MIU awards 15 new undergraduate academic and career advisers

September 27, 2011 By Gillian Losh

UW–Madison awarded six schools and colleges 15 new academic and career advising positions last week through the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates (MIU).

The MIU Oversight Committee allocated $1.5 million in ongoing funding in April 2010 to improve academic and career advising as part its overall goal of improving student services. The MIU Advising Working Group, a cross-campus committee of faculty and staff, then made recommendations on which proposals should receive funding for new advising programs after a yearlong review process.

The competitive proposal process was one of the working group’s four recommendations of concrete steps to improve the campus environment around advising. Proposals were sought that hired advisers who worked across units and across academic and career advising to better reflect the cross-disciplinary nature of modern higher education.

“Excellent advising is essential to almost all aspects of students’ education,” says Annette McDaniel, chair of the working group, assistant director of the Center for the First-Year Experience and coordinator of the Transfer Transition Program. “We’re building an advising system that supports our students’ unique UW–Madison educational experience.”

The funding awards and new advising positions include:

— One undergraduate academic services pod academic/career adviser in the College of Letters & Science

— One cultures of the world pod adviser

— One physics, astronomy, geoscience, atmospheric and oceanic science, and environmental science pod adviser

— One part-time theatre and drama, Scandinavian studies, anthropology and geography pod adviser, a part-time communication arts access adviser

— One part-time economics access adviser

— One career advisor for the historical humanities

— One social sciences career/internship coordinator

— One psychology career/academic adviser

— Two advisers to better serve undecided students interested in pursuing College of Agricultural and Life Sciences majors

— One program adviser to work with the Chican@ and Latin@ studies program and across campus

— Two advisers to provide a holistic approach in undergraduate engineering advising

— One adviser for the Biology Education Office for Undergraduate Majors

— One adviser to improve access to advising in foreign languages and career planning for students with internationally focused academic interests.

The overall goal of the advising initiative is to create a system for campuswide advising leadership and coordination, improve advising-related technology and improve adviser training and assessment.

The total number of new advisers created through the MIU advising set-aside is actually 25 because some positions were awarded outside the RFP process and two positions (pre-business and pre-law) have been allocated but will not be hired until after a director of advising (and related staff) is hired. 

MIU uses a supplemental tuition charge to invest in the quality of the undergraduate experience while vastly expanding the pool of need-based aid available for UW–Madison students and their families. In its second full year, the initiative’s results are now impacting undergraduate students across the campus. More information about MIU can be found at http://madisoninitiative.wisc.edu.