From the Student Services VP: Organizational structure and advising processes

As you know ACC’s Student Services Division in recent months has been building an organizational structure to support guided pathways. The new structure provides a foundation for systemic change and will help us create an optimal environment for students to succeed. I appreciate the work all of you are doing to engage and contribute to the process. I especially appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience during the fall registration cycle. I realize it has been especially demanding as we’ve implemented many new processes and procedures.

The new structure provides a foundation for systemic change and will help us create an optimal environment for students to succeed.

As we continue on our path, I want to keep you informed of our progress and direction. First, following is a recap of new leadership appointments:

  • Melissa Curtis – associate vice president, enrollment management
  • Guillermo “Willie” Martinez – associate vice president, student success & analytics

Executive deans:

  • Dr. Wade Bradfute – south region campuses (advising lead)
  • Amber Kelly – north region campuses (transfer and career services lead)
  • Dr. Dorado Kinney – central region campuses (student conduct & testing lead)
  • Sylvia Galvan-Gonzalez – executive dean of counseling

Additionally, the following positions have been created to reinforce our efforts to be more holistic, proactive, and focused.

  • Holly Delacroix-Derouen – director of testing
  • Kathy James – director of academic and career advising
  • Lauren Sebel –director of student accessibility services

New positions to be posted

Several Student Services positions will be posted in the coming weeks.

Dr. Rachel Ruiz, dean of student services at Riverside Campus, is transferring to Cypress Campus. Her vacant dean position at Riverside along with the open dean position at Highland Campus will be posted externally.

We will post internally the position of assistant dean of student services for the Pinnacle, Elgin, Eastview, and South Austin campuses. The remaining campuses will retain their current dean structure. The regional executive deans will supervise and work with the assistant deans and deans in their designated region.

Fifteen new advising positions will be posted. Before these positions are posted, individuals with the title “advising specialist” (Student Services) will have an opportunity to request a transfer. After requests are reviewed we will determine where the new advisors will be located. Transfers will be permitted according to the needs of the college.  Stay tuned for more details.

Finally, in the coming weeks, I will work with Dean Sylvia Galvan-Gonzalez and others to begin identifying counselors who wish to work on student wellness initiatives under her leadership.

Pathways advising

On August 12 Dr. Cook and I hosted a recognition luncheon for our wonderful academic and enrollment advisors. Advisors shared their thoughts about workloads and area of study assignments. It’s clear we need additional advisors to alleviate heavy caseloads and achieve recommended student-advisor ratios. I am moving quickly to post the 15 advising positions.

Nevertheless, while all of this reorganizing is underway we must continue to maintain a high level of service to our students. To assist as we augment our team, we are assigning counselors a student caseload within an area of study. Counselors will serve new students with fewer than 12 credits until we hire more advisors and reach the optimal student-advisor ratio. Please know that this is an interim solution; we still intend to draw a clear distinction between the role of advisors and counselors. We will finalize counselor assignments after we have assigned students to all current and new advisors and developed the criteria for counselor student assignments.

Associate Vice President Willie Martinez and our Student Retention and Intervention Managers (SRIMs, Jodi Denyszyn – south; Matthew Figg – central; and April Whalen – north) are working on student-advisor assignments. These involve individual caseloads of 150 first-time-in-college (FTIC) students with fewer than 12 credits, plus 200 returning students. Advisors and counselors can view assignments in Self-Service.

I realize change can be bumpy. Please remember that all of this is to ensure our students are set up for success. As always, please feel free to share questions or feedback with me.

Thank you for all you do!


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