New Campus Connection Program to assist undergrads in accessing university resources

The program is meant to supplement rather than replace existing student programs and will begin its implementation this summer.

Buttrick Hall, hosts a number of A&S departments, mainly humanities,  and is where many ethnic studies classes are taught. (Hustler Multimedia)

Buttrick Hall, hosts a number of A&S departments, mainly humanities, and is where many ethnic studies classes are taught. (Hustler Multimedia)

Thomas Hum, Staff Writer

On Monday, April 27, Vanderbilt announced that the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs would begin implementing its new Campus Connection Program this summer. 

The program aims to help undergraduates navigate all of the campus and experiential learning resources so that students can take full advantage of these services.

This program will run with the help of Campus Connectors, who are Academic Affairs professional staff that will serve as students’ primary source of guidance. Connectors will assist students in getting in touch with the various resource departments on campus.  New and returning students should expect to receive an email from the Campus Connection Program during mid-to-late July. The email will contain the names of students’ assigned Campus Connectors as well as what students can expect in terms of access and communication, according to Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Vanessa Beasley.

If you’ve ever had a question about something or some process at Vanderbilt and didn’t know which office to call, your Connector will know enough about the university overall to send you to the right place,” Beasley said.

Students will have a Campus Connector assigned to them for the entirety of their undergraduate experience. The current goal is to keep the number of students assigned to each Connector as low as possible in order to facilitate better relationships, said Beasley.

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Vanessa Beasley. (Photo courtesy Vanderbilt University)

Beasley noted that academic advising will still be provided by faculty and staff in the students’ degree-granting school. She added that mental health counseling, available through the Student Care Network and via appointment at the University Counseling Center (UCC), also will not be provided by Campus Connectors. However, students who must complete an Immersion Vanderbilt project for graduation may benefit from Campus Connection per Beasley.

“All of the Connectors will be trained by the Office of Immersion Resources (OIR) about Immersion processes and requirements as well as the other opportunities for experiential learning that could be part of a student’s Immersion plan,” Beasley said. “Some of the Connectors will be OIR advisers.”

Additionally, students who have not yet arrived on campus believe they will especially benefit from Campus Connection. Rising first-year students will be able to quickly become acquainted with the services offered to students through their Campus Connectors.

“Having a faculty member to guide students in navigating the various resources will definitely help us take full advantage of all the opportunities that Vanderbilt has to offer,” rising first-year Jessica Du said.

Another student commented on the peace of mind that Campus Connection would bring.

“I’m personally someone who likes to plan everything out down to the minute, so [Campus Connection] definitely helps me get all my ducks in a row,” rising first-year Rachael Perrotta said.