Back See this section in context: Criterion 3 Core Component 3C
3C.3: Advising Programs Focus on Student Success
The Counseling Office plays a critical role in carrying out the college Mission to “meet the needs of diverse students” by carrying out its own mission that it “acknowledges and respects that right of each individual to realize his or her fullest potential. . . while encouraging each person to take initiative and responsibility for his or her total development.” The Counseling Office, consisting of three full-time counselors and three part-time Academic Advisors, carries out several functions that support student learning and success:
- Placement: Evaluation of incoming student abilities and placing each student at an optimum level to ensure success is a critical component of advisement in an open enrollment community college. Student placement is determined through evaluation of ACT scores and high school transcripts, as well as by administering Compass placement testing in English usage, reading, and math. Placement testing is available on campus, but counselors also provide testing options at local high schools. The Counseling Office provides information to prospective students about the placement policy through a Placement Guide, available as a booklet and on its webpage.
- Educational planning: Every incoming full-time student meets with a Counselor or academic advisor to receive help in setting learning goals. The Counselors evaluate placement scores and help students establish plans for achieving their academic goal. They make the Myers-Briggs Inventory and other career and self-awareness instruments available to students and interpret the results for the students.
- Referrals for special services: Counselors are the primary conduit for new students to the various support services Sauk offers to help them achieve student success. Such programs are discussed below in 3C.4.
- Orientation: Counselors oversee and teach Orientation (PSY 100), a one-credit-hour course required of all degree-seeking students (except for students who transfer 16 or more credits into Sauk). About 48% of the incoming students will complete the course by the end of the fall semester. Because of capacity limitations, the college has not been able to deliver the course to everyone during the first semester, and some students postpone the course until the last semester of attendance.
- Workshops and resources: The Counseling Office regularly provides workshops and events intended to contribute to student success. Some of these are funded through a particular program, such as Student Support Services, and then opened to the whole campus to attend. Others, like the annual Healthy Living Resource Fair, are campus-wide.