Support ASE Status for College Academic Mentors!

Taylor Wyatt
Taylor Wyatt 96 Comments
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View our video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUnahVeBUyk&t=114s to see what CAMs do and what this job means to us!

College Academic Mentors are graduate students from a wide range of UCLA programs, such as Nursing, Law, Public Health, and Education, who work at the College of Letters and Sciences, advising undergraduate students on class selection, graduate school applications, and navigating Bruin life. Just like your Teaching Assistants and Readers, CAMs are considered "Academic Student Employees", meaning we receive fee remission for our work under the title of "Tutor". However, the UCLA Graduate Division has decided to take this title away from CAMs. The effect of the proposal by the Graduate Division would be to cut the compensation for most CAMs by about 50%. This would likely make it much harder to attract graduate students to these difficult and important jobs, thus making it more challenging for undergraduates to access the core services of the university.

We believe CAMs--as the primary advisors for the UCLA first and second year College of Letters and Sciences students--are a vital resource for undergraduates. 85% of UCLA’s undergraduate student body (approximately 21,000 students) belong to the College of Letters and Sciences, and 86% (18,000) of those students are advised by College Academic Counseling. In the 2016-2017 academic year, CAMs advised 30% (4,100) of all students utilizing College Academic Counseling services. Beyond those scheduled one-on-one advising appointments during the 2016-2017 academic year, CAMs hosted approximated 900 drop-in appointments, 700 students in academic workshops, responded to 12,500 academic inquiries at the Office Window, and had approximately 4,000 separate online interactions with undergraduate students.

Please support the future of undergraduate advising here at UCLA by signing your name to this petition. Do you want to submit a personal story or testimonial about how a CAM helped you or your student? Send an email to Vice Provost/Dean for Graduate Education Robin Garrell at rgarrell@grad.ucla.edu. For your convenience, a template is provided below.


Template for letters of support

Dear Vice Provost Garrell,

As a (student/parent/staff member/community member), I urge you to reconsider your action against the support of College Academic Mentors (CAMs) in the office of College Academic Counseling (CAC). Tasked with advising first and second year students at UCLA, CAMs work in locations across campus to serve our robust undergraduate population.

  • In the 2016-17 Academic Year, CAMs saw 40% of all students who met with an academic advisor at CAC.
  • CAMs have stepped in when academic departments need advising assistance, with CAM appointments in the Department of English, Economics and Anthropology.
  • CAMs participate in collaborative and holistic partnerships across campus by advising as CAMs on the Hill, CAMS at the LGBTRC and CAMS as the primary academic advisors for The UCLA Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences (PEERS).
  • CAMs welcome students at Bruin Day events including first year Admit Day, Transfer Admit Day, Bruin Welcome Bash, UCLA Orientation Sessions, Transfer Welcome, the Annual LGBT Resource Fair and many other workshops for campus partners.

The UC Regents have proposed that money from the most recent non-resident tuition hike will be used for many things, including graduate student fellowships, expanded mental health services and more specifically, counseling and academic advising. This action is in direct contradiction with the identified initiatives as elimination of the tutor title for CAMs reduces the number of graduate students with access to funding, removes access to health insurance, including long term mental health services and will significantly reduce the advising capacity for undergraduate students. These benefits are a vital part retention of graduate mentors and the success of the CAM program.

UCLA prides itself on being an inclusive and diverse university, but this action would disproportionately impact the diverse students who both make up the CAMs, and those served by advisors who share their identities, experiences and interests. An investment in CAMs is an investment in undergraduate and graduate success at UCLA. Please make supporting students a higher priority for our campus by rescinding this devastating employment action.

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