Each year since 1983, the National Academic Advising Association, in cooperation with ACT, Inc., has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. The goal of the organization is to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to enhance the educational development of students.
Three individuals in Sam Houston State University's Student Advising and Mentoring Center have been honored by the National Academic Advising Association for their work with SHSU students.
Dr. Bill Fleming
Dr. William Fleming has been selected by the national organization as an Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit recipient in the Academic Advising Administrator category. He is one of four advising administrators honored with this award in this category in nation-wide competition this year.
Wesley Boyd has been named the recipient of an Outstanding New Advisor Certificate of Merit in the Academic Advising---Primary Role Category.
Cathy Reeves has been recognized as a recipient of the Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit in the Academic Advising---Primary Role Category.
Certificate of Merit - Received in 2005
Sam Houston State University's Student Advising and Mentoring Center, which is only in its second full year of operation and is known as the SAM Center on campus, offers intrusive programs and a variety of study enhancements. The Center has attracted national attention from other universities for its proactive approach in helping students even before they get into serious academic trouble.
The SHSU advisers have conducted over 42,500 advising sessions since the Center was established. Students who are new to the university and those who fall under mandatory advisement (those who have a 2.5 grade point average or below) visit with advisers prior to registration to discuss classes. Students who are put on academic probation must see an adviser who reviews their schedules and discuss with students the importance of maintaining a good academic standing. Nearly half the students placed on probation after the fall semester have returned to good standing the following spring semester after being re-advised.
The Center also offers three mentoring programs. First Alert gives faculty the opportunity to identify students who are having difficulty in individual classes either with low grades or excessive absences. The students are contacted and an appropriate program is arranged for them, which may involve study skills, grade monitoring, tutoring, or another form of assistance. This program has had a 71 percent success rate in the past two years.
The Monitored Academic Progress program gives the deans of the five colleges the opportunity to refer students who are re-admitted after suspension to gain help in succeeding in their college program. These students may be required to attend study skills sessions, have periodic grade checks, or follow a designated study program.
The Study Skills program offers students the opportunity to improve several aspects of their college discipline through six one-hour seminars focusing on topics such as time management, procrastination, note-taking, reading textbooks, and stress management. Over the past two years, approximately 2,000 students have voluntarily taken seminars in this program. Students report that they have improved their grades and study habits.
In addition to the programs already in place more programs are being devised by the Student Advising and Mentoring Center to benefit special populations and all students at Sam Houston State University.