Ichabods In Depth

Published June 13, 2013.

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Advising a crucial piece of New Student Orientation

Shandra Blumer uses a computer and MyWashburn to register for classes

At New Student Orientation, it’s getting a schedule that is so exciting. It makes the whole thing official.

“It starts today, with you selecting your classes and becoming a University student. From this point forward you will be known as Ichabods,” Washburn President Jerry Farley told the 76 students and their guests gathered in the Washburn Room Thursday morning.

But getting those courses chosen and a creating a schedule that works for the student and his or her goals is the job of advisors, both in academic departments and the academic advising office at the Center for Student Success.

Several sessions throughout the day give the incoming students and their families an understanding of the breadth of opportunity available as general education courses, as well as what is required.

Every first time college student will enroll in the Washburn Experience course, WU101. Many were also advised to start with a math class in case it is a prerequisite for future courses.

Some students are bringing with them Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureateor community college transfer credits. Some will play for an Ichabods athletic team. Some have an intended major when they walk in the door. Some have an inkling, but nothing more. Whatever the situation, it is the job of the student’s academic advisor to guide them on the path.

For incoming student athletes that guide is, Kaydee Emperley, special populations advisor. In a general information session before they chose their classes, she made sure each of the incoming student athletes understood the NCAA and university eligibility requirements and how to build a course schedule that would allow them to get to practice on time and miss as few classes as possible because of team travel.

“Your first year here at Washburn is going to set your path,” she told them. “You are a student first. We want you to be successful.”

Helping students be successful is the goal for all advisors, Pamela Erickson, director of academic advising, told the new students’ guests.

“We’re here to help them by connecting their academic goals to their career goals,” she explained. “Like that home-base person they can go to for help.”

A session on financial literacy led by Jamie McEwen, student employment coordinator, explained how working with your advisor can actually save you money.

“To get out in four years you have to be making a game plan,” she said. “Meeting regularly with your advisor is a really good step.”

Shandra Bulmer, 18, from Ottawa, had looked as some of her course options before she arrived. After taking about 40 credits worth of classes at her local community college, she was thrilled to be enrolling in two courses in her chosen major: criminal justice.

“I’ve got two courses in my major and two gen-eds,” she said. And she’s looking forward to getting involved with the criminal justice related student organizations.

Now, Bulmer and 75 others can call themselves Ichabods.