The University Advising Center is very pleased to share that Ben Mandelbaum has joined us as our newest Academic Advisor! Ben joins us after spending 7 seasons as a college basketball coach. In his most recent position, he coached the Alcorn State University Men’s Basketball team to the 2023 Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship. Ben is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he received his Master’s degree in Exercise Science. New to Dallas, Ben has enjoyed exploring the Dallas area by visiting museums, attending shows, and taking in sporting events. In his free time, Ben likes following his favorite sports teams, traveling to the beach, and listening to podcasts.
Michelle is a proud SMU alumnus with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English Literature and Composition. She has taught at secondary schools in Dallas ISD, Austin ISD, and universities in Texas and Arizona. She is dedicated to promoting art and literature in public education through PTA committees, community outreach programs, and other channels, and also co-authors contemporary women’s fiction. She is excited to return to the Hilltop!
The University Advising Center is pleased to share that Gerralynn McKenna has joined our office as our newest Coordinator! Gerralynn comes to SMU after teaching elementary special education for 4 years. She recently moved to Dallas from Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband . She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and reading. Please join us in giving her a warm welcome to SMU!
Degree Planner was introduced to students at the end of the Fall 2022 semester as a tool that supports the SMU in Four – SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) –SMU’s comprehensive approach to improving retention and four-year graduation rates.
The Degree Planner in the my.SMU Student Dashboard is a powerful tool that can provide students with a personalized, pre-populated degree plan to help them on their journey to graduation. This degree path provides a sequence of courses that will fulfill degree requirements and can be adjusted regularly to fit their future plans. This differs from the Degree Progress Report (DPR), the authoritative source for graduation requirements.
Initial adoption efforts focused on the 5,348 Common Curriculum students who matriculated in the fall 2020 semester or after (213 Spring 2023 graduating seniors were excluded). Students received outreach on Degree Planner’s purpose, support with completion, and notification of their progress in a variety of ways:
- 1,201 students completed their Degree Planner for all remaining terms.
- 1,484 students completed their Degree Planner for the Fall 2023 semester.
- 8 Degree Planner Support sessions were held (4 in Caruth, 2 in Hughes Trigg, 1 in Meadows, and 1 Zoom Session)
- 7 Blog posts were written introducing Degree Planner, sharing progress, announcing raffle winners (on 2/2/23, 2/13/23, & 3/16/23 ), and general information on Degree Planner
- 7 Student emails were sent
- 130 Winners were selected in raffles to win prizes for completion of Degree Planner.
- To-do tasks were added to students’ My.SMU accounts. These to-do tasks were updated and removed weekly.
We want to reward the following advisors with $100 Amazon gift cards for having the highest number of advisee completions University-wide:
- Dorie Beitchman
- Misti Compton
- Maria Crouch
- Christopher Logan
- Jennifer Malone
- Barbara Morhle
- Jeanene Renfro
- Caroline Rydquist
- Alyssa Wong
Special Acknowledgement is also given to Janet Stephens and Alyssa Wong for their efforts in encouraging student completion and advertising our student support sessions.
Using the Degree Planner Issues/Request Tracker makes it easy for staff to describe their issues, attach pertinent documents and alert the AA team promptly. The form also helps the AA team to process requests and document actions taken. Users can see the progress of their requests and will automatically be notified when there is any progress on their reported issues/requests.
We encourage you to bookmark Degree Planner Issues/Requests Tracker, where you can find the form and the instructions. However, the link to the Degree Planner Issues/Requests form is also available from the Registrar’s Faculty and Staff page.
Please be aware that there are now two forms: one for DPR issues and another for Degree Planner issues. Contact the AA team (email@example.com) if you have any issues using either form.
Please use the Degree Planner Issues/Requests Tracker to submit any future issues/requests rather than emailing the AA team to ensure a timely response. The Office of the Registrar will no longer accept issues reported via email after today.
The University Advising Center is pleased to share that Vivian Fowler has joined the UAC as our newest Academic Advisor!
Vivian is an SMU alum, having received her Bachelor’s degree here in Physical Education. She attended SMU during the death penalty days! After moving to Alabama with her husband, she received a Master’s in Nutrition from Alabama A&M and a PhD in Kinesiology from The University of Alabama. She has taught physical education in K-12, high school biology, and was an assistant professor in HPER at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. She has also coached women’s volleyball, basketball, track and golf at the middle and high school levels. Vivian has three children, two cats and a dog, Gus. She recently spent 3 1/2 years in Lima, Peru- returning to Dallas August of 2021. She enjoys playing golf, practicing her Spanish, and spending time with her family.
Vivian will carry a generalist caseload of advisees, but her specialty areas will include: UHP Pre-Health students, liaison to W. Golf, Rowing, Tennis, and advisor to the Prelude students. She will also be our liaison to the Hilltop Scholars Program.
Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us in welcoming Vivian back to SMU!
Let’s give a big round of applause to all 758 students who completed Degree Planner before the final raffle deadline!
For your Degree Planner to be considered complete:
- As a declared major, you must have completed your degree plan for all declared degree programs and CC requirements.
- As a pre-major, you must have completed your degree plan for all CC requirements (Foundations, Breadths, Proficiencies & Experiences).
Fifty winners were randomly selected to receive prizes courtesy of SMU in Four:
|Amazon Gift Card
|Target Gift Card
|Starbucks Gift Card
|Visa Gift Card
|SMU Flex Dollars
|SMU Swag Bag
|Skyler H.||Michael G.||Breanna S.||Aaliyah A.||Grace B.||Steven B.|
|Sarah B.||Spencer B.||Maya C.||Ria D.||Humberto O.||Daniele D.|
|Mirana E.||Sofia G.||Jack G.||Arin J.||Eden C.||Annabelle L.|
|Jack L.||Karen L.||Anna M.||Mason M.||Lily L.||Lucy M.|
|Regina N.||Abby R.||Riley T.||Carina K.||Ava S.|
|Alexander B.||Katie F.||Emma G.||Gracie H.||Tulsi L.|
|Karis P.||Megan R.||De’Anna W.||Jaena Z.|
|Oscar C.||Braden C.||Ella D.||Savannah H.|
|Alexa L.||Matthew M.||Lily S.||Jess S.|
|Natalya T.||Owen T.||Sydney B.||Remonda H.|
Winners can come and pick up their prizes from the Office of General Education, Laura Lee Blanton Suite 100, from Monday, March 20th– Monday, March 27th.
All Common Curriculum (CC) undergraduate students must complete Degree Planner by March 20.
Visit smu.edu/degreeplanner for help getting started.
The University Advising Center is pleased to share that Brandi Primm has joined us as our newest Academic Advisor! Brandi comes to SMU after working as a High School Counselor for the last twenty years in Garland and Richardson ISDs. Prior to that, she was a math teacher for 9 years. Brandi and her husband, Rusty, enjoy attending concerts and sporting events. They also enjoy traveling and hiking whenever they get the chance. They have two dogs – a 7 year old Beagle named Dirk and a 6 year old Pug named Dez. Brandi will be a generalist advisor for now, but will likely be taking on some specialist/liaison roles in the months ahead.
Please help us in welcoming her to the Hilltop!
Pre-Law 101 Information sessions will be held on September 14th and September 15th at 5:30pm, in Harold Simmons 101A.
Students that are interested in Pre-Law information and events should connect with Pre-Law Advising by filling out the interest form on the Pre-Law advising website! Doing so will send an invitation to the Pre-Law Canvas course with more information, the Pre-Law event calendar, and announcements.
For any questions regarding Pre-Law advising, students can email email@example.com.
Today, August 22nd, SMU students are welcomed to the first day of the Fall 2022 Semester. Throughout the week students are able to make changes to their classes and schedules by adding and swapping courses in my.SMU.
On Friday, August 26th, the ability to do so will pass! Students wishing to adjust their class schedule will only be able to drop courses moving past this date.
Be sure to be in contact with your Academic Advisor if you are thinking about adding, swapping, or dropping courses that make changes to your schedule. You can make appointments through booking.smu.edu, contact your advisor through email or phone, or make an appointment in person to visit them in their office.
The University Advising Center is located in Blanton 408 on the 4th Floor, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 12:00pm, and 1:00pm-5:00pm.