On the far east end of campus, flanked by the Student Health Center to the south and the Hyrum Manwaring Center to the west, the Verla J. Chapman Hall teems with career and academic resources for students.
At 7:45 a.m. each weekday, lights flicker on as advisors and receptionists shuffle in, ready to help students with a range of concerns and problems. Any given day will bring advisors challenges of exploring majors, planning classes and discussing career outlooks with students.
Shely Rodrigues, a sophomore studying political science, believes each student should take advantage of Academic Advising’s resources. As an advisor for the College of Language and Letters and the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, she is passionate about helping and guiding students in their academic journey.
According to Rodrigues, one of the biggest benefits for students is maximizing their majors to help them get hired. Most majors leave room for students to take many elective courses, but these can be used to obtain minors, clusters and certificates that can help bolster resumes.
“I feel (students) should definitely come to advising so they can figure out how to use their credits more wisely,” Rodrigues said. “A lot of students have no idea that they can use thei credits for certificates or maybe … clusters or minors. They have no idea of how many resources we have in advising to help them just not waste those credits.”
BYU-Idaho offers a vast array of degree options, having over 95 bachelor-level majors, 20 associate-level majors, 95 minors and 55 certificates, according to their website. With so many options, advisors can help students navigate through the programs and choose classes that will best suit them. One group of students that advisors feel can benefit from meeting are freshmen and sophomores.
Jared Rigby, an advisor for the College of Business and Communication and a senior studying communication, believes that working with newer students is one of the best experiences he gets with his occupation.
“It’s just so rewarding to be able to meet with new students, especially freshmen,” Rigby said. “Just kind of see them not know anything, and then by the end of an appointment, just be like, ‘All right, I have a solid plan now.’”
Advisors primarily work through I-Plan, an online tool that helps students with class planning and professional development. This tool assist students with seeing their path towards graduation visually, and each employee in Chapman Hall has mastered the software so that they can show advisees what to do.
The Academic Advising center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. They’re not currently taking in-person appointments, but there availabilities for people to meet with advisors through phone call or over Zoom. Coming out of a busy registration season, Rodrigues and Rigby are eager for students to make appointments and meet with them.
“I get to help students find their dream major and just feel more confident about their academic plan, about the choices that they’re making,” Rodrigues said. “I really love students.”