The Neely Navigators, launched last month, plans to function as mentors and answer any questions these students may have.
“Our ultimate goal this year is to be a premier program and resource within Neeley so everyone knows who the Neeley navigators are and what they do,” Neeley Navigators co-director Nick Guarino said. “We are really aiming for this program to be long-term.”
The program was created after three juniors were assigned to complete an impact project on how to improve the TCU community.
The three directors; Paul Freeman, Lindsey Thompson and Guarino said that after speaking with students in the Neeley School of Business, they discovered that the majority had issues with first-year advising.
“We dove deep down and figured out we are all passionate about helping others and we wanted to give back to TCU,” Guarino said.
Students said group advising failed to answer their questions and offered no personal connection with advisors.
“As the number of students increases, we do not have enough resources to meet the demand,” Neeley School of Business Academic Advisor Kevin Mendez said.
Currently there are five advisors in Neeley, and as a result, first-year students are advised in group sessions with one advisor per 30 students.
“Based on personal experiences and talking with others on campus we wanted to create a program that helps make the first-year advising process easier, personal and available,” Freeman said.
Sixteen students were picked from a pool of 60 applicants to serve as navigators.
The navigator’s team consists of students “with different backgrounds, different majors within Neeley, some that have spent time in the military and some that wanted to transfer but ended up loving TCU,” Guarino said.
Mentoring first-year and sophomore students is a way for older students to form a sense of community with their peers, navigator Jon Adams said.
Assistant Dean Lynn Muller is enthusiastic about the program because it eases the pain of academic advisors.
“What excites me most about the program is that it allows other Neeley students to share information with first-year students and sophomores allowing the advising team to focus their time on actual academic advising,” Muller said.
The Neeley Navigators program has navigators stationed outside of the Neeley professional development center Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m for any students who are interested in learning more.