Feb 21, 2020

New advising and support center opens

For many students, getting an appointment with an adviser or enrolling in an impacted class seems impossible.  These are some of the biggest factors that can delay graduation and cost students time and money.

A year ago Fresno State Provost Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, Vice Provost Dennis Nef and Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Frank Lamas, started talking about enhancing all of the advising centers to combat these issues and increase student success.

Two dozen people gathered Friday morning as Zelezny cut the ribbon in front of Speech Arts Room 156 that symbolized the grand opening of the new advising and support center for the College of Arts and Humanities. Zelezny called this a dream come true.

“This is going to serve over 2,000 students,” Zelezny said. “This is a great milestone.”

Opening new advising centers on campus is one of the five initiatives that Fresno State is taking to increase student success.

“What we wanted to do was have a synergy of the university advising at Joyal and having more advisers right on the ground at every college,” Lamas said.

Last summer, Fresno State hired 10 new advisers to reduce the student-to-adviser ratio in order to give more students to opportunity to see an adviser.

Lamas explained that the new advisers are professionals who know the ins and outs of every major in their assigned college and work very closely with the faculty.

“As a student, you need to know what classes you need to take, what sequence you need to take them in, and make sure you know when they are offered,” Lamas said. “All of this is a student success initiative to help our students graduate in four or five years.”

In addition to advising, Lamas, Zelezny and Nef will also be talking about initiatives to increase course availability, reduce remediation courses, enhance first year student experiences and aid students in career development. They will be discussing all of these topics at the Student Success Summit on Wednesday.

The dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, said that the new advising centers will help students to see the possibilities of what can happen after graduation.

“The center empowers the individual and creates students who are informed,” Jiménez-Sandoval said.

The first mission of the advising center is to help super seniors get the classes they need to graduate, and help them stabilize a career path. The center is also focusing on students who are struggling in school. The staff plans to reach out to those students and provide them with the information and help they need to be successful.

Jiménez-Sandoval said the new advising center is not only helpful for educational struggles and questions, but it also serves as a helpful resource for day-to-day life struggles. From career services to psychological services, the advising center wants to help students in any way they can.

“Our advisers are trained to handle any life situation, academically and otherwise,” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “This student advising center is here to help you with anything.”

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