Students now have no excuse to see a counselor or academic adviser with Pima Connections, an online resource for booking appointments
BY RENE ESCOBAR
The future is now for Pima Community College students.
PCC has implemented new software and calling it Pima Connections. It acts as a social network, connecting students to their advisers, counselors and faculty members.
Pima Connections eliminates the process of looking through hundreds of names in the college directory. Faculty members also get direct access to their students.
The software is called Starfish.
Vice Principal of Student Affairs Irene Lopez said that she and her team have been working over the past year on integrating the technology.
“For our purposes, we want students to become familiar to it,” Lopez said. “We want students to know that it’s a part of our support system.”
Pima Connections will allow students an easier, more effective way to keep in contact with their advisers.
“The goal here is to give the student a better way of engagement with the student’s support system,” she said.
Connections will give the student direct communication to the people who are helping them through the institution.
“Pima Connections can work vice-versa giving faculty, advisers and counselors direct access to their students,” Lopez said.
For example, Pima Connections can help students who have issues with matters such as transferring, picking a class or even knowing about their course grade.
Pima Connections will be accessible through MyPima.
“You can just go into (PimaConnections), click on a person, type up your message, and it’ll instantly get sent to that person,” Lopez said.
Dean of Mathematics Nina Corson oversees the project.
“We are moving from the lock in advising to case management advising,” she said.
This means advisers now will be designated to students, rather than students always getting a different adviser every visit. With the innovative technology being implemented, Corson said, “Pima Connection is the software that supports that model.”
Every student that begins at PCC will be introduced to Pima Connections in the hopes of what Corson says, “Will connect students and advisers, and create a student support team.”
The support team will consist of academic, financial aid, instructors, veterans and athletic advisers.
“The software is able to keep students in the loop of their progress through Pima, by receiving to-dos, reminders, action items from their advisers.”
Pima Connections gives direct contact from advisers to their students allowing them to be fully involved in their student’s success plan.
Pima Connections gives students a step ahead in their academic success. It allows students to get fast, easy communication to the faculty and advisors they need to be successful at PCC.
“Pima Connections is one of the major initiatives to improve communication and assist students with their academic maps,” said Gregg Busch, vice president of dual enrollment.