2019 CoS Innovation for Student Success Award

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This award is given annually to an employee whose work contributes significantly to the student success goals of the College of Science.  Dr. Jamie Alea leads the College of Science Advising Center (CoSAC), which is crucial to student success in the College of Science. Under Dr. Alea’s direction, CoSAC has added several new student services. For example, they have a specialized change of major workshop for current Biology students wishing to change to a different Biology degree. They also provide change-of-major individual advising appointments for students who have already attended a change of major workshop and need follow-up advising. They offer graduation workshops and former student, faculty referral, and disqualification advising. In addition, their Tutoring Center conducts content-based interviews for all new tutors. Tutor Coordinators work to improve tutoring strategies through subject-based collaborative working group meetings.

During her time as Director of CoSAC, Dr. Alea has also improved existing services to our students. She has worked with departments to create electronic forms and improved processing. She has also developed more simple and efficient ways for professors to request CoSAC services for their students, and improved the organization of student information to benefit student advising. Last semester alone, CoSAC advisors processed 774 such requests from faculty advisors.

Dr. Alea has also expanded CoSAC's relationship with the support units across campus. For example, CoSAC now offers California Promise drop-in advising in collaboration with Academic Advising and Retention Services. Similarly, through their partnership with the Career Center, the Probation Program includes Exploring Careers in Science workshops and a College of Science Alumni Discussion Panel as a way to help students with career exploration and reflection. CoSAC has also strengthened its Academic Success Program for students on academic and progress probation. The Canvas-based program is now facilitated through face-to-face meetings, personal assessments, and workshops. Finally, they have integrated the Growth Mindset principles into their advising protocol to encourage students to view challenges as opportunities for growth. Faculty at students are fortunate to have such am effective and passionate leader in this role.