Cobb named coordinator of academic advising

Barbara Cobb, associate professor of English, was named the coordinator of academic advising for the 2012 fall semester.

As coordinator of academic advising, Cobb will help enhance training and resources for faculty academic advisers and ill help retention, advising, student support services, and other University entities to help improve academic advising for students.

Cobb said in her new position, she will work alongside faculty and University advisers to help improve the overall advising experience.

“I work with academic advisers from all over campus and even at the regional campuses to make sure that all of them have the training and resources they need to help our students succeed,” she said. “This is a new position, so I am starting with the needs that are already defined – training and resources for advisors – and we will branch out from there.”

Starting Nov. 12, the Academic Advising Student Satisfaction Survey will be available for all students, as well as advanced scheduling for the 2013 spring semester. Cobb said the survey was important because it helps the offices that are involved in the advising process to improve their services.

Cobb said the academic advisers she is overseeing do more than get students into classes for the upcoming semester. Of the approximately 350 academic advisers, almost 300 of them are faculty members who provide both academic advising and expertise in students’ fields of study.

“Students need to know that it’s important that they meet with their academic advisers,” she said. “We are here to make sure that our students have the support and resources they need to move from enrollment, to graduation, to careers.”

Cobb said the advisers not only help students with figuring out the next step for their education but they also help lay out a plan for future semesters.

“Academic advisers help students to develop an academic plan that includes all requirements needed for a student to make it to graduation and to the career or professional goals in their futures,” she said. “The more a student knows about his or her area or major/minor and the resources available on campus, the better prepared that student is for success.”

One of the new initiatives Cobb said advising will have is the updated Undergraduate Academic Advising website, which can be found by searching Academic Advising on the University website. The site includes information about what an advisor does and what students should bring to their advising session. Cobb said the advising sessions are important for all students because it’s the only way to receive the run code needed to access the scheduling site.

Cobb said if there was any piece of advice she would give students, it would be take a stand in their academic education.

“My message to students right now is, if you haven’t scheduled an academic advising session to prepare for Advanced Scheduling, do so immediately,” she said. “If you’re having trouble getting what you need from your academic adviser, see your department chair. Get to know your academic adviser and help him or her, to help you to plan and reach your academic goals.”

Aside from working for the past two years on the President’s Commission on Retention and the commission’s subcommittee on advising, Cobb was the first recipient of the Omicron Delta Kappa Adviser of the Year award in 2010 and in 2012, she was awarded with the Regents Teaching Award.

Cobb received her bachelors of arts degree from Wellesley College and her doctorate in English from Rutgers University before teaching for the University in 2002. A member of the Phi Kappa Phi chapter and, Cobb directs the Shakespeare in the Schools Partnership initiative, which teachers from the region incorporate Shakespeare into the elementary and middle school curriculum. Aside from publishing scholarly articles on numerous authors, Cobb serves as associate chair and teacher education coordinator for the Murray Shakespeare Festival.

 Story by Samantha Villanueva, Staff writer