Center for Achievement, Retention and Enrichment Services (CARES) Advising 

The CARES* Center, located on the second floor of Spieth Hall, provides UWA students with academic advising, career exploration, tutoring, study spaces, a computer lab, free printing, study halls and access to the CARES Closet. 

The CARES Closet is a free resource for any UWA student who needs semester-long laptop check-out, textbooks, school supplies, personal care items and basic household supplies. It is confidential and anonymous to use. Just text (205) 973-4656 or contact one of the CARES staff, listed below.  

The Center is open from 8 AM-9 PM, Monday – Friday and Sunday from 2PM-8PM for tutoring and study. 

Our advisors are available to speak with you 8 AM-5 PM, Monday – Friday. 

Semester-by-semester plans for all UWA degree programs are available.

If a faculty or staff member is concerned about a student or wishes to provide “kudos” for a job well-done, they can complete a Retention Report Form. The form is directed to the Director of Retention, who will reach out to the student and their advisor to identify the student’s needs and connect them to the necessary resources. Subsequent meetings are then arranged to guide the student towards achievement, sustained enrollment, academic advancement and timely graduation within the UWA community.

Our Purpose 

The University of West Alabama believes that advising requires a holistic approach to the development of the student through a mutual academic relationship between the advisor and the student, which includes academic advising, career exploration and identification of campus and community resources. 


The mission of advising is to foster a personalized partnership between student and advisor that promotes active and responsible learning. Our purpose is also to facilitate student ownership of their educational experience and assist students in identifying and clarifying academic, career and personal goals. 

Advising Process 

At UWA, a dual advising approach is adopted, comprising both a centralized advising system and faculty advising. Typically, new students (including freshmen and transfers with fewer than 24 credit hours) are matched with a dedicated CARES Advisor, fostering a close student-advisor partnership. These advisors conduct a minimum of two meetings per semester, including pre-registration sessions. These interactions are designed to guide students in pinpointing relevant resources and opportunities, aiding them in setting objectives and strategizing to attain them. To ensure impactful guidance, CARES Advisors adhere to the Appreciative Advising philosophy when engaging with students. 

After completing their second full semester, incoming students undergo an assessment to decide whether to continue with their CARES Advisor or transition to a faculty advisor. For instance, a traditional student commencing in the fall term would collaborate with CARES and a faculty advisor during the spring term to prepare for the subsequent semester. While CARES Advisors focus on goal setting and devising plans for their students, faculty advisors offer specialized expertise in their respective domains aiding students in achieving their established objectives. Faculty advisors are adept at providing insights into potential graduate schools and career pathways related to their fields, as well as facilitating the development of a professional network tailored to the student’s specific interests. 


Enhancing student retention and graduation rates is a central priority at the University of West Alabama (UWA). Through a range of services, programs and initiatives, the university is dedicated to bolstering student success and this responsibility is shared by all faculty and staff members. The vibrant campus atmosphere, as epitomized by the motto “There is something about this place,” is a collaborative effort among faculty, staff and students. In instances where a faculty or staff member identifies a retention concern or seeks to acknowledge exemplary performance, they can utilize the Retention Report Form. This form is directed to the CARES team within the Office of Retention and Institutional Research (ORIR), prompting engagement from a Retention Specialist. Subsequent meetings are then arranged to guide students towards achievement, sustained enrollment, academic advancement and timely graduation within the UWA community. 

*CARES is funded through a grant from the US Department of Education

CARES Staff   

Ms. Andrea Farquhar, Director  
Office: Spieth Hall 229 

Mrs. LaSandra Tolbert, Program Coordinator 
Office: Spieth Hall 228 

Mr. Wes Watkins, Advisor for the College of Business & Division of Engineering and Technology
Office: Spieth Hall 226