The advising and academic department continues to find ways to keep students motivated by meeting and assisting students online.
According to Matt Markin, the Academic Advisor and Graduation Pledge Coordinator for Undergraduate Studies, the department’s mission is simple. Markin shared, “The mission statement of Advising and Academic Services is that we provide guidance to undergraduate students throughout their academic journey by assisting them in making informed decisions that support their academic, personal, and career goals.”
John Noriega, MPA, is another Academic Advisor who informs students of the department’s services. “We offer academic advising to all undergraduate students, in any major, as long as they are under 45 semester units,” Noriega said.
The department coordinates advising for undeclared majors as well as oversees other programs. “Programs that we oversee consist of the 2 Year Graduation Pledge, 4 Year Graduation Pledge, and the California Promise program. We host several events in our office such as Coyote Advising Week, Finals Week Encouragement, and Coyote Advising One-Stop Event,” Noriega said.
The department meets students to understand what it is they need.
Noriega said, “One thing that our office always likes to ask our students is, ‘What’s your why? What drives you to pursue this degree?’ Personally, I believe that this is an important question to ask in order to keep our students motivated and on track to graduation. It reminds them of why they are here and what goal they ultimately want to accomplish.”
Due to the pandemic, the previous graduation ceremony was postponed to ensure the safety of the student, staff, and faculty. However, it has recently been announced that there will be a virtual graduation in December 2020.
“I know it was probably a tough decision for the university to make – having a virtual ceremony versus an in-person ceremony. Yoties should know that even though it’ll be virtual, commencement is still a very important piece as it is a time for celebration. It signifies the time and dedication each student took to achieve their degree. This will still provide a venue to celebrate with family, friends, and the other graduates,” Markin explained.
The department promotes a sense of community and stability among themselves as well as others. Star Wildes, an Undergraduate Studies Advisor, said, “Resilience, perseverance, and community are the words that come to mind when I think of Coyote Strong.”
Though many things have changed from the transition to distant learning, the academic and advising center remains present to provide “information and guidance,” according to Wildes.
The department hosts several services. Their goal is to get to know the students and find out what will motivate them during difficult times. Noreiga said, “We still host several events in our office such as Coyote Advising Week, Finals Week Encouragement, and Coyote Advising One-Stop Event.”
Students can subscribe to the CSUSB Advising Podcast for more updates.