SARASOTA, Fla. (May 16, 2016) – USF Sarasota-Manatee students will soon benefit from a new personalized system of advising that includes a “career success map” and teams of professionals to guide them during their education, assist with job choices and help as they transition toward meaningful new careers.
This new career-centric approach to student advising showcases the commitment to higher levels of excellence and career preparedness that is part of the fabric of all institutions throughout the USF System.
Starting this summer, the current student-advising model will be reconfigured into a three-tiered platform of career advisors and advisory specialists to assist students with course selection and guide them in their career choices.
“Many of these career advisor professionals will be taken from the ranks of business and industry, having recently been involved in hiring college graduates for their organizations,” said USFSM Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Terry Osborn, who is leading the restructuring. “Our current college-based advising functions will be transitioned into new positions to offer guidance more attuned to students’ skills, goals and abilities.”
The changes follow a yearlong evaluation of USFSM’s advising structure, a review of other advising models in Florida and consultations with experts about the latest research and innovations in college advising programs.
In addition to learning about educational requirements in their prospective fields, students will gain access to job training, internships and advice on how to prepare for interviews. They will work closely with advisors to ensure their success in the classroom translates to the workplace. If necessary, students will be matched with tutors, financial aid counselors or other advisors to help them succeed in their studies, graduate and find meaningful careers.
While working toward degrees, students will be equipped with additional, practical skills that may also prove useful in the workplace, from technology training and critical thinking to qualitative skills, such as professional communication and workplace collaboration.
Some may use this opportunity to explore whether post-graduate education is right for them. Lastly, students will learn about credentials and certifications that may further advance their careers, as well as professional and networking organizations associated with their respective fields.
This new advising model, designed to provide students a path to academic and career excellence, will consist of three teams of advisors. Upon entering USFSM, students will encounter Introductory Advisors to assess their career and educational goals, skills and professional and scholastic achievements.
From there, students will work with Career Advisors – in many cases drawn from business and industry – to refine their plans and ensure their educational and professional goals are aligned so students take the classes they need. These advisors may also steer students toward internships, on-the-job training and interview-preparation classes as well.
As students progress through USFSM, additional Specialist Advisors may be requested to provide further assistance involving financial aid, tutoring, wellness counseling or issues that affect retention. These Specialist Advisors might assist veterans, help those with disabilities or encourage students to engage in extracurricular activities.
USFSM’s restructuring plan aligns with Gov. Rick Scott’s “Ready, Set, Work University Challenge” in which the governor in December challenged state-funded universities to cut down on excess credit hours and produce graduates who are equipped to find jobs after graduation.
Equally important, this new advising structure dovetails with USFSM’s mission to connect with the community and respond to the needs of employers by connecting students with career and job possibilities in the region.
“The number one goal in our strategic plan is student success,” USFSM Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone said. “This new model will help our students focus on what it takes to land their dream career from day one on campus. I am excited about the opportunities presented by this innovative model and how it will prepare students to meet the needs of the workforce in our community.”