Winona State University’s Warrior Success Center now offers online academic advising. Amy Meyer and Darcie Mueller, advisors in the Warrior Success Center (WSC), were concerned that students taking online classes from home during the summer were often unable to meet with WSC advisors face-to- face due to distance from the WSU campus. To improve access and support to WSU students, the advisors created the online advising student service.
Online advising is for all students year-round, not just students taking online classes away from campus. “While we value face-to- face opportunities with students, we believe that online advising fills a very important need,” Meyer said.
“Flexibility for students is the main benefit of online advising. Students have the convenience to have a personal interaction with an advisor regardless of their location,” Mueller said.
Meyer and Mueller received a Summer Session Innovation Grant to develop and launch the service. The advisors researched successful online advising practices and invited other advisors across WSU to participate in a stakeholder group. Together, the stakeholders gathered information about the key functions and benefits of online advising, and helped explore and test technology options.
The first session of online advising took place over WSU’s 2016 summer session. Students met with advisors using a webcam through Adobe Connect. In the initial launch, 19 online advising appointments were completed through the Warrior Success Center and two were completed through the Nursing Department.
At the end of summer, the students who used online advising were offered a survey about their experience. All students responding to the survey stated that they were satisfied with their online advising experience, and that they would schedule future appointments online when needed, Mueller said.
For instructions on setting up an advising appointment, go online.