Information about University Advising

Mission Statement

University Advising and its constituent programs exist to engage, equip, empower, and encourage students (and their families) to explore and excel in their educational goals and beyond.

The mission uses several e-words by design. The statement was carefully crafted to help our own team memorize, understand, and deliver, all in alignment with the Strategic Plan and Priorities defined by the university. Each element is consistently presented in our interactions and communication materials provided to students and their families, including our web site, an “advising syllabus” for our students, up to and including our own performance evaluations.

More than a nice saying or slogan, these elements of the departmental mission, all derived from the university’s own mission and vision, provide us with the opportunity to direct, execute, and assess. Every program, initiative, and student interaction is based on specific learning objectives. Each objective includes deliberate assessments of learning to provide data to guide and inform departmental decisions and ongoing quality improvement efforts.

The Department

University Advising (TTUA) serves with distinction as Texas Tech’s university academic advising unit. As a department, University Advising undertakes important student recruitment, transition, and retention initiatives via five distinct and yet closely related advising endeavors:

  • TTUA, carrying out directives on advising, promoting the highest national standards of excellence in academic advising, and the contact point for matters dealing with advising
  • Texas Tech University Advising (TTUA) as a physical space and welcoming point of contact for students seeking academic direction
  • TTU DISCOVERY! Program guiding the academic exploration of undecided and uncertain students
  • TTU PreEngineering Program supporting students as they gain the prerequisites for entry into the College of Engineering.
  • TTU Prelaw Program for undergraduates pursuing a future education in a school of law

In summary, TTUA is most strongly motivated to continue its beneficial history of serving Texas Tech University on all matters concerning academic advising. A description, brief history, and a list of highlights for each of these important endeavors is detailed in the sections that follow. 

TTUA

At its inception some 20 years ago, TTUA was charged with being the contact point for academic advising at Texas Tech. For the past ten years, TTUA has consistently fulfilled its mission, carried out directives on advising, and serving as the contact point for matters dealing with university advising. As the bridge between the TTU Advising Community and Academics, Staff, and the Administration of Texas Tech, TTUA does the following:

Texas Tech University Undergraduate Academic Advisors

  • Undergraduate Academic Advisors Professional Development Program
  • Undergraduate Academic Advisor Helpline for University Community
  • Undergraduate Academic Advisor Training as requested
  • Undergraduate Academic Advisors Email Distribution List
  • Undergraduate Academic Advisors Directory
  • Undergraduate Academic Advisors Web Site
  • Undergraduate Academic Advisor Referral Site List
  • Point of Contact for Undergraduate Academic Advisors
  • Disseminate advising information to TTU Undergraduate Academic Advisors
  • Coordinate advisor meetings with administrators
  • TTU Academic Advisor Referral Sites for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Allied Health
  • Create advising models to address changing resources for advisor:students ratios
  • Consult with TTU advising offices on issues such as advising assessments, etc.
  • Serve as resource for TTU Advisors on undecided issues, FGC, FTC, PLAW

Administration and Provost Office

  • Provided Seats Available and Needs Projection Reports to the Office of the Provost
  • Serve as advising core curriculum specialists
  • Bring student situations to the attention of appropriate administrators
  • Worked on Graduate On Time Program
  • Provide presentations for high school counselors with Office of Admissions
  • Collaborate on advising issues impacting recruitment
  • Advise TTU offices and departments on opportunities for enhancing advising practices
  • Provide input on advising policies

Undergraduate Students and Families

  • Provide timely access to academic advisors via “Advising Hotline” (phone, fax, email, and online chat)
  • Advise VIP Students as requested, regardless of major
  • Serve as Entry Point for phone calls, emails, walk-ins and University Operators
  • Host Computer Lab which encourages contact between students and advisors
  • Created and maintain TTU Student Resource Guide

Advising Coordination for the College of Arts & Sciences

  • Serve as assigned advisors for Undeclared Students in the College of Arts and Sciences (ASUDs)
  • Serve as assigned advisors for Undeclared Students pursuing a Law School education in the College of Arts and Sciences (PLAWs)
  • Make recommendations when advising situations impact retention
  • Created and update Student Advising Guide
  • Created and update Parent Advising Guide
  • Created CAS RRO Parent Session (averages 4.6 rating out of a 5 point system)
  • Supervise CAS Prospective Student Advisors (3)

Advising Management Highlights

Highlights of advising management changes at University Advising since December, 1999, include the following:

Accountability

  • Department: Programs accountable to Strategic Plan
  • Personnel: Staff members accountable to PDQs
  • Students: Students accountable to University policies and procedures
  • Budgets: Department accountable to budget process for state and grant funding

Documentation/Assessment/Evaluation

  • Developed AXIS, a hosted Internet application that allows for consistent paperless documentation, worldwide advisor and student access to advising history, and instantaneous reporting
  • Analyzed Number of student contacts and quality of contacts increased
  • Re-engineered department budget and spending systems
  • QuACks program implemented (Quality Assurance Checks)

Recruitment

  • Serve Visitor’s Center as their Go-To location for Advising, regardless of the major
  • Outreach to prospective students/families from grade 3 and up
  • Pathway Partners for transfer students with Office of Admissions
  • Supervise CAS College Recruiters including analysis and reporting of Prospective Student visits

Grants

Deregulated tuition funds for advising and prelaw ($15,000)

Program Development

The department created and administers four campus-wide programs in response to University and Community needs. In addition, the RRO program created by TTUA has one of the first parent programs offered at TTU. 

Texas Tech University Advising

Welcoming an average of 25,000 student visits to the 79 Holden Hall office suite each month, University Advising welcomes each and every student through its doors.

Triage Advising

Because student issues range from finding the right classroom to finding the right major, to finding out the difference between a W, a DG, a DW, and University Withdrawal, University Advising maintains a triage advisor in the office from 7:45am to 5pm, and has developed an online Student Resource Guide, a YouTube Channel and an index of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to provide 24/7 academic guidance for students. 

As in the medical field, triage is not University Advising’s ongoing method of operation, but it is vital to engaging students at their perceived point of need. Once their immediate concerns have been addressed, and their condition has “stabilized,” our advisors work to help students explore the situation to a greater level of depth to foster critical thinking, initiative, self-leadership, problem-solving, and confidence.

Initially, this approach may be labeled as prescriptive in nature, but drawing from its heritage as a part of higher education’s academic units, prescription is quickly replaced by a deliberately scaffolded curriculum, wherein the student is prompted, invited, and encouraged to enter and embrace the important cycle of learning, assessment, re-direction, and growth.

Community Space & Computer Lab

Even with its limited square footage, University Advising uses its real estate, hallway frontage, and furnishings to engage students via study carrels, bulletin boards, and collaborative spaces in the wide hallways outside University Advising facility at 79 Holden Hall. 

Additionally, in the front office of the University Advising suite, the department provides and maintains nine computer workstations with paid color printing services.

Resource Broker

Brokering campus resources includes providing numerous printed materials introducing campus resources, to personal referrals made at the student’s point of need. University Advising staff function as resource brokers to guide students toward important offices, persons, and services which aid in student persistence and overall retention.

TTU DISCOVERY! Program for Undecided and Exploratory Students

The first component of the process is the DISCOVERY! Academic Physical, which will help you set goals, identify your specific learning style, and create study strategies that will promote optimal academic health (success). Why? Many reasons. For example, did you know that 80% of freshman and sophomore level courses are taught in the traditional lecture style format where the professor lectures and the student takes notes? The Academic Physical helps to diagnose your strengths and opportunities for growth which helps to better prepare you for this new environment.

DISCOVERY! will help you find your direction to an amazing university experience, an on-time graduation, and a future career field that will be fulfilling and rewarding.

Followed by the DISCOVERY! Major Map. Choosing a major is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Major Map helps you find your direction by identifying your values, skills, interests, and abilities. Once you have identified your direction, you will be ready to determine which academic majors here at Texas Tech University are the best fit for you. Through a deliberate study of yourself and one-to-one meetings with an academic advisor, you will narrow the range of academic alternatives and be well-equipped to confidently pursue your educational and career goals.

Contact Information: 79 Holden Hall, 806.742.2189, discovery@ttu.edu, www.discovery.ttu.edu

TTU Prelaw Program

Students who are interested in attending law school should begin preparing long before graduation. The discipline of law is for students who are interested in combining precision in thinking, researching, and writing with a desire to work with people. While many choose to practice law in the courtroom, many law graduates leverage their newly developed skills to excel in other fields. A law education equips students for success in a law practice, public service, teaching, and business.

Through a structured four-year process, the TTU Prelaw Program cultivates the undergraduate to become a confident and articulate law school applicant bearing exceptional qualifications. Participants will focus on the three essential areas identified by law school professionals nationwide:

  1. Writing and speaking with comprehension and clarity
  2. Understanding social institutions and human nature
  3. Thinking creatively and analytically

To excel in these areas, students in the program will:

  • Connect one to one with an academic advisor who specializes in preparing students for the challenges of law school
  • Establish professional relationships with faculty and mentors
  • Determine their best-fit academic majors
  • Rigorously pursue excellence and academic challenges
  • Explore service learning and undergraduate research opportunities
  • Develop strong time management practices
  • Identify options for financing their law school educations
  • Prepare for and practice taking the LSAT exam
  • Prepare and submit law school application packets

Prospective law students need a four-year bachelor’s degree in the academic discipline of their choice. Law schools are generally most interested in applicants who exhibit intellectual maturity and have the foundation of a broad-based liberal arts education. They consider exceptional applicants from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, often providing programs for early admission to qualified applicants.

The TTU Prelaw Program works with your major to strengthen and streamline your candidacy as a law school applicant. There are two sound routes to consider:

  1. Undeclared/Exploratory Students: Initially, you can be designated as a PLAW student in the College of Arts & Sciences. Using University Advising's DISCOVERY! tools, you will be ready to declare a major, having determined what major best fits your goals, values, and personal objectives. This plan allows you the freedom to explore academic majors while staying on track in your preparation for law school. PLAW is a great way to explore and still graduate on schedule with a degree that you find fulfilling and exciting.
  2. Declared Majors: The program will partner with you and the academic advisor who specializes in your declared major. Their combined guidance will support your pursuit of undergraduate success and prepare you for the transition to law school. Just let us know you are interested, and we will begin guiding you through the process, and will even help track your progress.

If you are looking for an extra boost toward your future, you should consider enrolling with other TTU Prelaw Program students as part of the Prelaw Freshman Interest Group. You can even take it one step further and live in the Prelaw Learning Community, two residence hall floors designated specifically for prelaw students.

Any student interested in attending law school can join the TTU Prelaw Program at any time ... but for the most benefit, it is best to start as soon as possible. You have the drive and you know the destination. We can help provide the direction you will need to get there. 

Contact information: 79 Holden Hall, 806.742.2189, prelaw@ttu.edu, www.prelaw.ttu.edu

TTU PreEngineering Program

See the PreEngineering website for more information about this program.