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Undergraduate Advising

The School of Communication Undergraduate advising office is committed to delivering outstanding advising services to our students by utilizing the theory and practice of Appreciative Advising. Appreciative Advising is an academic advising philosophy which calls advisors to celebrate students' strengths as they help advisees achieve their life and academic goals. It is a reciprocal approach where both student and advisor benefit and learn. Appreciative Advisors build relationships with students to keep them engaged in exploring multiple avenues for meeting their needs. We are truly invested in partnering with students to achieve academic and personal success.

SOC’s Undergraduate Advising Office is pleased to offer Drop-In Hours that are both virtual and in person. Drop-In hours are a space for students to ask brief 10-15 minute questions.

Virtual:
Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Thursdays 10:00 - 11:00 am

Attend Virtual Drop-Ins using your academic advisor’s personal link:
Ana Maria Ulloa-Shields: https://american.zoom.us/my/ulloashields
Julio Reyes: https://american.zoom.us/my/julioreyes
Alexis Downey: https://american.zoom.us/my/alexisdowney
Tara Flakker: https://american.zoom.us/my/taraflakker

In Person:
Wednesdays 10:00 – 11:00 am
Attend In Person Drop-Ins in McKinley Building room 104.

Selected
Advisors
Appointments
Advising Syllabus

Meet Our Team

Ana Maria Ulloa-Shields, Temporarily Advises SOC Students with Last Names A-E (anamaria@american.edu)

Ana Maria joined SOC as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Student Services in February 2022. Ana Maria has leadership experience at Carnegie Mellon and Columbia Universities, serving in Assistant, Associate Dean and Sr. Associate Dean of Student roles.
 
On campus Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Working remotely Tuesdays and Fridays.

Julio Reyes, Advises SOC Students with Last Names H-N (julior@american.edu)

Temporarily Advising Students with last names F&G. Julio is eager to work with the SOC/AU community. Julio was born and raised in Maryland. He has a Masters in Academic Advising from Kansas State University. Julio is enthusiastic about empowering students so that they can create their path to a better and brighter future. In his free time, Julio loves to explore different restaurants in the DMV, travel to new places, and play soccer.

On campus Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Working remotely Mondays and Tuesdays.

Alexis Downey, Advises SOC Students with Last Names O-Z, Except Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 Graduating Seniors (adowney@american.edu)

Alexis has extensive experience working with undergraduate students, holding positions in both academic and student affairs at institutions across the country, including Colorado State University, Georgetown University, and Appalachian State University. As an SOC Academic Advisor, she brings with her a background in non-profit strategic communication, public relations, and graphic design, having worked in communications roles at both a boutique marketing and communications agency and within higher education, most recently directing communications for the teaching and learning center at Georgetown University. She is thrilled to bring together her love of student development and communications to support and inspire SOC undergraduates. 

On campus Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Working remotely Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Tara Flakker, Advises Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 graduating seniors with last names O-Z (flakker@american.edu)

Tara Flakker is the Director of Undergraduate Student and Academic Affairs and will be temporarily advising students with last names O-Z.

On campus Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Working remotely Mondays and Thursdays.

Click below to schedule an appointment. Please indicate your preferred format (in person, virtual or phone) to host the advising session and specify the purpose of the meeting under the notes section. This will help us prepare and serve you better.

You will be able to schedule appointments beginning on those dates.

  • Ana Maria Ulloa-Shields (anamaria@american.edu) will be temporarily advising students with last names A-E
  • Julio Reyes (julior@american.edu) will be temporarily advising students with last names F & G in addition to a regular caseload of H-N.
  • Alexis Downey (adowney@american.edu) will be advising sophomores and juniors with last names O-Z.
  • Tara Flakker (flakker@american.edu) will be advising Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 graduating seniors with last names O-Z.

Book an Appointment

SOC UNDERGRADUATE ADVISING SYLLABUS

What is Academic Advising?
The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) defines academic advising as a process which includes intentional interactions between a student and an academic advisor centered on student learning outcomes designed to encourage the student’s self-efficacy and development of meaningful educational and professional goals.

Academic Advising in the School of Communication
The School of Communication (SOC) uses an Appreciative Advising approach. This approach is built upon the framework of partnership where both the advisor and student collectively work to build a positive relationship where they get to know each other and explore interests and goals. It includes asking open-ended questions, developing short-term and long-term plans, monitoring academic progress, and empowering students to take ownership of their education. We find that this holistic, student-centered approach really works and we are truly invested in partnering with students to achieve academic and personal success.

Student Learning Outcomes
Through the academic advising process SOC students are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Assess their personal and professional interests
  • Assess their academic abilities
  • Create an academic plan that fulfills all University and program requirements
  • Develop specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals
  • Identify and utilize appropriate campus resources as needed

Expectations
What Students can expect of Academic Advisors:

  • Understand curriculum, policy
  • Referrals to campus resources
  • Help monitoring degree progress
  • Respond to emails in a timely manner
  • Be available and prepared for appointments
  • Maintain confidentiality

What Academic Advisors expect of Students:

  • Knowledge of curriculum, policy
  • Make use of campus resources
  • Keep track of their own degree progress
  • Keep a record of communications
  • Maintain an updated graduation plan
  • Communicate directly with family members about academic record

Milestones and Touch Points to Remember
The is intended to serve as a guide that is by no means an exhaustive list, which may need to be adjusted to your student’s individual circumstances

First Year Students:

  • Students work with First-Year Advisors
  • Go to class early and stay after to visit with professor and classmates
  • Get involved in campus organizations
  • Develop good time-management and school-life balance strategies
  • Continue to learn to problem solve and advocate for self 
  • Access campus resources for help when needed
  • Make new friends
  • Get adjusted to college life
  • Visit faculty office hours to start building connections
  • Attend SOC events to build network

Sophomores:

  • Declare a major – fall semester
  • Declare a minor or second major – spring semester
  • Meet with SOC academic advisor
  • Continue to learn to problem solve and advocate for self 
  • Create a graduation plan with advisor
  • Consult AU Abroad about study abroad planning
  • Visit the Career Center for help with resume and career planning advice

Juniors:

  • Many (not all) students will study abroad for at least 1 semester
  • Work with the Career Center to find an internship or summer job
  • Declare a minor or second major
  • Consider Bachelor’s/Master’s program or graduate school
  • Think about applying for national and international awards
  • Meet with advisor to plan for senior year/completion of degree requirements
  • Attend SOC events to build networks

Seniors:

  • Finalize graduation plan to ensure timely degree completion
  • Apply for graduation
  • Use Career Center resources to apply for jobs
  • Participate in Fall or Spring Commencement Ceremony
  • Attend SOC events to build network
  • Maintain connections with faculty beyond graduation
  • Join the Alumni Association to stay engaged with the AU community

Campus Resources
*Academic Support & Access Center (https://www.american.edu/provost/academic-access/) – ASAC supports the academic development and educational goals of all American University students. They provide a variety of tutoring and accommodation support services.

American University Library (https://www.american.edu/library/) – In addition to meeting with a librarian, the Library offers a variety of classes, workshops, tutorials, and technological support to provide students with assistance with their research projects.

Career Center (https://www.american.edu/careercenter/) – The Career Center supports students in finding internships and careers during and after their time at AU.

Center for Diversity and Inclusion (https://www.american.edu/ocl/cdi/index.cfm) – CDI works to advance American University’s commitment to respecting and valuing diversity by serving as a resource and liaison for students, staff, and faculty on issues of equity through education, outreach and advocacy.

*Counseling Center (https://www.american.edu/ocl/counseling/) – The Counseling Center provides free and confidential clinical services to support students in their intellectual, emotional, and social development.

*Dean of Students (https://www.american.edu/ocl/dos/) – The Dean of Students supports students in cases where personal difficulties such as hospitalization, injury, extended illness, family problems or mental health concerns are affecting academic progress.

Kay Spiritual Life Center (https://www.american.edu/ocl/kay/) – Kay is the University’s “house of prayer for all people” and is home to more than two dozen religious communities.

Mathematics & Statistics Tutoring Lab (https://www.american.edu/provost/academic-access/mathstat.cfm) – The Mathematics & Statistics Lab provides students with either drop-in hours or tutoring appointments on several mathematics or statistics courses offered at the University.

Office of Campus Life (https://www.american.edu/ocl/) – The Office of Campus Life is home to student-focused departments that provide key services and support around life at AU.

Writing Center (https://www.american.edu/provost/academic-access/writing-center.cfm) – The Writing Center provides students with free consultations where they can share their draft and get feedback about their writing.

*These offices may require the student’s written permission to share information about a student’s contact with the office or academic record.

SOC UNDERGRADUATE ADVISING SYLLABUS

What is Academic Advising?
The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) defines academic advising as a process which includes intentional interactions between a student and an academic advisor centered on student learning outcomes designed to encourage the student’s self-efficacy and development of meaningful educational and professional goals.

Academic Advising in the School of Communication
The School of Communication (SOC) uses an Appreciative Advising approach. This approach is built upon the framework of partnership where both the advisor and student collectively work to build a positive relationship where they get to know each other and explore interests and goals. It includes asking open-ended questions, developing short-term and long-term plans, monitoring academic progress, and empowering students to take ownership of their education. We find that this holistic, student-centered approach really works and we are truly invested in partnering with students to achieve academic and personal success.

Student Learning Outcomes
Through the academic advising process SOC students are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Assess their personal and professional interests
  • Assess their academic abilities
  • Create an academic plan that fulfills all University and program requirements
  • Develop specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals
  • Identify and utilize appropriate campus resources as needed

Expectations
What Students can expect of Academic Advisors:

  • Understand curriculum, policy
  • Referrals to campus resources
  • Help monitoring degree progress
  • Respond to emails in a timely manner
  • Be available and prepared for appointments
  • Maintain confidentiality

What Academic Advisors expect of Students:

  • Knowledge of curriculum, policy
  • Make use of campus resources
  • Keep track of their own degree progress
  • Keep a record of communications
  • Maintain an updated graduation plan
  • Communicate directly with family members about academic record

Milestones and Touch Points to Remember
The is intended to serve as a guide that is by no means an exhaustive list, which may need to be adjusted to your student’s individual circumstances

First Year Students:

  • Students work with First-Year Advisors
  • Go to class early and stay after to visit with professor and classmates
  • Get involved in campus organizations
  • Develop good time-management and school-life balance strategies
  • Continue to learn to problem solve and advocate for self 
  • Access campus resources for help when needed
  • Make new friends
  • Get adjusted to college life
  • Visit faculty office hours to start building connections
  • Attend SOC events to build network

Sophomores:

  • Declare a major – fall semester
  • Declare a minor or second major – spring semester
  • Meet with SOC academic advisor
  • Continue to learn to problem solve and advocate for self 
  • Create a graduation plan with advisor
  • Consult AU Abroad about study abroad planning
  • Visit the Career Center for help with resume and career planning advice

Juniors:

  • Many (not all) students will study abroad for at least 1 semester
  • Work with the Career Center to find an internship or summer job
  • Declare a minor or second major
  • Consider Bachelor’s/Master’s program or graduate school
  • Think about applying for national and international awards
  • Meet with advisor to plan for senior year/completion of degree requirements
  • Attend SOC events to build networks

Seniors:

  • Finalize graduation plan to ensure timely degree completion
  • Apply for graduation
  • Use Career Center resources to apply for jobs
  • Participate in Fall or Spring Commencement Ceremony
  • Attend SOC events to build network
  • Maintain connections with faculty beyond graduation
  • Join the Alumni Association to stay engaged with the AU community

Campus Resources
*Academic Support & Access Center (https://www.american.edu/provost/academic-access/) – ASAC supports the academic development and educational goals of all American University students. They provide a variety of tutoring and accommodation support services.

American University Library (https://www.american.edu/library/) – In addition to meeting with a librarian, the Library offers a variety of classes, workshops, tutorials, and technological support to provide students with assistance with their research projects.

Career Center (https://www.american.edu/careercenter/) – The Career Center supports students in finding internships and careers during and after their time at AU.

Center for Diversity and Inclusion (https://www.american.edu/ocl/cdi/index.cfm) – CDI works to advance American University’s commitment to respecting and valuing diversity by serving as a resource and liaison for students, staff, and faculty on issues of equity through education, outreach and advocacy.

*Counseling Center (https://www.american.edu/ocl/counseling/) – The Counseling Center provides free and confidential clinical services to support students in their intellectual, emotional, and social development.

*Dean of Students (https://www.american.edu/ocl/dos/) – The Dean of Students supports students in cases where personal difficulties such as hospitalization, injury, extended illness, family problems or mental health concerns are affecting academic progress.

Kay Spiritual Life Center (https://www.american.edu/ocl/kay/) – Kay is the University’s “house of prayer for all people” and is home to more than two dozen religious communities.

Mathematics & Statistics Tutoring Lab (https://www.american.edu/provost/academic-access/mathstat.cfm) – The Mathematics & Statistics Lab provides students with either drop-in hours or tutoring appointments on several mathematics or statistics courses offered at the University.

Office of Campus Life (https://www.american.edu/ocl/) – The Office of Campus Life is home to student-focused departments that provide key services and support around life at AU.

Writing Center (https://www.american.edu/provost/academic-access/writing-center.cfm) – The Writing Center provides students with free consultations where they can share their draft and get feedback about their writing.

*These offices may require the student’s written permission to share information about a student’s contact with the office or academic record.


Office Hours

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Office Location:
McKinley 104

Frequently Asked Questions

12 credit hours of communication courses may be transferred in prior to matriculation at AU and counted toward SOC major requirements, with SOC academic advisor approval. 2 communication courses, worth a total of 6 credit hours, may be taken abroad with prior approval from your SOC academic advisor. Refer to the Transfer Articulation Equivalency page to see if your courses will transfer. 

School of Communication students are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 to be in good academic standing.

More information on the undergraduate academic rules and regulations can be found here.