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TCC adds record number of academic advisors

Posted at 6:19 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 19:19:25-04

TULSA -- Tulsa Community College hired 22 new academic advisors. 

Dean of Student Affairs for TCC, Terri Alonso, said the point of hiring so many new advisors is to allow each student to build a personal connection and ultimately keep the students in school.

"Our goal is to have them monitor just a really small amount of students their progress from start to finish," Alonso said. 

In 2014, TCC had 1,044 students to every one advisor. Heading into the 2018 school year, they have decreased that ratio to 300 students to one advisor. 

"Last summer, I went to the southeast campus and I probably waited 30 minutes for an advisor," Becca Mclaughlin who is in her fourth semester at TCC said. "The hallway was stuffed with students. I was quite confused actually since I've never been there."

An advisor is meant to help a student figure out what their goal is and what it takes to get there. 

Prior to this record breaking hire for the college, TCC added nine advisors since 2015. Even with those hires, Alonso said they saw an increase in their student retention rate. 

TCC said they saw 12-percent of students who had not declared a major move into a specific degree-seeking major. 

They also saw minority retention rates increase from 54-percent to 63-percent in two years. 

"Best practices show that when a student feels connected to someone at the college that they are more apt to stay in school and be retained as a student," Ryan Stilson, a new advisor at TCC, said. 

Having personalized help is crucial for Mclaughlin. She is in her fourth semester at TCC and hopes to transfer to the OU Nursing Program. 

"I am a first generation college student and my mom doesn't know any of this stuff, so it is really nice to be able to go to somebody and they have all the answers," Mclaughlin said. 

Since the addition of the 22 advisors, Mclaughlin said her advising appointment only took 10 minutes. 

She sat down with an advisor Thursday and learned the OU Nursing Program requires applicants to take a foreign language course. 

"If i didn't take Spanish this coming fall, then I would have to take probably another summer class or I may have to be back tracked a whole year to get into the OU Nursing Program," Mclaughlin said. 

Classes for TCC start on Monday. 

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