August 14, 2013

CTC launches new Advising Center

The Community & Technical College (CTC) recently launched its new Advising Center in July. The center resources students with the information, support, and skills to navigate the college system and develop educational plans to achieve their career and life goals. CTC Insider caught up with center coordinator Kevin O'Connor to find out more about the new center, its staff, and how it serves students. 

Kevin O'Connor advises a student.
Kevin O'Connor advises a student.
Q: Whom does the CTC Advising Center serve?
A: The CTC Advising Center serves students pursuing CTC majors as well as students enrolled in preparatory and developmental courses.

Q: What advising services does the CTC Advising Center offer?
A: The center has two advisors and one support staff. Our unwritten motto “Where students come first” has a dual meaning. First, students need to come to the center for academic advising so they can successfully transition into UAA. Second, students are a top priority and getting them the most accurate and timely information is our goal.

To that end, we offer the following services:
  • Relationship building for better student engagement for entry and retention
  • Majors search to help determine if the student is a good fit for their intended course of study
  • Admissions, financial aid, and registration advising
  • Technology instruction (Blackboard, email, UAonline navigation)
  • Educational plan development
  • UAA academic options consultation
  • Financial aid appeals

Q: Why should a student visit the CTC Advising Center? What’s the benefit? 
A: Studies show that students who are engaged with the university are more apt to be successful during their collegiate experience. Advisors are often the first people students meet. That first point of contact is crucial to helping students become more engaged with the university. Advisors work to keep students on track, develop their sense of responsibility, and help them progress academically and personally. The staff members here are committed to student success and providing resources to guide students through the many challenges they may face in a university setting.

Q: How can a student access CTC Advising Center services?
A: We take appointments and walk-ins. To schedule an appointment students should call 907.786.6045. Students can also meet with us virtually via Skype.

Q: Where is the CTC Advising Center located and what are the hours of operation?
A: The center is located in Sally Monserud Hall, Room 123 and 124, inside the Learning Resources Center. Staff members are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist students.

Meet the Staff
The CTC Advising Center has two advisors and one support staff who deliver high-quality academic advising services to students.

Kevin O' Connor
Kevin O'Connor
Kevin O’Connor is the CTC Advising Center coordinator and CTC majors advisor. He has been the CTC advisor since October 2009. He previously worked as director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Career Services and senior IT consultant/trainer for the University of Alaska statewide. His past experiences include teaching elementary school in Perth, Western Australia, and Houston, Texas. He also taught and counseled in the San Francisco Unified School District at the Log Cabin youth detention facility.

O’Connor is a former Air Force officer who had assignments in California, Illinois, Spain, Korea, and finally, at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks. He holds a bachelor's from St. Mary’s College in California and a master's in counseling and guidance from Eastern Illinois University. He is married with four adult children and is eagerly anticipating the birth of his first grandchild in January.
 
 
Caitlin Poindexter
Caitlin Poindexter
Caitlin Poindexter is the CTC academic support advisor and CPDS department advisor. Prior to joining the CTC Advising Center, she served as a coordinator on the UAA Care Team. Her previous experience includes working as the director of programs at Yuut Elitnaurviat, the vocational education center in Bethel. She also served as a resident director for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A lover of international travel, she has lived abroad in Spain where she acquired a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate.

Poindexter grew up in England on Royal Air Force Lakenheath. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in college student services administration from Oregon State University.
 
 
Marti Rogers
Marti Rogers
Marti Rogers is the CTC Advising Center’s administrative support assistant. She holds a master’s in religious education from St. Thomas located in Houston, Texas, and is working toward a second master’s in pastoral studies from Seattle University in Washington. She enjoys working with people and helping students achieve their educational goals.


Story by Kirstin Olmstead