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Carlos Cervantes is the University of La Verne’s new associate dean of academic support and retention, replacing Eric Bishop, who held the position for many years prior. Cervantes works in the Academic Advising section in Woody Hall. “I love working at Woody Hall because it has a lot of history. It was once a dormitory and now I work in it,” Cervantes said. / photo by Stephanie Arellanes

Carlos Cervantes is the University of La Verne’s new associate dean of academic support and retention, replacing Eric Bishop, who held the position for many years prior. Cervantes works in the Academic Advising section in Woody Hall. “I love working at Woody Hall because it has a lot of history. It was once a dormitory and now I work in it,” Cervantes said. / photo by Stephanie Arellanes

Natalie Veissalov
News Editor

Carlos Cervantes is the new associate dean of academic support and retention, a position that was open for a year after Eric Bishop left.

The search committee in charge of hiring Cervantes, went through two rounds from the pool of the applicants. Cervantes was in the second group.

“He was definitely worth the wait and long search,” Adeline Cardenas-Clague, associate vice president of academic support and retention, said. “He has learned a lot about ULV in a short time.”

“Since he has been hired, he has definitely done everything to learn ULV culture,” Andrew R. Woolsey, assistant registrar of transfer academic services, said. “He has been able to contribute a lot in a small period of time.”

“I love my position,” Cervantes said. “Every day is something new as I get to know the environment.”

“There is never a day that goes by where I regret accepting this position,” Cervantes said.

Cervantes’ position as associate dean of academic support and retention entails many duties.

Cervantes is responsible for organizing and streamlining the academic advising model for the faculty, working with students to meet their academic goals and eventually graduate and help plan orientation for new or transfer students with Student Affairs.

“I want to work with faculty and strengthen the faculty advising model,” Cervantes said. “I want to work directly with students so they can persist their education and meet goals that are realistic and achievable.”

Since many professors teach and work on research, Cervantes is in charge of assigning the advising load to faculty members, and finding a balance for them so they do not feel overwhelmed with all their work.

Given that Cervantes advises some students, he is also in charge of helping undeclared students find a major.

“Teaching not only occurs in the classroom, but it also occurs in the advising office,” Cervantes said.

Cervantes hopes to do a lot while at La Verne. He wants to meet all the need of all the students regardless of their major. He wants to try to identify with students who feel discouraged or cannot graduate for some particular reason, and deal with the issues that are getting in the way of them not graduating.

“I think Carlos’ experience in advising is one that will definitely benefit the University,” Woolsey said. “He brings a fresh and new perspective.”

There were many reasons why he was attracted to La Verne.

First, he liked how La Verne was diverse and has a lot of minority students.

Second, he admired La Verne for its great reputation and its dedication to academic excellence.

He became aware of the position through various Web sites geared toward higher education, and one of the Web sites led him to the University of La Verne Human Resources Web site.

Cervantes received his bachelor’s degree from University of Southern California in political science and international relations. He then went on to complete his master’s degree in Latin American studies and finally completed his doctorate degree from USC in higher education and administration.

Although he was interested in politics and pursuing a law degree, he became interested in higher education.

Cervantes dissertation dealt with academic integration and retention.

He has accomplished a lot in his academic career.

However, there were some periods where he felt overwhelmed with his workload.

He worked at USC as an academic adviser, worked on his doctorate and had two very young children. He would also commute from Stanton to USC every day. The drive would often take two hours one way.

He was able to get through with the help of his wife, peers and close friends.

Now with this position, he is able to spend more time with his family, given that he moved near the area of the University.

He has gained back about 10 hours of free time to spend with his family and focus more on his career, Cervantes said.

According to Cervantes, advising is more than building a schedule; it is also about helping students achieve their academic goals.

The hope of having Cervantes fill this position is to have better retention and higher graduation rates, Cardenas-Clague said.

“I have no doubt he can accomplish this,” Cardenas-Clague said. “I just think Carlos is a very good fit for La Verne.”

“He owns a sense of professional mission that is very well suited to La Verne,” Cardenas-Clague said. “He will bring very strong experience and apply it to academic advising.”

Natalie Veissalov can be reached at natalie.veissalov@laverne.edu.

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