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Phoenix Forward magazine

5 student services that can help you succeed

Student tools

University of Phoenix students are diverse, with a wide range of academic, professional and personal needs — whether they’re military veterans transitioning to civilian life, working moms or dads juggling family responsibilities and school, or employees training for a new career after working for years in another industry.

And the University aims to meet many of those needs through a variety of support services and tools that can “help students overcome obstacles and progress through their programs successfully,” says Lisa Stepp, MBA, regional director of student services.

Here are five key resources:


Academic advisors

Each student is assigned an academic advisor. “[Students] all have a different learning style and a specific end goal with their education, as well as different lifestyles,” explains Federico Ospina, BS, a full-time advisor at the University. “My goal is to understand that and to … advise them accordingly.”

Advisors also are trained to recognize when students may be struggling — and then connect them with University resources that can help. Some advisors target specific student populations.

“I help existing students switch back and forth between online and on-ground program options, which includes helping them determine which type of class format better suits their learning style or schedule,” says Melissa Rojas, who holds a master’s degree in education and specializes in advising nursing and education students.

Dani Tompkins holds a master’s in psychology and advises military students studying education, while Kitty Lang, MBA, helps military students keep up with coursework when they’re moving cross-country or overseas.

Alumni association

Ospina believes the University of Phoenix® Alumni Association offers students their most potentially rewarding opportunities for future networking and career growth. Students can stay in contact with the University when they graduate, and can take advantage of mentoring and networking opportunities while still in school via the Alumni Career Mentor Program.

Tompkins agrees. “You have access to [836,000] alumni,” she notes. “The mentoring program is now set up like LinkedIn® [professional network],” where you can search for potential mentors by degree program, employer or career specialty.

Mentors provide career guidance, professional expertise or moral support while you’re in school and after graduation, and membership is complimentary.

Life Resource Center

One of the most useful ­— and least known — of all of the University’s support options, according to Ospina, is the Life Resource Center, which he says provides tools to assist students beyond the classroom.

Lang notes that she refers military students to this service when they’re moving. “It can help them find everything from child care to grocery stores to school districts to religious groups,” she explains, adding that students also can receive up to three private behavioral counseling sessions through the center.

A subset of the center is the Learning Resource Center, which offers online tutorials on topics like parenting, learning styles and stress management, Rojas points out.

Phoenix Prep Center

Before you become a student, the University provides support via the Phoenix Prep Center, where you can assess your readiness for higher education.

“[It] provides you with tools to ensure you have a plan going in,” explains Rochelle Bush, BS, an academic advisor at the University, noting that the service offers online assessments to help you discover your learning style and identify weaknesses in math and writing skills, as well as financial planning tools. “You can [also] explore our different program options.”

Student workshops and labs

Stepp strongly recommends that all students check out student workshops and labs, which are part of eCampus and cover a variety of topics, ranging from new student orientations to basic essay writing, a three-week pre-algebra workshop, an introduction to APA Style® guidelines and many other topics.

“They’re easy to use, and they’re free,” Stepp says.

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