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Undergraduate Advising Center to help students succeed

Lamar University students at the beginning of their collegiate careers will soon have an additional ally in their success with the introduction of a new Undergraduate Advising Center.

Daniel Bartlett, who has served as director of the Center for College Readiness at LU since January 2008, has been named director of the new Undergraduate Advising Center. Bartlett received his Ph.D. in literary studies at University of Texas at Dallas in 2005. He holds a master’s degree in English and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Lamar University.

“We’ll be looking at the big picture,” Bartlett said. “If we find that a student needs tutoring or has financial difficulties affecting success, we’ll be making referrals and following up. Lamar has many great services for students. We want to make sure we connect students with the services they need.”

The Undergraduate Advising Center is part of LU’s Division of Strategic Enrollment Management, which was created in Fall 2011. Bartlett hopes to have at least 25 academic advisors working at the center and is in the process of identifying current advisors who work with freshmen and sophomores for possible reassignment to the new center. An on-campus search for an associate director of the center also is under way. Portions of the Carl Parker Building will be renovated to house the center.

The new Undergraduate Advising Center will handle academic advising for students with fewer than 60 credit hours, including incoming freshmen, continuing students and transfers early in their academic careers. Honors students and student athletes will continue to be advised by the Honors Program and LU Athletics Academic Services. Students attending classes at Lamar for summer only, but pursuing a degree elsewhere, also will be advised through the advising center.

Undergraduates with 60 or more credit hours will continue to receive academic advisement through their major departments. Previously, all academic advisement was handled through academic departments. Bartlett said he anticipates that advisers in the center will have a broad base of generalized knowledge plus expertise in degree plans for specific departments or colleges, allowing them to serve as subject matter experts for the center.

“I see the Undergraduate Advising Center as a way of making sure students are pointed in the right direction. If we’re not the solution, we will know who is, and we’ll get them there,” Bartlett said.

The Undergraduate Advising Center is one of several initiatives demonstrating Lamar University’s commitment to providing students with the tools they need to be successful, from the time they enter Lamar University until they earn their diploma and graduate.

A comprehensive public university and a member of the Texas State University System, Lamar University offers more than 100 degree programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Many courses and degree programs are available entirely online.