:: Spotlight: Mike Raney

Posted: November 30, 2011

Helping Others Find Their Path

For nearly 30 years, Mike Raney has served as an academic advisor at The University of Texas at Austin, guiding countless students through their course and degree plans.

Dr. Raney first began working with students in graduate school, discovering an affinity for helping students achieve their educational goals. He continued to advise while earning his M.A. in Counseling and Guidance and later his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with a focus on student development. In addition to advising, Dr. Raney serves as an Assistant Dean for advising and first-year initiatives in the College of Natural Sciences.

Dr. Raney’s presence on campus is well known. What is less well known is that Dr. Raney has also served as University Extension’s academic advisor for the past fourteen years. Providing academic advising to prospective and current University Extension (UEX) students, Dr. Raney enjoys sharing his experience and expertise with a group of students who often have different needs than those of traditional college students.

UEX students are often older than typical college students and work full-time. Many already have degrees and are returning to school to pursue a career change or prepare for graduate or professional school. These students often have different goals and concerns than the students Dr. Raney advises during the day, offering him a different perspective to consider when advising.

“Through my advising experience with UEX, I’ve come to realize that being flexible, considering many options and being willing to go off the beaten path usually leads to a successful outcome for students,” explains Dr. Raney. If the path a student is on isn’t working out for whatever reason, I tell them, “explore. Look at some other options.” Each month Dr. Raney holds walk-in advising hours for anyone with questions about taking UEX courses. He recommends that students do a little preparation before coming to an advising appointment, in order to make the time as productive as possible.

Dr. Raney’s Tips for Making the Most of an Advising Session:

  1. Bring a copy of your college transcript(s) or degree audit.
  2. Bring a copy of your degree plan.
  3. Have questions prepared ahead of time.

Dr. Raney’s monthly walk-in advising hours are listed on UEX’s calendar, and he is available via email to answer questions.

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