Your NPC academic adviser is one of the single most important points of contact you will encounter in college. Why?

Because an adviser can help you with almost any issue or question you have. Advisers are trained to help you select a program of study, decide what classes to take, find informa-tion, solve problems and inform you about NPC’s many resources. They are truly the foundation of your success. 

NPC has nine academic advisers who will go the extra mile to help put you on the right path and keep you on track to fulfill your educational goals. “We want to see you succeed,” says Lisa Jayne, an academic adviser at NPC’s White Moun-tain Campus in Show Low. 

“We are advocates for students,” adds NPC academic adviser Donna Krieser, also on the White Mountain Campus. “We help you lay out a manageable academic plan. We give you options and things to think about, though ultimately you have to make the decisions that are best for you. We never want you to waste your time and money.” 

If you’re a first-year college student and not quite sure what path to follow, no worries. NPC advisers are accus-tomed to counseling young students who aren’t sure about their career plans and helping them find a workable solution. Jayne says, “Freshmen change their minds seven times, on average, about their major. Not many know what they want to do when they’re 18. It’s a hard thing to decide at a young age. My job is to listen and help guide you based on your strengths and interests.” 

Academic advisers play a vital role in helping older, returning students as well. “We see lots of older students who have been out of school for a while. They often have lots of questions on how to get started, how college will fit into their current schedule, what will get them a better job and how they will pay for it all. We can answer all of their questions and give them the confidence that achieving their goals is possible,” says April Horne, adviser at the NPC Whiteriver Center.

“We have some great classes to help students determine what they want to do,” Krieser says. “For someone who is interested in nursing, but has never had any medical experience or dealt with illness, we suggest taking the Certified Nursing Assistant class. Most students come out of that class and are either really excited to continue in nursing or certain it is not for them and wanting to find another program. The same thing works with NPC’s Introduction to Educa-tion course. If a student is interested in education, we suggest taking this class first. At the end of the class, they either say, ‘Yes I want to be a teacher’ or they decide to go another direction. We recommend this approach for psychology or social work and other subjects, too. It’s an effective way for students to quickly understand if a subject area truly inter-ests them and plays to their strengths.”

Students can also utilize the college’s Career Services department to take career assessments that can help determine a career choice. “You might find something that works for you that you hadn’t even thought of,” Krieser says.

Many NPC students have not previ-ously attended college and want to better themselves and provide adequate income for their families. You may be the first in your family to attend college and don’t have the benefit of having parents or older siblings to answer your questions and provide perspective. NPC advisers take great care in helping all stu-dents navigate the requirements and responsibilities they’re not familiar with. They never assume that students know all the options available to them.

“The earlier you start working with us the better we can help you,” Krieser says. “Come and see us as soon as possible. Don’t wait until right before you register for classes. It allows us to take care of any problems up front and get you started on the right path. Why suffer from needless stress? We see much better results when students see us more often, and those students are more confident about their pro-gress in their academic program. It never hurts for students to see an adviser when they have a question. That’s what we’re here for.”

Krieser says, “Students should always speak to an adviser before registering for classes so we can work with you to develop a degree/certificate plan. This plan is required for federal financial aid and most scholarship applications. Financial aid only covers 96 credits for a 64-credit degree, so it is important to get focused as quickly as possible and not continually change your major.” All students are required to declare a major by the time they have taken 12 credit hours of classes if they have not already done so. 

If your goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree, working with an NPC adviser is vital to your success. They will help guide you to the courses that are guaranteed to transfer. Not all classes will count toward a university degree in the same way or transfer at all. Students should never assume they know which courses are transferable. NPC advisers can show you the resources that will take the guesswork out of selecting the right classes.

Class availability is a pitfall that can hinder your timeline to college comple-tion if you don’t see an academic adviser. Like many colleges, NPC does not offer all classes every semester, which means it is vital for students to plan ahead. NPC advisers know the semester order in which some classes are offered and can help you set your course schedule accordingly. 

Jayne says, “Academic schedules and pre-requisites can change, and we provide this information to students who may not be aware. I know students who have had to take an extra semester of classes because they didn’t take enough of the right credits required in their area of study. If you don’t come in and see an adviser, you may not find out about changes that affect your degree/certificate plan until it’s too late.”

Advisers are trained to listen to stu-dents’ issues and help them find solutions and overcome obstacles. They can help students struggling academically find free NPC tutoring services, encourage students with a disability to consult with NPC’s disability resources or help students with funding issues apply for financial aid and scholarships. Additionally, academic advisers provide information about adult education, GED® testing, student clubs and activities and much more.

NPC advisers receive a lot of positive feedback from students for their assis-tance. Cody Cooper is a recent graduate of NPC who had worked several dead-end jobs, and was looking to turn his life around. Initially the transition to a college student was a scary time for him, but working with an adviser was just what he needed. 

Cooper recalls his first visit with Krieser, whom he calls “a great adviser.” She encouraged him to take a placement test because he had been out of school for a while. “That, she said, was the path to getting ‘on the right track,’” says Cooper. He tested highly and she encouraged him to start the enrollment process. “Donna informed me that I had the scores necessary to get into all of my required courses. And, if I was willing to put in the effort, I could find success. I felt that Donna truly cared about me as a person and as a student.”

Cooper put in the effort and then some. He went on to become the 2017 Outstand-ing Graduate in the Associate of Science degree program at NPC and was one of just five graduates selected to speak at the commencement ceremony. Part of his speech was dedicated to how Krieser helped and encouraged him.

Krieser says, “The best part of my job is when students complete their education. It’s like I’m graduating every time. I love working with NPC students and help-ing them stay on the path to success. My job is to see that you get there.”

Jayne expresses a similar sentiment. “There are few things in life that come along and can transform a person’s life, but education is one of them. As an adviser, being able to help students along that path is one of the most rewarding things I can do. I’ve gotten cards from students saying ‘Thank you. You made a big difference because you went the extra mile for me.’ As advisers, we advocate for students and we care about their progress.”

You’re in great hands with all of the advisers at Northland Pioneer College who are truly dedicated and capable of guiding you from the starting line to the finish line. If you’re interested in enrolling at NPC, call an adviser today to make an appointment.

What about students in high school?

More than a thousand area high school students are enrolled at NPC and the college has a special academic adviser just for these young students! Karen Hall, located on the Silver Creek Campus in Snowflake/Taylor, is available to answer all student and parent questions about dual enrollment

Hall can help students learn about any of NPC’s programs and advise you on a direction that’s right for you. She says dual enrollment gives high school students a valuable advantage because you can explore subjects not offered at your school, get a head start on an associate degree and take classes guaranteed to transfer to a university.

Dual enrollment classes are free only if the high school offers it, Hall says. And she adds: “If your high school does not offer dual enrollment, you should apply for the College Bound scholarship to help pay the cost. High school students 14 and up in Navajo and Apache counties are eligible to apply. You must have a 3.0 GPA or meet required placement test scores.”

Another benefit of the College Bound scholarship is that it covers up to seven general education credits per semester (two classes) with a total award cap of 28 credits per student. “All the courses available through this scholarship are guaranteed to transfer to any of the three Arizona state universities. This scholar-ship is available in the fall and spring NPC semesters, and summer availability is contingent upon remaining scholarship dollars,” Hall says.

To learn more about the many advan-tages of dual enrollment, high school stu-dents can contact Hall at (928) 536-6272.

NPC Academic Advisers

Location Adviser Phone No. (928)
Show Low Campus Lisa Jayne 532-6143
Donna Krieser 532-6142
Snowflake/Taylor Campus Ryan Orr 536-6241
Holbrook Campus Brooklyn Mauff 524-7342
Winslow Campus Dawn Palen 289-6541
Springerville/Eagar Center Michael Colwell 333-2498
St. Johns Center 524-7635
Whiteriver Center April Horne 524-7663
Hopi Center Janalda Nash 738-2265
Kayenta Center Chantal Kescoli 697-8333
High School Programs Karen Hall 536-6272