Center Graduate Student Spotlight

Marisol Garza

Marisol Garza is a long-time community college professional, currently enrolled as a full-time student in the Program for Higher Education Leadership at The University of Texas. As a graduate research assistant for the Center and a member of the research team, she engages in work to help advance our understanding of students’ experiences on community college campuses.

Marisol was recently selected as a Community College Research Fellow for the Texas Success Center, an endeavor designed to build the knowledge base supporting Texas Pathways and advance Texas community college research and teaching capacity. Through this unique and collaborative opportunity, Marisol is putting her professional and research skills to work by engaging with Texas colleges to understand how advisors are helping students establish and attain their educational goals. Her work examines student-advisor relationships at colleges within Texas Pathways and focuses on students’ experiences within the context of the guided pathways framework. Her goal is to learn directly from students about what works for them when it comes to advisors helping them choose their program of study, enter a pathway, and stay on course.

During the fall 2019 term, Marisol visited three Texas community colleges to explore some of the various advising reforms that the colleges have implemented thus far. From completely reorganizing service delivery systems to implementing in-depth advisor training programs, exciting things are happening in advising across Texas. Using what she has learned about each college, Marisol will spend the spring 2020 term meeting with students to hear their point of view in order to develop a set of best practices for colleges and advisors.