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Campus Life

Whether you’re coming to the University of Saint Francis out of high school, transferring from another college, or returning to the classroom after a few years away, the First Year Advising team is ready to help you navigate your USF experience.

Getting Started

First things first.

Getting scheduled for your first semester of classes is exciting. Once you’ve confirmed your enrollment by making your deposit, your First Year Advisor will communicate via email to arrange an advising and course registration session, according to your declared major. In your advising/registration session, you can expect to meet your advisors, some future classmates, to register for your first semester of courses and to have your questions answered. New student registration for the Fall term will begin in April and in late November for the Spring semester. Continue to use My Cougar Connection (MCC), our student portal, will connect you to the forms, resources and services you need, including Cougar Checkpoint, a checklist for required items and tasks.

About First Year Advising

First Year Advising is part of the overall First-Year Experience. Designed to help you transition to academic, social, cultural and spiritual life at USF, the FYE also includes Orientation, Welcome Weekend and a First-Year Seminar called Engage.

How We Help Our Newest Cougars

Acclimation to Our Community

A big part of the First Year Advising program is introducing you to our Franciscan values and connecting you with people, resources and opportunities across campus.

Degree & Career Planning 

Your first-year advisor gets to know your academic, professional and personal goals so they can help you develop a solid plan.

Financial Planning & Resources

Intentional academic advising also ensures you’re on track financially. Completing your degree within your desired timeline keeps your education affordable as possible.

Academic Support & Engagement

Your first-year advisor’s role is more than scheduling your first semester of courses at USF. Our team will help you develop a support network and find the resources you need to succeed.

What’s next? In the spring semester, you’ll be assigned a faculty advisor from within your area of study who will help you stay on track and mentor you throughout the rest of your time at USF. You’ll always have academic and career support services available to you as well.

How to Find & Contact Your Advisor

You’ll be assigned an advisor based on your major, program or area of study. Use the chart here to help you locate your personal guide to all-things-USF.

Area of Study/Division Included Degree programs Your Advisor
Academic Exploration Undecided Majors Melissa Layton
Allied Healthcare Health & Exercise Science
Heather Essex
Allied Healthcare Social Work Avi Goltz
Associate Allied Healthcare Programs Advance Medical Imaging
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Nursing (ASN, LPN>ASN)
Radiological Technology
Surgical Technology
Advised by Faculty in the Program
Behavioral & Social Sciences Communication – Film
Communication – Public Relations
Criminal Justice & Criminology
Chelsie McCorkle
Business Accounting
Business Administration
Financial Services
Sports Management
Heather Essex
Computer Art & Technology Animation
Computer Information Systems
Game & Application Development
Chelsie McCorkle
Creative Arts Dance
Digital Media Management
Graphic Design
Music Technology
Pre-Art Therapy
Studio Art
Visual Art Education
Chelsie McCorkle
Education Educational Studies
Elementary Education (K-6)
Special Education
Chelsie McCorkle
Exploratory Healthcare Programs Melissa Layton
Humanities English
Interdisciplinary Studies
Melissa Layton
Nursing Bachelor of Science (BSN) Avi Goltz
Pre-Professional Programs Pre-Chiropractic Medicine
Pre-Medicine: Biology
Pre-Medicine: Chemistry
Pre-Physician Assistant
Pre-Veterinary Medicine
Avi Goltz
Sciences Biology
Clinical Laboratory Science
Environmental Health & Safety
Environmental Science
Avi Goltz

Meet Our Staff

Our first-year advising team is excited to help you prepare for your USF journey.

Heather Essex

Heather Essex Born and raised in Ft. Wayne, I graduated from Northrop High School. I graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with a B.A. from the Individualized Major Program and a M.A. in African American African Diaspora Studies. I am currently pursuing a M.S. from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling at USF. I look forward to mentoring and advocating for our First-Year students as they transition into the University of Saint Francis.

Avi Goltz

I’m a Fort Wayne native who never knew what they wanted to do. In high school the answer was always ‘I don’t know’ and when I went to college I ended up with a General Studies Degree. It wasn’t until I came to USF that I started to find my path. I achieved two Master’s degrees (M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling and School Counseling) with a break in-between to work with the Red Cross AND all the while being a Graduate assistant at USF! That long journey helped me find what I was looking for – a way to help others navigate and be successful on their own journeys, just as so many people had helped me on mine. I am glad to be back at USF to do just that as a First Year Advisor.

Melissa Layton

Melissa LaytonWhile I have been a part of the USF community for over 15 years, always working with students, I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with new students in the Humanities and Academic Exploration or ‘not yet decided’ students. I will also continue to work with those students working for admission in to a Healthcare program. I have been working with college students almost every year since I graduated college myself. This is in part because I think college experience is a thrilling and transformational one for students. I want to help students in their transition to USF and to help them understand and make the most of their own experience.

Chelsie McCorkle

Chelsie McCorkleUSF is another home for me in many ways–I’ve been a student here (2008-2012), taught in the English department (2015-2020), and now get to serve as a First Year Advisor. I enjoyed my time as a student but struggled deeply in my first year. As a first-generation student, I felt like an imposter, failing to see where I fit and how I could connect. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything more meaningful than supporting students who might be facing something similar, advocating for them at every step of their transition, and using my experiences as a source of continued encouragement. I feel called to educate students on their options, always letting them decide their path.

General Advising Contact Information

If you have general questions about advising, here’s how to get in touch with us:

Phone: 260-399-8065
Campus Location: Pope John Paul II 210 & 211