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Saturday, December 20, 2014

LoboAchieve to connect students, advisers, faculty

New advisement system to launch Aug. 1

news@dailylobo.com

This fall, UNM students will have some additional help in their pursuit of A’s.

UNM has developed LoboAchieve, an online advisement program that will allow instructors, advisers and students themselves to actively monitor progress toward the students’ academic degrees. The program is set to go live for all students Aug. 1.

University Advisement Center Director Vanessa Harris said LoboAchieve will make it easier for instructors and advisers to interact with students. She said the program might help students get better grades.

“LoboAchieve will assist UNM to identify which students are at risk, guide where students should go to get help, and connect how students make appointments with their advisers,” she said. “LoboAchieve will allow for a more comprehensive connection with advisers, faculty and other support services.”

Harris said that through LoboAchieve, instructors will be able to track the academic activity of students and advise them online. She said students will also be able to interact with their respective advisers and to view their own progress so that they know their next academic move.

Instructors will also be able to interact with students and help them keep track of their grades, Harris said. She said instructors will be able to raise “flags” in the program to let students know they are falling behind in the class. She instructors can also give a “kudos” online to students who are doing well in their classes.

Harris said LoboAchieve will allow instructors to more efficiently set up office hours and that students will be able to schedule in-person appointments more easily with advisers and instructors.

Harris said UNM is currently testing out the program with “a select group of students.” She said the advisement office has not received complaints about the program from the students.

“In the next couple of weeks, we will be surveying those students on their experience with using LoboAchieve,” she said.

Elizabeth Jacquez, a senior studying business administration, said she thinks the program will motivate students to get better grades.

“Students can keep track of how they’re doing in the class and see what they need to work on,” she said. “If they’re getting a bad grade, at least they’ll be able to know right from the start and they know what to work on to get better.”

She said that to make the program more efficient, instructors should provide students with incentives, such as extra credit, through the program to motivate them to strive harder in the class.

Jacquez said that although she has not been to the advisement office in a long time, she said she plans to use the online program.

Celine Chretien, a sophomore who studies nursing, said she is skeptical whether the program will actually help students get better grades. But she said that instructors should interact more tightly with their students to help them academically.

“A main key to success is correct communication,” she said. “You can’t really get good grades if you don’t know what the professor is expecting out of you.”