Online advising now available

Students who want help choosing classes can now chat with an adviser without coming to the college thanks to a new online distance advising portal, said Academic Adviser Sara McElroy.

The virtual program, which began July 6, works as a chatroom on OCCC’s website, where students can webchat with an adviser to prepare for next semester’s classes.

“We’ve had distance advising for some time in an e-mail form,” McElroy said. “Opening a chatroom on the website gives it more of a conversational feel.”

The chatroom will be open two hours each day, excluding weekends. Times will vary each week, she said.

A schedule for each week is posted on the distance advising section of the OCCC website, McElroy said.

McElroy, chat adviser, said the portal is one-on-one chat and confidential. She said it is open to all students.

Distance advising isn’t meant to replace traditional in-person advising, she said, but is good for people who work long hours or who can’t make it to campus to schedule a meeting.

McElroy said she receives about 10 e-mails each day from students seeking online advisement.

She said she anticipates that number to grow as the Fall semester nears.

Barry Tatum, who enrolled July 9, said he didn’t mind waiting in line to speak with an adviser in person.

“I think the program could really be useful,” Tatum said.

“I think it would just depend on the student. For some it would be effective; for others not so much.”

For more information about distance advising, go to

To contact Hunter Ligon, email

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