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Jarvi to head new advising program
for exploratory students
May 4, 1998

Students who are headed for an upper division school, who haven't yet chosen a school or college or who are changing from one school or college to another will benefit from a new advising program on campus.

The Academic Center for Exploratory Students (ACES), located in room 320 of the DRM building, has been developed as a "temporary academic home for entering students who are undecided in their choice of a school or college and for continuing students who are in transition between colleges or schools," says Susan Steele, vice provost for undergraduate education and instruction. Steven Jarvi, an academic adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is serving as interim director.

The new center is an outgrowth of the strategic plan, which emphasizes undergraduate education and urges the provision of high quality, comprehensive advising.

Steele says that ACES is an important component in supporting student success at the University. "We're trying to get the right students here and, when we get them here, to make sure they're successful."

Steele says she and Jarvi hope that the benefits of the new center will be far-reaching. "It could allow the College of Liberal Arts and Science Advisory Center to better serve arts and sciences students; it could ease the burden on professional schools' advisers; and it could provide a focal point for the coordination of educational efforts that cut across the schools and colleges," she says.

Jarvi has spent the past seven years counseling students from a broad range of disciplines, easing their transition from high school to college and streamlining their path once at UConn, Steele says. He has worked with undecided students, non-traditional students and "shadow majors" - those who follow a plan of study even though they have not been officially admitted to that particular program, she says.

Jarvi says the new advising center will take some of the burden off the liberal arts advising center, where, he says, "often students who were not truly liberal arts students would come to be advised. The whole idea is to give students in transition more attention."

Jarvi adds that ACES will help liberal arts advisers focus on their students and on their majors. "My responsibility is to work closely with all the schools and colleges so that students can eventually get where they want to go. Students may use ACES because they don't yet have the grades to get into a particular school, such as engineering, business or nursing. We'll help them get there, and also introduce alternative choices when it is appropriate, because these schools are becoming increasingly competitive," he says. "In addition, ACES will work closely with the advisers from upper division schools, to assist students in gaining entry to allied health, education and pharmacy."

Staffing the center will depend on student need. Steele says that since it opened in mid-April, the center has seen a steady stream of students. "We're watching the numbers carefully and we'll plan according to that."

Sherry Fisher