Kamilah Mirza/The Mainstream
Christina Wooten stands outside the student center.

Stay on track to graduate on time with the new student educational plan

Have you ever found yourself struggling to find balance between home life and school? Do you ever find yourself confused on what goals you need to be creating? Have you ever been confused about what classes to take to graduate on time and to stay on track?

At UCC every student has the opportunity to create an educational plan to fit exactly what they need for the career path they would like to take. In the past this course of action has been called “Flight Path” and “Term-By-Term Planner,” however UCC is currently working implementing the term “Student Educational Plan.”

The Student Educational Plan, or SEP, is a tool that can be accessed by first making an appointment with an Academic Advisor. Students are able to create a visual roadmap of which classes they will be taking each term as they progress through their academic career. Some classes are offered in a specific sequence or only during certain times of the year. Creating an SEP allows students to see when they will be taking courses and allows them to stay on track for graduation.

Academic Advisor and part-time Assistant Business Professor, Christina Wooten, describes the SEP as offering students a peace of mind. “Once it is built with the student, they are able to take ownership of their education and build their specific class each term with confidence!”said Wooten. “Benjamin Franklin said it best, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.’ An SEP is a plan, a guide, and a roadmap that assists a student in planning a successful completion of their program of study.”

Many students choose to “self-advise,” however Wooten shared her own trouble with self-advising. “It took me six years to get a four-year degree. I am not kidding! I did what is called “Self-Advising” and picked my own classes based on my thoughts of what would get me a degree. For some reason, I did not choose to work with an advisor and that ended up costing me a lot of money and time, two very precious resources.”

Wooten is a Mississippi native and has earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business, as well as a Master’s in Education with a focus on Adult Learning and Corporate Training. She began her journey at  UCC in 2016 teaching an online business class. In the summer of 2019, Wooten began helping out with the Academic Advising team. She fell in love with the advising position and in Fall of 2019 she became a full-time Academic Advisor for several majors such as Business, Early Childhood Education and General Education, Human Services, Performing and Visual Arts and Viticulture.

Students often find themselves under stress, pressure and for those who feel they are falling behind, Wooten has some suggestions. “First and foremost, check in with your advisor! We are here to help students find resources, work through blocks to their success, and help them progress forward in their educational journey. Second, get and use some type of time management or planning system to plot out work, school and life responsibilities. Third, schedule some fun! I regularly encourage my students to do something fun. Join a club, go for a hike, find a hobby that brings joy. Just a few minutes a day of something can be recharging, relaxing and ease stress.”

If students want to progress their academic and career paths outside of the SEP, there is also Advisor and Career Coach, Danna-May Blommer. Blommer is able to assist with job applications, resumes, interview skills and offers workshops each term to help students build and employment portfolio.  

There are many advisors available at UCC, such as Mitch Mitchell, Michael Olson, Jasen Lynch, Danna-May Bloomer, and for TOP (Transfer Opportunity Programs and Accessibility advising) there is Les Rogers, Jennifer Driskill, and Danielle Haskett. Advisor Christina Wooten is not listed on the UCC website, however she is available for students for help. The Advising Team at UCC wants to see success among students and are ready and willing to help with students’ needs.

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