Gateway Advising and Major Exploration Center Established
Contact Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (June 1, 2012) – Seeking opportunities to better serve transfer students and open option students who are undecided on a major, the University of Central Missouri Office of Enrollment Management has established the new Gateway Advising and Major Exploration Center.
The Gateway Center is now open at the site of the former Office of Transfer and Transition Services in Ward Edwards 1900. It expands opportunities previously available in the office to include a career counseling component that will help contribute to student success while also maximizing administrative efficiencies by streamlining and combining efforts that previously were shared between Transfer and Transition Services and the Office of Career Services.
“One of the benefits of the Gateway Center is that it is designed to reduce the time it takes students to complete a degree,” said Rick Sluder, vice provost for enrollment management. “It will help students figure out what they want to do earlier, so that they can earn their degree faster and leave college with less debt.” He added that aligning career counselors with the Gateway Center will be instrumental in helping students determine their academic path.
Sluder pointed out in 2010-2011, there were 2,103 students who were listed as undesignated majors at UCM. This makes open option students the largest “major” for new freshmen at the university. The university also recruits about 1,500 transfer students a year.
Ken Schueller, assistant director of Career Services, has been named director of the new Gateway Center. Also joining him will be Career Services staff member Michelle Dahlstrom, who will continue her work as a career counselor at the center.
According to Schueller, the center’s establishment provides a one-stop opportunity, particularly for open option students. Previously, these students were seen by both academic advisors in Transfer and Transition Services and career counselors in Career Services. Now they can take advantage of services offered at one location.
“This will allow us to efficiently get transfer students evaluated and enrolled in their courses, and our open option students will have their own home. We believe this will shorten the time it takes for an open option student to gain an academic focus and provide them with a much stronger connection to the university. Research would indicate both of these goals lead to higher retention rates,” Schueller said.
Sluder noted that combining the career counseling function with academic advisors serving transfer students will lead to opportunities for work sharing. Peak service periods to provide academic advising to open option and transfer students do not coincide with peak demand for career counseling, and peak periods for counseling also do not coincide with peaks for academic advising.
“We will be able to do some cross training which will allow our staff to share work and better serve students at the center,” Sluder said.
The Gateway Center provides accurate and timely information in a comfortable atmosphere to new transfer students, and all students who are exploring their choice of majors. The center provides academic advising, career counseling, and other new student initiatives and programs focused on facilitating undergraduate student success. Additionally, the center provides transcript evaluation, intake advising and enrollment, reviews exceptions to university policy, and researches and evaluates undergraduate success initiatives.
For more information, contact the center at 660-543-4721.