BCCC’s Centralized Advising Center opens to students

Published 7:58 am Monday, August 15, 2022

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In a continued effort to help students create a career or university transfer plan for themselves and then to stay on track until graduation, Beaufort County Community College (BCCC) opened its Centralized Advising Center on August 8. The center is funded by a United States Department of Education Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development (RPED) program grant. The $1.2 million grant allowed the college to fund four full-time positions for three years and purchase early alert software.

The Centralized Advising Center will work with all students who have completed 16 or fewer credit hours. After students complete 16 credit hours, they transfer to a professor within their respective program for advising. The center and its components will create a culture of holistic academic support designed to reduce student withdrawals and help ensure the success of students from all backgrounds.

BCCC has hired Laurie Evans as director of the Centralized Advising Center, Jill Collins and Renee Hinchey as academic advisors and Amber Upton as a student success coach. Erica Caracoglia will work in the center half-time as the advisor to students who plan to apply to nursing and medical laboratory technology programs at the college.

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“Our team is excited to offer enhanced academic advising and support to students, especially at the beginning their college journey,” said Evans. “Our student-centered staff is passionate about helping students reach their goals.”

The college received the RPED grant from the Department of Education in January 2022. The purpose of the grant program is to improve rates of postsecondary enrollment, persistence and completion among rural students through development of high-quality career pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage and in-demand industry sectors and occupations in the region.

The new center will offer a supportive centralized advising model that provides continuous, individualized attention to beginning students, who often have limited college experience. It will provide extra support as students explore degree options and align their curricular choices with career plans or plans for university transfer.

While this process works for many students, it is less ideal for students from families with limited college experience. These students require more time and attention as they explore degree options and align their curricular choices with career plans or plans for university transfer. The new center will offer a more controlled, centralized advising model that provides continuous, individualized attention.

“We know that many of our new students need individualized and ongoing attention to transfer into the college environment,” said Dr. Dave Loope, BCCC president. “The Centralized Advising Center will provide this invaluable service.”

The Centralized Advising Center will also help students stay on track with their plan through graduation. Success coach Amber Upton will use an early alert platform called Aviso to track students’ success and connect students to resources at the first sign of academic distress.

“There are a lot of people in our service area who have completed some college courses, but a few courses do not give you the same economic advantage as having a degree,” said Dr. Lisa Hill, VP of academic affairs. “We want to unlock this greater potential for our students and instill pride in them for following through with their vision.”

Students at community colleges have low rates of graduation for multiple reasons including family obligations, financial hardships and academic performance. The new Centralized Advising Center, coupled with Beaufort Promise, which provides guaranteed free tuition and fees for qualifying students, reflects BCCC’s commitment to removing barriers to attending college. The new center will help students create a solid educational plan and stay on course academically.

The Centralized Advising Center is located in the Arts and Sciences Building (3), Room 122. All first-year students or students with 16 or fewer credit hours completed should visit the center to register for classes. Any student can come to the center to find out who their advisor is. Students can contact the Centralized Advising Center by calling 252-940-6353 or emailing advising@beaufortccc.edu.