Tag: academic advisement

Tuesday Talk spotlights health sciences

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Panelists, from left, presented at the Health Sciences Tuesday Talk on Tuesday, September 19. (photo by Nick Adrian/The Chanticleer)

Nick AdrianStaff Writer

The JSU Department of Academic Advising held their monthly Tuesday Talk on September 19 on the eleventh floor of the Houston Cole Library. Their subject of interest this month was health sciences and what to expect from a career in that field. The meeting’s speakers were made up of five JSU alumni who have gone on to specialize in various branches of health science. The talk allowed students interested in the field to get a better understanding as to what they should expect after their years of schooling and what it is like in the medical world.

The panelists representing JSU’s past were seated in front of the students at a large table. Dr. Brent Abernathy, D.V.M., graduated in 2002 with a BS in Biology and now works as a veterinarian at Anniston Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Stephen Brackett, MD, who also graduated in 2002 with a BS in Biology, is now the Clinical Director of the Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. Dr. Stephen Craig, Pharm.D., is another 2002 graduate with a BS in Chemistry who is now a pharmacist at Target in Oxford, Ala. Dr. Christina Rachael Ginn, Pharm.D., graduated in 2011 with a BS in Biology and is a clinical pharmacist at UAB Hospital and Brookwood Baptist Health. Amy Beth Horton, PA-C, graduated in 2008 with a BS in Biology and is a physician’s assistant at Northeast Orthopedic Sports Clinic & Physical Therapy in Gadsden, Ala.

Each panelist talked about his or her schooling experience, from starting at JSU for their undergraduate studies to continuing their education at such universities as UAB or South Alabama. They continued to discuss not only what their jobs were, but what an average day was like, what perks were included and what challenges they faced. Along with this, they offered advice for the prospective students, covering the their time in undergraduate school to the interviewing process to their eventual careers.

“You have to be unique a little bit,” Craig said about his experience interviewing for pharmacy schools. “You have to have a good GPA…do good on the PCAT.”

Ginn shared additional advice regarding the interview process, stating that potential applicants should be the kind of employee that an employer would prefer.

“Would I (the employer) want to work beside them all day? Would I trust that person as a future healthcare provider?” Ginn asked. The answer could determine which student the employer picked, regardless of which one performed better in school.

Abernathy stressed the importance of people skills, and how a student with below average grades and great social skills was more likely to succeed in the long run than a student with exceptional grades and no social skills. Brackett agreed with this advice, saying he often takes on the personality of his patients to give them a more comfortable experience with a relatable doctor: “Just be able to kind of read people,” he suggested.

One inevitable subject that each panelist touched on was student debt. Every speaker offered the same advice, stating that the debt was a rough part of the student experience but they will eventually be able to handle it financially. They stressed that if having a career in health science, or any medical field, was what they really wanted, the debt should not discourage them because working a job that they love is well worth it.

The next Tuesday Talk will be October 3 at 5 p.m. at the library. This talk will feature alumni from the School of Business and Industry.


How-to: Avoiding advisement anxiety

It’s that time of the semester once again, Gamecocks. Academic advisement begins next week.

For seniors, this is the last time to gather class times, fill out a trial schedule, make that tiresome trek to meet with an advisor, and get the go-ahead to register.

For freshmen, this is the first time to register with an academic advisor, which is a brand new concept to factor into the chaos that will make up your freshman year of college. Never fear: you’ll have at least seven more times of advisement before it’s time to grab your cap and gown.

One of the most important things to remember when registering for classes is how your time will be managed next semester. With the help of the schedule planner, (found on the left side of your MyJSU links) you can pick the classes that you want and put them into your “cart,” then simply hit submit when registration opens.

In addition to this, you can get a mock schedule for what any given week of next semester will look like. This can be extremely useful to make sure you get a decent lunch break. It’s also an easy way to ensure that you don’t have to sprint from one end of campus to the next without any time in between classes.

In addition to time management, you should make sure that you’re taking a “balanced” schedule. Imagine sitting down at for dinner and eating nothing but vegetables. Now compare that to taking nothing but courses that are required…but not necessarily something that interest you.

Find a class that both fulfills a requirement for your major or minor and is something you find yourself genuinely interested in. This ensures that at least twice a week you will find yourself sitting in a classroom that you actually have a desire to be in.

If you can’t find at least one class that does this every semester, it might be time to reevaluate your major or minor.

Once the classes have been chosen and trial schedules have been given signatures of approval, it’s time for the most monotonous part of the process—waiting. Depending on your class standing (how many hours you have taken so far, not including the current semester), you could be registering Monday and getting one of the first seats in a class…or finding that you missed the cut when registration opens on Friday.

No matter when you register, know the date. If there’s a class that has limited seats, set an alarm and be ready to get up and register ASAP to make sure you have a greater chance of getting into that course. Being prepared is the best way to guarantee your schedule works out the way you planned it to.

Now is the time to decide if you can avoid those awful 7:30 a.m. classes or try to manipulate your schedule so that you can have Fridays off and get a semester full of permanent three-day-weekends. Starting Monday (or Friday, all you athletes and Elite Honors Scholars,) get ready to pick your fate for next semester.

Alex McFry
Associate Editor

MyJSU program helps students graduate on time

Ever wonder how far along in your degree you’ve reached? The answer is just at your fingertips with the Degree Evaluation program offered on every undergraduate’s MyJSU account.

Jacksonville State University unveiled this program in 2008 and it still operates under the motto: “Don’t Hesitate…Just Evaluate!”

The program is offered with Banner, the software JSU administrators use to communicate with students.

According to Director of Academic Advisement Michelle Green, “The program is a step-by-step for students to see which classes they have completed and which classes they need in order to graduate.”

To gain access to the program and all that it offers, students need to log in to their MyJSU account. From there, they need to get to the Student Records menu through Self Service Banner. Now the student can find Degree Evaluation (CAPP).

If students have never used the tool before, they should click on Generate New Evaluation. If they have accessed their evaluation before, they can click on Previous Evaluation.

From there, the students gain access to their current degree.

GPA is available at the top of the page, along with details about the selected degree. All general education categories and the status of completion can be seen underneath it.

Any university or major-specific exams are listed as well as the completion status of them.

Students can click on the degree and see how far along they are in their schooling, but there is more: they can also click on the What-If Analysis and see how far they would be in another degree if they decided to change their major. Students should click on the current term then click on the program they wish to enter. Another Degree Evaluation Report will appear in regard to the new major. Please note that this is not a formal change of major.

“It helps students because it is a digital version of a plan of study, and it is always available, day or night,” said Registrar Emily White.

“This is not meant to replace advisors. Every student needs their advisor. This is a way for them to track their progress and prepare for their advisement,” said Green.

“We’ve really started pushing it this year because we want our students see that they can graduate on time,” said White, “It divides up the areas of study more specifically than transcripts.”

“We feel that Degree Evaluation has been underutilized up to this point,” said White.

If students want help learning how to use Degree Evaluation, there is a tutorial video on JSU’s YouTube channel.

The JSU Drama Department created university-specific video which will be released in mid-September.

Although the tool is only available to undergraduates right now, graduates will have the option to use it in the future.

During the month of October, the Registrar’s Office will be putting on a month-long event called Ocotber Blitz. There will be mobile stations spread out around campus every week to inform students about Degree Evaluation. There will be staff members present to run evaluations and walk students through the program.

Marie McBurnett