From the Associate Dean for Advising and Executive Director
Our mission in the Division of Undergraduate Studies directly reflects the importance of engaging students in conversations about the reasons they are in college and the broader purposes and implications of higher education. As our students work with their advisers to understand these concepts and articulate responses, they also learn to make vital connections between their interests and strengths and the University’s academic opportunities. Ultimately they are better able to make informed decisions about what they want to study, how to manage the challenges and opportunities of a college experience, and what will be important to them in future life endeavors.
I am proud of this work and the important relationships our advisers develop with students to ensure they receive the information and guidance they need to become stewards of their own college experiences and managers of their goals.
Along with facilitating critical academic advising conversations across the Penn State system, DUS staff members continued this past year to be instrumental in advancing University programs that impacted General Education, engaged scholarship, new tools, improved processes, and emerging technologies. Most recently, advising and support staff efforts in the division contributed to such milestones as ALEKS adaptive mathematics placement testing, the LionPATH ISIS replacement project, the Starfish Enterprise Success Platform, and General Education curricular enhancements. These initiatives showcase the division’s critical role in informing the University’s academic information infrastructure and leading the development of advising policies and practices.
Our staff members invest full days, every day, to ensure our students, as well as any undergraduate seeking guidance, are afforded opportunities to learn how to navigate this large institution, plan fulfilling degree programs, address and resolve academic difficulties, and engage in interesting co-curricular experiences.
I am grateful for the division’s extraordinary commitment and expertise and thank each DUS team member for the accomplishments listed in this report. I am looking forward to the work we will share as we look to the future together, take next steps, and welcome new opportunities.