SFCC’s Advising and Counseling Department Focuses on Student Success
The staff of SFCC’s Advising and Counseling Department brings a wide range of training and experience to their jobs, allowing them to assist students with life as a college student, from planning their schedules to managing their time. SFCC’s advisors and counselors provide students with information about class requirements, transferring to a university, changing their majors, and even how to juggle classes and their personal lives.
Advisors and counselors evaluate student test scores, grade point averages (GPA), degree requirements, and register students for classes. Each advisor and counselor also takes part in the new student orientations.
Student Service Advisor Kim Hemler visits Sebring High School many times throughout the school year to meet with students and talk about what they can expect in college. She also attends Sebring High Schools annual College Night, where she sets up a booth with information about SFCC. Hemler also assists prospective and returning students in finding the degrees that they are seeking, helps them register for classes, and helps them with the application process.. “We have to build relationships with the students on a personal level so they can easily open up,” Hemler said.
As an advisor for the Allied Health Department, Wayne Craig advises students who plan to enter one of the allied health professions. Craig explains the requirements needed for each medical program and reviews applications, grades, test scores, and GPA’s. He also is in charge of registration for the Allied Health program classes and the prerequisites. Craig also participates in the “College for a Day” experience, in which he shows the middle and high school students around the campus and answers questions.
While advisors serve as liasions to local high schools and participate in recruitment, counselors help students by providing short-term and personal counseling. Judy Zemko, chair, Counseling, and Charla Minson, counselor/disabled student specialist, provide counseling to students who may be struggling academically, having difficulty adjusting to college life, and even struggling with personal problems.
Felecia Dozier serves as a counselor, adjunct professor, advisor for the African American Association, specialist for the College Reach Out Program, and the advisor for international students. The College Reach Out Program (CROP) prepares students in grades six-12 academically and socially for college life. CROP students participate in SAT and ACT preparatory classes, college tours, cultural events, and residential college visits. Dozier also leads workshops for students who may be struggling academically and assists students who are transferring to other colleges and universities. Dozier finds working with the at-risk program rewarding.
Recently, Dozier had a student who was struggling. “When he first came to SFCC, he was very immature and was placed in developmental courses,” Dozier said. “He was a first-generation college student and didn’t really understand what college was about. I have watched him grow and mature, and now he is making better choices. There is success within everyone. We just have to help each other along sometimes.”
“The most rewarding thing about our job as advisors and counselors is seeing students succeed,” Zemko said. “Graduation night is a very important night for us. It’s when we see that our efforts were successful.”
-Panther Youth Partner student Lauren Marshall contributed to this story.