The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith has launched a transformational new approach to advising with the creation of the R.O.A.R. First-Year Advising Center. The R.O.A.R. stands for Relationships, intentional Outreach, excellent Advising and the connection to appropriate Resources.
The R.O.A.R was created with the support of Interim Chancellor Dr. Edward Serna, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Lee Krehbiel, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Georgia Hale and each UAFS college dean to meet the needs of first-year students across disciplines.
“Improving access to advising has been one of the university’s key strategic initiatives this year in an effort to improve our student success rates and retention,” said Serna. “Our first-year students are counting on us to advise their transition to college with expertise and care, so we created the R.O.A.R. to ensure that every student has a personal relationship with their advisor.”
In addition to providing academic advising, the R.O.A.R. will serve as a hub for student services integral to first-year student success. New staff members have been hired for the R.O.A.R., resulting in an eight-member team to provide improved customer service to each entering freshman.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with all entering first-year students,” said Julie Mosley, advising center director. “I have worked with first-year students for more than 15 years, and I have seen firsthand the level of customer service needed to help a student successfully transition from high school to college. The R.O.A.R. will be dedicated to helping our first-year students make that transition, which will have a huge impact on their ability to navigate all that UAFS has to offer.”
Hayley Howard, a 2016 UAFS graduate, brings a fresh perspective to the R.O.A.R. team and hopes to use her own experiences as a UAFS student to help incoming freshmen.
“I remember how nervous I was when I started my first semester and how daunting college seemed,” said Howard. “I remember struggling to navigate both the academic and social parts of college and not being sure who to ask for help. I’m proud to be a part of this new initiative specifically designed for first-year students and I firmly believe that the relationships we will be building with our student will help them not only maximize their success here, but also help make UAFS their home.”
In conjunction with the innovative approach to the R.O.A.R., UAFS has also redesigned its New Student Orientation program, which has been renamed The MANE Event. All first-year students will all be required to attend a MANE Event the summer before their first semester. The advising process for new students will now include one-on-one advising and registration with a R.O.A.R. staff member to foster connections and build relationships.