Time for fall, summer advising

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Correction: The article should state students are allowed three sessions with a counselor.

By Marina Garcia

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

With spring break a short week away and midterm the following week, registration won’t be far beyond.

To prepare for the March 24 opening of registration for summer and April 7 for fall classes, students should seek advising soon.

The counseling and advising center on the first floor of Moody can help students with academic advising and personal counseling.

Walk-ins are welcome, but aside from early morning, be prepared to wait for an appointment. To further expedite the process, students should log into ACES to check their accounts for holds because at check-in in the counseling and advising center, students must enter Banner IDs.

If any academic holds remain, students will be directed to the appropriate office to remedy the situation, Dr. David Rodriguez, coordinator for the counseling and advising center, said Wednesday. A hold on a student’s account keeps a student from registering for classes, requesting copies of transcripts and graduating.

Rodriguez said only holds that could prevent registration are handled this way.

Counseling and advising, student development and the business office can place holds.

Reasons include academic probation or dismissal, a GPA of 2.0 or lower, transcripts, balance due, record of bacterial meningitis inoculation and financial aid. Holds from the bursar’s office for balance due or traffic tickets will not preclude a student from seeing an adviser or counselor.

Rodriguez said students with holds are required to address them before advising so they can be ready to sit down at a computer to register once advised.

The center also offers personal counseling services by licensed professionals.

In the screening at the front desk, students will be asked what kind of assistance is needed so the clerk can direct students to a counselor or adviser.

Rodriguez said personnel was reduced with budget cuts so screening was put in place to save students from waiting for an appointment only to be told they had to go elsewhere first.

On Feb. 5, Monica Rodriguez, computer support specialist freshman, was barred from seeing a counselor, she was told, because she had a hold on her account because she was not in compliance with the Texas Success Initiative, a state-legislated program providing assistance with reading, writing and math skills of students entering Texas public colleges and universities.

Rodriguez said she knew she had the hold, but she was seeking counseling for personal reasons about returning to college after a three-year absence.

The clerk refused to allow Rodriguez access to a counselor even though another employee offered to help.

On Wednesday at The Ranger offices, the director of counseling and advising met with the student to hear her story and discuss clarifications he said the story, “Student denied counseling” in the Feb. 21 issue, needed.

Dr. David Rodriguez stressed that a student seeking personal counseling would not be turned away and it pained him to see a headline accusing people trained specifically to assist students with life’s problems of denying service.

He emphasized the center employs two types: academic advisers who are restricted to that activity and licensed professional counselors who are available for personal counseling as well as academic advising.

“All counselors advise; not all advisers counsel,” he said.

Students are limited to two sessions with a counselor for personal reasons, but students can participate in support groups the center offers.

Before 2010, counselors were allowed to offer six sessions to students.

Students requiring more assistance are referred to area professionals.

For more information, call 210-486-0368.

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