What is the Office of Central Advising (OCA)?

Organizational Chart (will open in new tab)

The OCA defines and determines policy regarding advising for the campus and includes four main operational areas:

The Academic Opportunity Center (AOC) provides admission and individualized advising to students who need additional academic support.  Some students admitted via the AOC are required to complete the summer Bridge Program prior to their first semester at UWM. Click here to meet AOC advisors<hyperlink>.

Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally-funded TRIO program that provides academic services and fosters a supportive campus environment in order to retain and graduate low-income, first generation and/or students with disabilities. Click here to meet SSS staff.

Metamajor Advisors work with new freshmen who are undecided about their major.  Metamajors are broad academic pathways that will give students earlier exposure to all majors that relate to their area of interest.  Research shows that students who follow this type of themed pathway declare a major sooner, make quicker progress to degree, are able to more efficiently fulfill degree requirements, and are retained at higher rates. Metamajor advisors are trained to work closely with undecided students during their first year at UWM to help them select a major they will love. Click here to meet metamajor advisors.

Multicultural Student Offices and Center — African American Student Services (AASS); American Indian Student Services (AISS); Southeast Asian American Student Services (SAASS) – offer culturally supportive safe spaces for student who self-identify in one or more of these areas. Multicultural Student Success Coordinators provide holistic coaching throughout a student’s academic career and connect students with programming and campus resources. Click here to meet Multicultural Student Success Coordinators.

What has changed in Advising at UWM?

Our new model for Academic Advising is based on your Major.  As you determine your Major, or if you change your Major, you will see a new Academic Advisor.  Your new Advisor is prepared to help you with everything related to earning your degree.

Staff in our Multicultural Student Offices and Center will be serving as permanent Multicultural Student Success Coordinators (MSSC Coaches) for students.  Your MSSC Coach is someone you can see throughout your career at UWM. Coaches will now provide an expanded range of cultural support, advocacy, referrals, scholarship information, and ways to get connected to campus, community and business partners.

Who is on my support team?

We believe all students need a range of support across the years.  Students will find suggested support staff in SSC and should seek the assistance of all relevant offices.  Please note: Some students are required to see their advisor to register for classes each term.

Login into your SSC Campus account using your e-panther and password. Click link to be directed to the site: Login

Once you are logged in, in the bottom right hand corner, you will see a gray box that reads “Your Support Team”.

When should I visit the staff on my support team?

Students in the AOC Program are required to see their AOC Advisor a minimum of once a month.

Students in the SSS Program are required to meet with their SSS Advisor at minimum twice per month.

Students should meet with their Metamajor advisor at least twice per semester, and more often if needed.

Students should meet with their Multicultural Student Services Coordinator (MSSC Coach) a minimum of once per semester, then after their initial intake meeting students can meet with their Coach as often as needed.

Students should see their school/college advisor once per semester.

What is the difference between an Academic Advisor and a Multicultural Student Success Coordinator (MSSC Coach)?

Essentially, an academic advisor can assist you with selecting and enrolling in courses that are appropriate for your intended major.  An advisor can also make referrals to academic support offices.  A Multicultural Student Success Coordinator can serve as the student’s go-to contact and connector on campus offering relevant culturally informed support as the student navigates the campus.  MSSC Coaches will organize academically and culturally relevant programs and campus events to aid in academic success. They will also have relevant language and community experience to support student and family networks that extend beyond the campus.

Can I see my MSSC Coach if my Academic Advisor is unavailable?

Your MSSC Coach is always available for support. However, MSSC Coaches do not have clearance in schools and colleges to deal with enrollment and degree audit issues. You will need to work with the person listed as your Advisor in PAWS and SSC for specific degree issues.

How do I know who my Academic Advisor is?

The name of your Academic Advisor appears in PAWS.  Log into PAWS and check the right column on the first page.

How do I know who my Multicultural Student Success Coordinator is?

You should feel free to seek assistance from all relevant offices.  Only you can determine how you identify.  Suggested support names are listed in the Student Success Collaborative (SSC).

Why do I have more than one Multicultural Student Success Coordinator assigned?

You may have more than one MSSC Coach assigned because you may have self-identified as belonging to more than one of the following:  African American, American Indian, Southeast Asian American, Hispanic/Latinx.

I am not assigned a Multicultural Student Success Coordinator; how do I get one?

You would simply contact the Multicultural Office or Center you wish to visit regularly and have an MSSC Coach added to your Support Team.  While the focus and mission of each office is dedicated to serving a specific population, all offices are open to helping and serving all UWM students. Link to offices here.

What if I do not want a Multicultural Student Success Coordinator? How would I opt out?

To opt out, you would contact the OCA.

What is the difference between Intended and Declared?

Intended means at this point, you are following the curriculum and taking courses or completing the requirements of your major, and planning to declare the major when you are eligible.  Declared means you have formally, in writing, made your choice of major known, and have been accepted into that major.   This normally occurs in your school/college advising office.  Undeclared means you have not yet formally chosen nor been admitted to a major. You should confirm your status by checking SSC.

What happened to the AOC program?

The staff from the AOC program are now part of the OCA, and provide the same services as before.  UWM still admits a similar profile of students who can benefit from this individualized support.  Students formerly part of the AOC who return to UWM, will now be part of the OCA and will be assigned to their former advisor, if possible.  As before, students who meet the requirements of their chosen major area will be assisted to transfer at the appropriate time.

Will staff from the SSS & AOC programs operate as they did in the past?

Yes, both programs will function as normal and both programs report directly to the Director to Office of Central Advising.

Student Support Services (SSS) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide academic support services for eligible students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Academic Opportunity Center (AOC) is an admission based program. Upon a comprehensive review of the admissions application and other supplemental information, certain students have been personally selected to participate in AOC.