Photo courtesy of trubeaconacademicguidance.com
TruBeacon Academic Guidance LLC is a new small business local to the Stephenville area that was designed to help students make informed decisions about attending college. TruBeacon was founded by former Tarleton State University adjunct instructor and academic advisor Christina Morgan.
“TruBeacon is a business I founded to help students and their families navigate higher education pathways and to help students improve their academic performance. My mission is to help students reach their goals while spending less time and money on their way to graduation. I also want students to increase their enjoyment of their programs and improve their chances of meeting their career goals after college,” Morgan said.
Morgan is now using her almost seven years of experience to reach a variety of students. Her advising sessions are available to anyone including students in high school, students looking to attend any college or even students who are already enrolled in a college that may want more advising than what their colleges provide. These are only a few types of students that her services are available too.
“If someone is not sure if I will be able to help them, then I am happy to do a short phone consultation to see if it’s a good fit. Of course, I know Texas’s university systems and requirements better than other states’ but I’ve also already helped some students who are still in the military and trying to make progress toward a degree. Additionally, I’ve guided a couple of out-of-state graduate students who weren’t sure about their next steps,” Morgan said.
TruBeacon is not just an advising service but it is also a service for broader student success including personal motivation.
“I offer Zoom webinars and live seminars [currently following social distancing guidelines]. I also offer personalized academic planning sessions that are one-on-one with the student and I am available for public speaking engagements. All of my services focus on student success, motivation and navigating higher education pathways,” Morgan said.
Many colleges can only offer their students short advising sessions due to how many students each advisor must see. TruBeacon’s services start at a minimum of an hour long so that each student has plenty of time to ask questions and the session can be as informative as possible.
“There is so much that students need to know and so much I need to ask before the session can be truly productive for the student. I also send a questionnaire before the session so I can do background work and get more tailored information for each student before we discuss their options. I want to see the whole picture and offer as much guidance and help as possible. That requires more time than a standard advising appointment can allow,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s webinars occur on most Saturdays of every month with the next one scheduled for Saturday Jan. 30 at 10 a.m.
“I provide [the webinars] via Zoom and they last about an hour and a half. So far they’ve run over, and I’m still tailoring them, but the student [or parents] sign up and the fee covers the whole household. Everyone in the family can attend and ask questions at the end. It’s a really good option and it allows me to help people who couldn’t otherwise attend in person or travel from further away,” Morgan said.
In her years of experience Morgan saw firsthand what it was like for students who had been misinformed about their college decisions.
“During the years I was an adjunct instructor and academic advisor, I saw firsthand the pain and frustration that comes from being uninformed about higher education options, pathways and student success. This past spring and summer while I was advising incoming freshmen and transfer students by phone and Zoom, I had parents and students literally yelling at me because they had been misinformed by high school guidance counselors, community college advisors or college marketing,” Morgan said. “Essentially, they were told that they could complete two years worth of general education credits [or CORE classes] through dual credit programs or at a community college and then finish their last two years at university level. For many majors, this doesn’t work and I had to repeatedly explain to students why it would still require another three to four years to complete their degree.”
Morgan has not only seen other students struggle in college but she also made costly mistakes.
“I realized that many times conventional wisdom about how to get through college or what drives student success actually leads students to waste time and money on unnecessary credits or even to fail classes and delay graduation. I, myself, also made significant and expensive mistakes when I was completing my undergraduate degree and wish I had better guidance when I was 18 or 19 years old. I definitely would have made some different choices along the way,” Morgan said.
Right now TruBeacon’s one hour personal advising sessions start at $30 and their webinars cost $25 to attend.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say that what I know can save students hundreds to thousands of dollars and years of time not to mention significant frustration along the way. Sometimes just knowing the right questions to ask and where to find reliable information can make all the difference. Some people believe that no experience, no matter how painful, is wasted. I disagree. I have seen students give up on dreams or fail to graduate and suffer significant financial hardship because they got bad advice. Their regret and pain is real and in many cases it could have been avoided,” Morgan said.
If you are interested in learning more, booking a session or attending a webinar you can visit www.trubeaconacademicguidance.com or follow them on Facebook @TruBeaconAcademicGuidance.