Advising takes on numerous forms at OCCC

November 1, 2013 Latest Print Print
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The Academic Advising office is known as the place where students line up to decide what classes to take but OCCC offers two other types of advising as well — faculty advising and financial aid advising.

Academic Advising Director Tammy Madden said, when visiting that office, take the time to ask for a faculty adviser to be assigned.

“Faculty advisers assist students in selecting major and support electives,” Madden said.

“(They) have resources more specific to the discipline.”

Madden said faculty advisers are a good resource. Students can discuss career opportunities, internships and receive other tips that are necessary for success with them.

The difference between an academic adviser and a faculty adviser is simple, Madden said.

“[Academic advisers] know a lot about a lot,” she said.

Faculty advisers offer major or discipline-specific advising. Madden said the main function of academic advising is to ensure students are enrolled in the right classes, help them change majors and assign them to a faculty adviser. Academic advisers also direct students where to find other resources on campus.

“We advisers are a wonderful resource for [students],” Madden said. “We want them to be successful.

“We are not going to pass judgment on them. We want them to successfully navigate college.”

The best piece of advice for new students, Madden said, is to “come early and come often.”

She said students shouldn’t wait until the week classes begin and then stand in line to speak with an adviser.

Enrollment is already open for spring classes and students are urged to start early.

Students may also call 405-682-7535 to set up an appointment and avoid the long lines.

When students arrive for an appointment, she said, they should go directly to the peer adviser to check in.

Financial aid advisers also are ready to help students, said Joan Sublett, senior loan adviser.

Sublett said students have been assigned to financial aid advisers alphabetically.

She said email sent from the Financial Aid office is normally from your personal adviser unless it’s automated.

Students have the right to sit down and discuss financial aid with the adviser.

They can do that by going to the front desk in the Financial Aid area and asking to visit with an adviser. Financial aid can be very confusing and frustrating for students, Sublett said but the advisers on staff are there to help simplify the process.

“Anytime someone wants to come in and have a one-on-one, they can do that,” she said.

“Things are changing rapidly. We have to keep up with them and we have to keep in compliance with the federal regulations.”

Sublett said, currently, one of their main concerns is the burden to students caused by student debt.

“OCCC has a loan monitoring policy. Student loan debt has topped the credit card debt in the United States.”

Sublett said students can visit www.OCap.org to learn more about financial aid.

For more information about academic or faculty advising, call Madden at 405-682-7897 or email tmadden@occc.edu.

For more information about financial aid advising, call Sublett at 405-682-7526, or email jsublett@occc.edu.

Both the Academic Advising office and Financial Aid office are located on the first floor of the Main Building.

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