UTPA opens new Academic Advisement and Mentoring Center October 4
Posted: 09/28/2005
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Both students and faculty at The University of Texas-Pan American will benefit from the establishment of a new Academic Advisement and Mentoring Center (AAMC) that will open with a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. followed by an open house on Tuesday, October 4.

"The center will seek to link all the academic advisement services available on campus and assist students by answering their questions regarding academic programs, policies and procedures as they strive for academic success," said Marilyn Hagerty, former director of the University's College Assistance Migrant Program, who will now serve as director of the AAMC, located on the first floor of Southwick Hall.

"The center will also strive to assist the faculty in their roles as advisers and mentors by providing them with extensive advisement resources and faculty adviser workshops and serving to better prepare students for their student/faculty advisement sessions," Hagerty said.

The AAMC will house six professional academic career advisers to provide informative academic advisement and referral services for TSI (Texas Success Initiative) cleared students. Replacing the Texas Academic Skills Program in 2003, TSI requires all students to be tested before enrolling in college-level coursework in the areas of reading, math and writing. As students declare a major and demonstrate significant progress in meeting their core course requirements, they are referred to professional guidance counselors housed in each of the six colleges.

The AAMC Professional Guidance Counselor (PGC) will work with the URAP (University Retention Advisement Program) Student Development Specialists (SDS) as a team to provide career guidance and advising for both students with undeclared majors and those who decide to change their major. After assessment of the students' needs, the college professional guidance counselors and the URAP specialists refer students to the most appropriate faculty member, based on students' majors and/or needs for further advisement.

Working as a collaborative team, Hagerty said, the AAMC hopes to meet the following goals: help students establish their goals based on clarification of values; lead students to better understand the nature and purpose of higher education; provide accurate information about educational options, requirements, policies and procedures; assist students in planning an educational program that is consistent with his/her interests and abilities; assist students in continual monitoring and evaluation of their educational progress; and integrate the many resources of UTPA to meet the students' special education needs and aspirations.

Serving as professional guidance counselors in the center will be Missie Hernandez, College of Arts and Humanities; Elvia Segura, College of Business Administration; Steven Chapa, College of Education; Laurie Martinez, College of health Sciences and Human Services; Tanya Sheetz, College of Science and Engineering; and Juan Jose Garcia, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

For more information, contact Hagerty at 956/316-7120 or e-mail at