The Office of Academic & Career Success (OACS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has two complementary missions:
- To bolster academic and career success through equitable, inclusive, and innovative advising, career development, and learning support services for students and alumni.
- To guide and support the wellbeing and success of advising, career services, and learning support staff.
What We Do
The Office of Undergraduate Advising, now the Office of Academic & Career Success, was created in 2011 as a signature investment of the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates (MIU).
We provide central coordination and resources for the distributed undergraduate advising, learning support, and career services functions at UW–Madison. OACS provides training, technology, professional development, data, and community development opportunities. OACS also convenes decision making bodies for these three communities of staff.
OACS provides direct services to students through seven sub-units: the Career Exploration Center, Cross-College Advising Service, Greater University Tutoring Services, Center for Pre-Health Advising, Center for Pre-Law Advising, Undergraduate Academic Awards, and the Office of Online Student Success.
OACS strives to center the needs of marginalized and underserved students and staff in everything we do.
A professionally trained, well-networked advising, career services, and learning support community is key to supporting student academic and career success. To help staff stay on the cutting edge of the latest tools, technology, resources, and practices that support students, we coordinate campus-wide professional development for new and experienced staff.
We build, procure, implement, maintain, and offer training for several campus-wide tools that enhance staff practice, including the Advising Gateway (comprehensive student records & information), Handshake (student career and recruitment platform), and Starfish (scheduling assistant tool).
On a large campus, it is critical to have well-connected advising, career services, and learning support communities. We offer networking events throughout the year to bring these communities together.
We convene school/college/departmental leadership groups in advising, career services, and learning support to implement and/or advocate for policies that are in the best interest of the communities and undergraduate students.
We strive to keep the advising, career services, and learning support communities well-informed and connected about issues that impact students and staff. We also work to highlight the role and value of academic and career support to internal and external constituencies.
Assessment & Data
We offer limited guidance and assistance to advising, career services, and learning support units on assessment and evaluation best practices with the goal of helping to improve academic and career services for students. We provide assistance to units and staff to help them obtain data from campus information systems in order to address specific operational questions or to inform assessment and evaluation efforts.