Climbing the Mountain of Success
There’s no height that Cliff Casey, manager of Advising Services, won’t scale – for himself or for Oakton students.
Some years ago my brother-in-law taught me how to rock climb and I’ve been hooked ever since. Every year I try to climb a different mountain. To me, it’s all about the thrill and sense of accomplishment. Rock climbing is physically demanding and takes a real toll, as you’re continually scaling boulders.
At Oakton, I challenge students to scale those “academic mountains” by supporting them as they climb to academic heights. As manager of Advising Services, it’s my job to ensure that we provide our “customers” with the information they need to understand their options – from transferring to a four-year school to training for a career – and how to accomplish their goals.
There’s sometimes a misconception that Advising Services simply provides a “checklist” for mapping out classes and working toward degree or certificate completion. But nothing could be further from the truth: we have so much more to offer. Advising Services staff members work hard to connect with students, taking an interest in their lives, helping them navigate the college system, and cheering them on every step of the way.
Oakton is dedicated to student success – and Advising Services shares that commitment.
When students leave our office, I want them to feel they have been heard and understood – and I want to provide specific, useful information that guides them along a chosen academic path. It’s all about customer service, and in the past year we’ve become even more proactive. For example, we’re working on ways to step in before a student is in trouble – and perhaps ends up on probation. Keeping our students from falling off the academic mountain: that’s a sense of accomplishment that rivals any thrill I’ve experienced on a rock climb.
Manager of Advising Services