New After-Hours Advisor Support Launched

Due to the global and international nature of OUM, we recognize that student assistance and support during the pre-clinical years may be required at times other than “regular working hours.” That is why After-Hours Advisor Support debuted at the University last month, to provide additional assistance to students when their Academic Advisors are not available.

This initiative is designed to provide 24/7 support to our pre-clinical students using OUM’s existing Help Desk system. So, have we launched “Advisor On-Call”?

“Not exactly,” says Associate Professor Daria Camera, PhD, Director of Pre-clinical Education and Faculty, who oversees the University’s advising programs. “When students need support after hours and their Academic Advisor is not available, by utilizing the existing IT Help Desk system, the full advising staff gets a notification. One who is currently working responds to the student, hopefully within an hour or two. This new resource is a real advantage for our global student body living in multiple time zones,” she says.

The new after-hours assistance is an addition to the OUM advisory program, ensuring that all students have 24-hour access to academic support. This program will not replace a student’s regularly scheduled academic advising sessions.

Expanding use of existing service

To access the after-hours system, students apply the process they already use for IT’s Tech Support, which now includes a new drop-down option to indicate the type of help they need. They fill in their ticket asking for advising support, which notifies all advisors that a student needs assistance.

“Now, when you go to the Help Desk page that says ‘How may we help you today?’ and you click ‘New Support Ticket,’ there is an added field named ‘Type of request,’” says Dr. Camera. “Students select 24/7 Advising for after-hours support. The Tech Support option is also there for those who require technical assistance vs. advising,” she explains.

Opening a ticket to access the Help Desk, and ultimately the after-hours advising resource, may be done from Moodle, the SIS (Student Information System), or email. (See the text box for detailed instructions.)

“Once a ticket is submitted, the advising staff receives an email and a Slack notification. The system will also notify advisors once the request has been responded to and resolved,” says Dr. Camera, who adds that the goal is for students to eventually receive an almost immediate response. “During my years as an advisor, I have certainly received emails from advisees in the middle of the night when an IT issue arose, or someone needed guidance on the exam extension process. This new system will evolve into an excellent way for students to get answers and support without having to wait until the morning,” says Dr. Camera.

For more information regarding After-Hours Advisor Support, contact Dr. Camera.

(March 2022)