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College opens advising center

Photos of Michelle Poland and Chris Randall

Michelle Poland and Chris Randall will manage the College's new Advising Center.

Building on the success of its Fundamentals of Engineering program for freshmen, the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University has opened an Advising Center for sophomores, juniors and seniors.


According to Gene Cilento, Glen H. Hiner Dean of the College, the new Center will ultimately serve as the advising home for all students after the freshman year.

“As the College has become larger and faculty teaching and research responsibilities have increased, our students have reported receiving inconsistent advice that can hamper their road to graduation,” Cilento said. “Many of our students also need help during the summer and have reported being unable to reach faculty advisors who are on nine-month state contracts and research grants and contracts over the summer.

“Changes in laws, University requirements, policies, procedures, etc., make academic advising increasingly more complex,” Cilento added. “The Advising Center will provide our students with consistent and current information on academic requirements, policies and procedures using recognized best practices in a timely manner.”

The Center, which is located in Room 151 of the Engineering Sciences Building, will be managed by Michelle Poland, interim director. She will be joined on a part-time basis by Chris Randall, program coordinator in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Both Poland and Randall have been recognized by the College and University for outstanding advising. The Center will be an integral part of the College's Office of Student Services, led by Sarah Lowery.

“In 2017-2018, there were 98 people who had advising responsibilities in the Statler College,” said Poland. “Our goal will be to ensure that students receive a clear and consistent approach to academic advising.”

The Center will initially be open Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; limited hours on evenings and weekends are planned for later this year. As part of a phased roll out, the departments of civil and environmental engineering and computer science and electrical engineering have transferred advising responsibilities to the Center, effective immediately. Seniors in those departments will remain with their current advisors. The remaining departments are expected to be on-boarded by the 2019-2020 academic year.

Center advisors, Cilento said, will receive training through WVU’s Academic Advising Council and its Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success in Higher Education grant. They will also have the option to attend regional and national conferences offered through the National Academic Advising Association.

Cilento noted that faculty remain vital to the professional success of Statler College students.

“The Advising Center will handle many of the academic advising needs that must be done in a timely fashion,” Cilento said. “This will allow department-level faculty to be more active in career and professional advising and mentorships of the students in their majors. Their guidance in these areas is crucial for long-term student professional success.”



For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135