A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will support the University of Guam in the development of its new Para Hulo’ Triton Advising Center.
“Approximately 42% of our student population is [composed] of first-generation college students who require more guidance and mentorship than traditional students to navigate their academic path, so that’s where collaborative, holistic advisement comes in to ensure they stay the course,” said senior vice president and provost Anita Borja Enriquez. “With this center, we want to take advising to the next level through a clear roadmap of support for all students.”
Housed within the Student Center on campus, the Triton Advising Center is designed to be a “nucleus” of the university’s existing ecosystem of student support services, said Lawrence Camacho, dean of Enrollment Management and Student Success. It will assist students in three key areas: 1) academic advising 2) financial solvency and 3) career development, in concert with all academic units.
Within the five-year span of the grant funding, the center aims to increase enrollment and retention rates, improve college access for low-income students, decrease the percentage of financial aid at-risk students, improve utilization of tuition resources, and ensure at least 85% of seniors have engaged in career planning.
The Enrollment Management and Student Success office has already begun training its team of advisers on how to approach academic, financial, and career advising more strategically to ensure student retention and degree completion.
“We jumpstarted the objectives of the center last semester even before the grant because the concept was critical, but the grant will now allow us to fully reach all of our goals,” Camacho said.
Projects planned include the development of standardized manuals to streamline the advising and registration processes and the integration of uConnect and Handshake, two Web-based, career-focused platforms to support students in finding meaningful work after graduation. (PR)