FAU Expands 'Get Wise' Academic Advising

Florida Atlantic University is continuing to “Get Wise” – this time with the addition of academic advisors in another student residence hall.

Academic advisor Roy Kaplan speaks with a student in Parking Garage I.

By kelsie weekes | 11/4/2015

Florida Atlantic University is continuing to “Get Wise” – this time with the addition of academic advisors in another student residence hall as part of a unique, new approach to academic advising.

The program, called “Get Wise: On the Quad,” is available to students Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. in Glades Park Towers (GPT), and now also available in Indian River Towers (IRT). All first-year students living on campus can use the after-hours service.

“Our incoming freshmen have grown up in a fast-paced world, where answers are quickly and easily found,” said Angel Nevin, assistant director of the “Get Wise” program. “To continue to meet the needs of this generation, we had to think outside the 9 to 5 box where academic services typically reside.”

During the first half of the fall semester, advisors in GPT and IRT connected with more than 375 students. While the majority of students receive academic advising and coaching in the beginning of the semester, the “Get Wise: On the Quad” program also offers career counseling, tutoring, and writing assistance to students throughout the semester.

In addition to the residence halls, FAU’s Advising Services has achieved success in the University’s on-campus parking garages. “Get Wise: On the Go” was launched last semester in an effort to target commuter students and working students who take evening classes when University offices are closed. Academic advisors are available to talk to students on Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. in Garage 1, and on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. in Garage 2.

“Advising has to go where the students are,” said Joseph Murray, director of University advising services. “The real value of ‘Get Wise: On the Go’ is connecting with students, providing them resources, and being a front door of FAU.”

During the spring 2015 launch of “Get Wise: On the Go,” advisors met with more than 500 students in the parking garages. So far this semester, advisors already have connected with more than 420 students, answering questions about credit hours, classes, important dates, deadlines, and setting them up with their assigned academic advisors.

As part of FAU’s commitment to student advising, the University recently hired Jennifer L. Bloom, Ed.D., a co-founder of the Appreciative Advising and Appreciative Education movements. FAU is one of only a handful of universities in the country to adopt Appreciative Advising, which focuses on disarming students with a welcoming environment, developing a relationship with them, discovering what they’re passionate about and designing a plan of action for them to achieve their goals.

“The fact that FAU is already a national leader in terms of implementing Appreciative Advising and Appreciative Education is exciting, and I look forward to building on that momentum,” Bloom said.

Bloom will serve as an associate professor and coordinator of the higher education leadership master’s degree program at FAU. She will be incorporating Appreciative Advising into her teaching and training FAU faculty and staff to become certified Appreciative Advisers. Bloom previously served as a clinical professor and director of the master’s degree program in higher education at the University of South Carolina.