All new students at Carthage are matched with a student success advisor prior to their first semester as a part of their initial course registration process and will continue to work with them through graduation. These advisors are full-time advising and student success professionals who will facilitate your successful entry and transition to Carthage, serve as cultural navigators as you move toward your degree, and support you in overcoming obstacles and meeting your goals.
Student success advisors are assigned based on the academic division of your program of study and the first initial of your last name and may change as your academic goals shift during your time at Carthage. Student success advisors are located in the Center for Student Success on the main level of the Todd Wehr Center at the south end of campus.
Transitioning to Campus
As you prepare to leave for college and begin establishing Carthage as your new home away from home, your student success advisor will be one of your key contacts on campus. Becoming a college student is a rite of passage, and many new students move through three stages during this time: Separation, Transition, and Incorporation (Tinto, 1988). Your advisor will be there for you every step of the way.
Separation Stage: EXPLORING A NEW Home
For some students, enrolling in college and starting a new journey can be both exhilarating and nerve-racking. For students living on campus, homesickness can quickly set in. For commuters, stepping away from friends and family back home to form new relationships on campus can feel uncomfortable. For any new student, navigating the complex world of higher education can be daunting initially.
Transition Stage: LIVING BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
During this stage, students are torn between their old environment and their new one. Students may go home for a break and realize that both they and their friends have changed. Family or friends who have not experienced a college setting may not understand the demands of academic life. Students may not feel like they belong in their old settings, but have yet to find their place in the new one. With a little luck (and self-reflection), this won’t last long.
Incorporation Stage: ESTABLISHING A SENSE OF BELONGING
Finally, students develop strong ties with the social and academic communities within the institution. They engage with faculty and develop close ties with other students, spending more time on campus. They feel and act like true Carthaginians. While students may move backward and forward through these stages at different points in their first year, they are unlikely to digress from Incorporation to the previous stages for very long.
As you move through these phases and adjust to life on campus, you can expect assistance with the following from your student success advisor:
- Learning about Carthage degree requirements and areas of study
- Creating your first semester schedule
- Establishing college-level time management and study strategies
- Becoming self-sufficient with tools such as my.Carthage.edu and Schoology
- Understanding the degree planning process and building an initial academic plan
- Reflecting on potential experiential learning opportunities and career pathways
- Building confidence and self-advocacy skills
- Connecting with academic, financial, and personal resources across campus
- Overcoming early obstacles in achieving your degree
As a part of Carthage’s holistic advising model, you will be matched with a career specialist in the Aspire Center and a faculty advisor in each area of study during your first year. You will be introduced to the Aspire Center staff during the final week of College Success Seminar, and begin working with them to develop an iAspire plan that will help you to establish and reach your long-term professional goals.
If you have a major declared, you will be introduced to your faculty advisor(s) at the beginning of your second semester (or earlier if you are a transfer student) and meet with them for course registration and degree planning moving forward. Students pursuing multiple programs may be assigned more than one faculty advisor accordingly. Undeclared students will meet with Sarah Gorke, director of career exploration and design, for academic course advising and registration and to explore skills, interests, and values and how those intersect with potential majors and programs of study here at Carthage.
Once you are matched with your career specialist and faculty advisor(s), your student success advisor will continue to provide support as you make strides toward earning your degree. Seek guidance from them on any of the following issues:
- Setting goals for the upcoming term in response to a probationary academic status
- Reviewing time management strategies, technological tools, and campus resources available to you
- Weighing important academic decisions such as withdrawing from a course or changing your area of study
- Resolving holds on your account which are preventing you from registering
- Overcoming feelings of imposter syndrome or isolation that can derail your progress toward your degree
- Understanding and navigating academic policies and procedures such as petitions
- Assisting with course registration and degree planning as needed when faculty are not in session
- Discussing other academic, financial, and/or personal challenges that arise throughout each term
For the majority of students, the question is not if, but when, they will need support in one of these areas during their college career. Seek help early and often to achieve your fullest academic potential. For our contact information, click here.