

“So an adviser doesn’t have to sit with a student and help them register, we can talk about the courses they need and why they need them, and then that student can go to our new lab with a FYAC assistant and actually register for those courses,” Webb said.

In the FYAC lab there are seven computers and four FYAC assistants. The lab is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday — Friday for extra support outside the advising center. There also is a chatroom available during operating hours, where the FYAC assistants can answer quick questions or schedule an appointment.

From working on individual plans, time management techniques and note-taking skills, the academic coaching aims to help improve students’ college experiences.

“Anything related to academic success, I can work with students to kind of help them develop a plan to do well,” academic coach Mariana Allushuski said. “The academic advisers are a great resource, and they have a lot of students, so it’s nice to have somebody to refer them to.”

Allushuski is the only academic coach and his sessions last about 45 minutes and can be made multiple times a semester.

“There was something missing when those students would tell their adviser, ‘I’m not doing well in my classes, I don’t know how to manage my time, I feel like it’s a really big change from high school to college, and I just don’t really know how to navigate this,’” Allushuski said.

Another thing academic coaching provides is workshops. There are workshops on studying skills, motivation and preparing for exams. Webb said the center is there to help students and for them to feel welcomed.

“When [the FYAC] is open—the lights are on, the curtains are up—it just looks like this big bright box of support that’s really a friendly place and atmosphere,” Webb said. “I think it brings a sense of welcoming-ness to North Foundation Hall. It really showcases our office well, so students are able to come in and feel comfortable getting help.”

To access the FYAC chat, click hereTo contact Allushuski or find out more about academic coaching, click here. To sign up for a workshop, click here.