Brooke Shannon: Guiding students to graduation

Brooke Shannon
Brooke Shannon is the senior academic advisor in the College of Computing and Digital Media. Each year, she and three other academic advisors help more than 4,600 CDM graduate and undergraduate students stay on track for graduation. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
With more than 55 majors, minors and programs, and abundant courses, options in the College of Computing and Digital Media can seem endless. Thankfully, Brooke Shannon and her colleagues are available to help students navigate those options. As the senior academic advisor, each year Shannon and the advising team are on hand to help more than 4,600 CDM students find resources on campus, stay on track for graduation and set themselves up for success after they leave DePaul.

"My job is about giving students enough information to make their own informed decisions about their education," Shannon says. "We're partners with them in this process. It's their experience, their education and their investment. A computer can spit out a registration form - that's not us. We really want to build those relationships and move away from being transactional in our interactions with students."

As academic advisors, Shannon and her team work closely with other resource offices to ensure students find whatever help they may need - anything from financial assistance to counseling services to the career center. Shannon also works hand-in-hand with the faculty and faculty advisors in CDM to gain an understanding of the workloads and expectations for various classes as a way to better help students balance their schedules.

"Our faculty and faculty advisors know better than we do which classes may be project or reading intensive," she says. "We're able to relay that information to students as they're putting their course schedules together, which can help them adjust their schedules or just prepare for a busy quarter. Our college and programs are so enormous and diverse; we really could not do our jobs without that collaboration with faculty."

Though Shannon has spent the last five years as an advisor in CDM, her career at DePaul started in the College of Business in 2007. During her time as a records clerk for the college, Shannon enrolled in the masters in counseling program in the College of Education, where she focused on college student development. She graduated in 2012, and in that same week made her career move to CDM's advising office.

"Many people assume academic advising is just about registering students for classes," she says. "The big focus for us is to build relationships with our students. We want them to learn how to handle various situations, how to plan for the short- and long-term, and how to advocate for themselves. The best part of my job is helping students find a path they're passionate about and flourish in their journey at DePaul."