From zero to 120: learn To stay on track to graduate

Nadine Tanjuakio l @nadinetanj

The Academic Advising Center hosted an event designed to help students learn about the different programs available to assist with staying on track for graduation in the Redwood Room of the University Union on Sept. 3.

In addition to the hosting department, the Career Center, Peer Academic Resource Center and First Year Experience programs were present.

When students entered the room, they were directed to their class level table or a program they were interested in learning about. As they went around the room, they were taught to finish a checklist of strongly recommended requirements that need to be finished by the end of a school year. If students finished them, they would move on to the next set of requirements until applying for graduation.

As first-time freshmen, students are allowed to enroll in a First Year Seminar course. Once enrolled, they have an opportunity to learn more about the campus and have peer mentors to assist in staying on top of course requirements. It’s also a three unit course that fulfills area E of General Education requirements.

“There is a higher retention and graduation rate for students who have a peer mentor or enrolled in a first year seminar class,” said FYE mentor and senior journalism student Monica Dattage.

The PARC offers tutoring services led by students who are focused on helping others enrolled in areas they excelled in. Tutors have their areas of expertise and office hours available online.

“I like that when I work with students, I can see their passion in any of the programs,” said advising coordinator Adriana Cervantes.

Undeclared students may go to the Academic Advising Center to receive assistance with major exploration. If students are in impacted majors, advisers can help with making sure that he or she is on track with prerequisites to apply for the majors.

“It’s never too early to start thinking about internships,” said orientation coordinator Shawn Ryan. “The great resource that we have for this is the Career Center.”

Ryan mentioned that many junior students should put the knowledge they learned from their first two years and form them into hands-on experiences.

“Incoming junior students should consider studying abroad. If I were to have two candidates, one who studied abroad and one who didn’t, I would choose the one with the international experience,” Ryan said.

For those thinking about applying for graduation, they should meet with a major or academic adviser.

“Once the student has applied to graduate, they come see us to get their degree evaluated where we take over the advising,” said degree evaluator Nick Lindsey.

Many of the coordinators and staff members of the programs graduated from Sacramento State.

Sac State alumna Sandy Xiong transferred to the school in 2010 and graduated in Spring 2014 with a degree in psychology and a minor in Asian American studies. As a graduate student, she interns as a career tracker for the Career Center.

“I prepared my classes ahead of time by looking at the course catalog,” Xiong said. “I talked to the professors to learn about the classes and see if I would be interested in them. Don’t be afraid to talk to your advisers and professors. They were in your shoes before. They have a lot of knowledge and learning opportunities for students.”

Advisers in the Career Center are able to assist students with preparing for interviews, create resumes and provide resources on how to apply for jobs. They use a website called Hornet Career Connection, where students can access full-time and part-time positions, internships and volunteer opportunities.

Students who want to keep track of their progress are able to meet with academic advisers in Lassen Hall.