MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

July 27, 2019 

New advising center is helping to transform the university, making a positive difference for our students

The newly renovated office space for our Office of Academic Advising is ready to go! We couldn’t be more excited about the “new” space located on the first floor of Old Main. It’s beautifully done and the Advising Center staff members are moving in and getting settled.

We at Mayville State are working hard to transform our methods and procedures with student retention at the forefront of our minds. It is a priority for us to retain students from the time they begin their studies as freshmen until they graduate. Establishing an advising center is one of the ways in which we are changing our ways of doing things so that we may improve services to students.

The Office of Academic Advising was established last spring. The center serves all students seeking assistance and acts as a frontline student services office. The main focus is on new on-campus students, transfer students, readmits, and continuing students.

Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Andrew Pflipsen is happy about the ways in which the new advising center will impact students. “The new academic advising center allows our professional advisors to work hand-in-hand with our students on an individual basis to collaboratively plan their academic programs,” he said. “The advisors will connect students to co-curricular learning opportunities and career exploration experiences through holistic advising practices, which will lead to effective and efficient degree completion and a robust college experience for Mayville State students.”

Teri Wright oversees the Academic Advising Center as the Director of Academic Advising. Other staff members are Megan Vig, Academic Advisor/Career Services Coordinator, and Remington Werner and Susan Cordahl, Academic Advisors.

Since the first part of this year, the advising staff members have participated in intensive training, studying Mayville State’s academic catalog, analyzing transcripts, and reviewing support services areas. They began meeting with students last spring.

Establishment of the Advising Center came as a result of Mayville State University being awarded a $2,249,000 Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will be distributed over five years and was available as of Oct. 1, 2018. The purpose of the SIP program is to help institutions of higher education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.

Funded by the grant, Mayville State is establishing a system of faculty support for improving pedagogical practices for teaching students who are underprepared and with diverse needs. Data collection, management, and reporting are being centralized to become an integral and systematic function of the institution across divisions and departments for systematic planning. The third grant-funded activity is to establish a cohesive advising and student success model that coincides with academics, student life, and student supports, which includes the establishment of the Office of Academic Advising.

Also known as a Title III grant, the U.S. Department of Education SIP Grant is meant to be life-changing for a university. With the establishment of the Office of Academic Advising, we are already seeing an impact. We are extremely excited about what receiving this influx of federal funding will make for Mayville State University and the students we serve.