Advising and mentoring our undergraduate students
As many of us have witnessed over the years—and perhaps personally experienced in our own youth—college students are known to change their minds. And even though it can be a convoluted process, it often has a positive outcome. The broad-based education available at WSU is designed to be a process of discovery: our goal is to open the minds of our students and provide them with the tools to grow intellectually and to define the path they wish to forge.
As the academic core of the University, the College of Arts and Sciences is well equipped to provide students with a range of educational options. In addition to the more than 6,800 undergraduate students on the Pullman campus already working with a CAS advisor, the college recently accepted academic advising responsibility for undergraduate students who have yet to indicate an area of interest.
We are delighted to have the opportunity to assist these students as they navigate the first years of their college career—and we look forward to supporting them as they migrate into degree programs across the University.
Furthermore, beginning in the fall of 2014, WSU will initiate two processes to affiliate students more closely with their academic programs. First, incoming students who indicate a degree preference will be connected with an academic advisor in the corresponding department and college. The students will benefit by immediately becoming citizens of a particular academic community. Mentoring and introductions to faculty and staff can begin straightaway and students will be made aware of scholarly, research, and creative activities in their area of interest earlier in their college careers.
Second, students who qualify and maintain their grade point average will be guaranteed certification in their chosen program. A few programs with enrollment caps will have a longer transition period for implementing this change (such as our extremely popular Digital Technology and Culture program). Overall, we anticipate the direct admission process to be immensely valuable for both the students and the academic communities within the college.
I believe we have a good year ahead of us. Through our commitment to excellence in advising and instruction, and by expanding student opportunities, the College of Arts and Sciences will continue to enhance the core undergraduate experience at WSU.