Schoenherr brings educational background to advising role

College of Arts and Sciences academic advisor Mark Schoenherr has always been in “the realm of education,” making his transition nearly four years ago from admissions positions at area colleges to SIUE advisor a natural fit.

Mark Schoenherr joined SIUE's CAS advising staff in 2010. Photo by Kari Williams

Schoenherr, who advises social science students, said he wanted to transition from admissions to a truer advising role. Part of the reason Schoenherr said he deviated from admissions was to move away from the “more of a sales-type position.”

“I love working with students. With my particular area, because I advise eight different majors in the social science areas, to me that just is a great opportunity throughout the day to talk about the different programs and obviously I want them to succeed,” Schoenherr said.

The “ultimate reward” of advising students is when they reach graduation.

“To me the true ultimate reward is you’re working with these students for so long, you get to know them quite well and to me the best compliment you could get is, ‘Thank you,’” Schoenherr said.

Though some students come to Schoenherr prepared with the classes they want to take, he said with others he feels like a dentist.

“I’m performing a root canal because they really don’t know what they want to do,” Schoenherr said.

In those cases, Schoenherr engages with students and discusses what they have completed so far, their likes and dislikes and career aspirations.

“That gives me kind of an idea in terms of the classwork what they’re going to feel comfortable with,” Schoenherr said. “And to me it’s kind of a two-way street. I need to know what they’re thinking and they’ll definitely know what I’m thinking because I’ll tell them exactly the things they need to do to get out of here.”

Schoenherr joined the advising staff in April 2010 after stints at McKendree, Devry and St. Louis universities. He also has family tie to the university, with his wife receiving her master’s degree as well as two nephews graduating from SIUE. His educational background is in broadcasting and communications.

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