Advising Services tackled freshmen registration through Zoom

The+Hub+where+incoming+freshman+can+go+to+get+help+with+class+schedule+and+information.

Ceasar Escalante

The Hub where incoming freshman can go to get help with class schedule and information.

Due to COVID-19 taking the world by storm, Advising Services at West Texas A&M University had to figure out how advising for incoming freshmen would work without losing the face-to-face connection and how to serve the students the best during these ever changing times.

“When COVID happened and orientation went online, you know we were just charged to say ‘How are we going to make this happen and serve the students?’ So a few people from my staff and the orientation staff said let’s think of some options. It was first proposed to us to just pre-register students to evaluate their credits and their majors and stuff and get a schedule for them but as advisers it was really important to still maintain that relationship and that connection,” said Alyson Ries, director of advising services.

While during these times there were options on how an incoming student could interact with advising services such as Zoom or a phone call, this meant being able to give the students options that best fit their schedule while staying safe all in one.

“So, we would Zoom them, or some preferred phone call, but most did Zoom. And it was an easy way for us to be able to screen share with them and…explained to them how to use Student Planning and talk them through how to add courses so that they could do a lot of it themselves, because that is something they have to do as next semester and especially once they get to their department,” said Candice Copeland, academic adviser.

Finding different ways for incoming buffs to work with their schedule and learn how to plan for the academic year is just one of the many ways WT is looking out for students even in the time of COVID-19.

“I would say a lot of the students were very good at Zoom already because they had been using it in high school. And so, we would set the appointment [and] everything once they finished orientation, they would have to go through Gretchen [Henley, coordinator of student success initiatives]. And Gretchen would make them an appointment. And then they would be with us and we would, you know, enter the waiting or we will have them sit in a waiting room until we were ready. And then we would just start talking and we would talk them talk through like, what the what major they wanted to do if they had one picked out we would change majors if there was something that you know, they felt like they wanted to do more and since they’d applied if it had changed, and then we would talk about amount of hours that they wanted to take and things like that,” Copeland said.

Even with these changing times, Advising Services seemed to make sure to put the students first and work with these resources that now are available to take care of the students looking to further their education.

“I feel like it’s a good alternative, I think like the in- person gives you more connections with the advisers and with people in general, but I think that it is helpful,” said Ustina Guirguis, student worker for Advising Services.

These times have been difficult for many however with new approaches being offered to stay not only safe but still get the face to face interaction may prove to be helpful for students here on campus.

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