The Department of Student Advising Coaches is committed to striving for excellence in service by preparing students for a life of continual learning, adaptability, and individual fulfillment. Advising engages students in a developmental process to facilitate educational planning, and to provide guidance toward academic independence and self-sufficiency.
Empowering you on your path to success.
Student Advising Coaches
Heather G. Smith, Director of Student Advising Coaches
ECC 255 (located in Student Services)
I am Heather G. Smith, Director of Student Advising Coaches at SouthArk Community College, I have held several different positions here at SouthArk, but this is my favorite one so far. Advising students and teaching SouthArk Success classes, both in-class and online, makes my days! I believe if you love what you do, you never really feel like you’re at work. I am lucky to be in the perfect position for me with wonderful coworkers who also love what they are doing. It makes for many great days.
I live in El Dorado with my spouse, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. I like DIY tasks around the house, gardening, knitting, craft projects, music, watching HGTV, yard sailing, traveling, and card games. Autumn is my favorite time of year, with winter being a close second. I am from upstate New York (the Hudson Valley) so I miss the crisp autumn air, and beautiful colored leaves in deep reds and oranges. The cool temperatures turn the leaves up north colors that we just don’t see down here in the south. I’d be happier if we had more snow than hot days.
I received 2 degrees from SouthArk (an AAS in Office Occupations and an Associate of Arts), my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration Management (BBA) from UALR, and my Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on Ethics from Harding University. I believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, if you’re willing to work hard enough for it. My favorite quote is “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” By Mahatma Gandhi. Enrolling at SouthArk Community College is a great way for you to start becoming the person you were meant to be.
Vince Dawson, Health Sciences Student Advising Coach
Nursing, Physical Therapy Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Medical Coding, Phlebotomy
ECC 259 (located in Student Services)
I am Vince Dawson, Advising Coach for Health Science majors at South Arkansas Community College. I have worked in the field of education for 33 years starting here at SouthArk in 1985 in Student Services as Career Counselor. I held this position for two years before becoming employed with the El Dorado Public School District. I was a classroom teacher for four years at Barton Junior High before joining the team as a guidance counselor for El Dorado High School. I remained there and held various positions for the next twenty four years before retiring from public school in the 2015. Later, I earned my certificate for Non Public School Administration and became employed as Assistant Principal for West Side Christian School in El Dorado. I held that position until joining the Student Services staff at SouthArk.
I have lived in El Dorado most of my life and graduated of El Dorado High School in 1980. I received my Associate’s degree from Southern Arkansas University – El Dorado Branch, now SouthArk. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Southern Arkansas University – Magnolia and completed additional graduate work at Louisiana Tech University.
I am a proud father, grandfather, and pops! I strive to maintain the mindset that “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me”. SouthArk is a great place to achieve all things.
Kathy Reaves, Director of Career Pathways Initiative
Radiologic Technology, Surgical Technology
Career Pathways Students
ECC 253 (located in Student Services)
I grew up in Mt. Holly, and graduated from high school in 1974 (yes, I am that old!!!). I attended SAU and graduated in May 1977 with my bachelor’s degree in English Education. After marrying my wonderful husband in September of that same year, we moved to Little Rock. My 2 sons were born there, and in 1990 we moved to Texas.
I have been back in South Arkansas for the past 10 years. I have worked in Career Pathways here at SouthArk since April 2007 – first as the administrative assistant, then the counselor, and now the director of the program. I love what I do, and one of the best “perks” of my job is watching students who CPI has helped walk across the stage at graduation!
Susan Spicher, Education and Early Childhood Program Director
Whitfield classroom building, 2nd floor, north end
I consider advising and learning as a partnership. We all work together and we all learn together. Even after all these years I have plenty to learn about children, teaching, administration, and just life in general. My goal is to be a resource and a mentor to each of my students and advisees so you may work continually toward your full potential and goals.
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio and I am the fourth of nine children. I can't really remember a time that I did not enjoy being with children. At the age of 10, I was already developing my teaching and nurturing skills. In high school I took a DCT training program that allowed me to go to school half day and work half day. My first position was as a teacher's aide in a 3 year old class. This first experience helped me to confirm that education was my calling.
What I have learned through life is there is nothing that can stop you when you set a goal and focus on accomplishing that goal. Life happens for all of us. When I went to undergraduate school I was able to attend full time for two years and then after getting married attended part time. It took me 15 years to get a Bachelor’s degree that came about through several major life changes and realigning of goals.
My career path has led me through 7 years as an Early Childhood Teacher, 20 years as an Early Childhood Program Director that included being the principal of a private elementary school. I have worked as a consultant in the reimagining and design of several early childhood programs. I was an adjunct professor in Early Childhood Education for 11 years in the Los Angeles area before moving to Arkansas to take my position as Education Program Director in 2012. Through the years I continued my formal education acquiring a Master’s degree in Education and a second Master’s in Early Childhood Education in addition to course work for a PhD in Early Childhood Education.
My little family includes my husband of 40 years and my youngest brother, Andy, who is an adult with developmental disability. Then of course there is our dog, Diamond, who brings so much joy to our lives. In my spare time I love to oil paint, draw, crafting, crochet, and sing gospel/Christian music. I love to laugh and strive to bring joy into the lives of all those I encounter.
There are always going to be obstacles in life, but we must keep our eye on the goal. My little family does what we need to do to keep going toward the goal. Years ago when my mother gave me my first "grown up" Bible she wrote on the inside of the front cover, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. So this has become my life's motto. Good times or bad, abundance or famine...there is nothing that I cannot handle.
Cynthia Meyer, Occupational Therapy Assistant
Health Science Center
I have always found advising to be one of the most essential and rewarding sides of my work as a Health
Sciences educator. Navigating the often difficult path of academic and career planning is vital to success
and fulfillment in the healthcare field. I work closely with students, prospective students, and SouthArk
faculty across many departments to set goals that will ultimately benefit graduates and the communities
As an Occupational Therapist who has climbed the ladder of the profession degree-by-degree, I have
deep personal experience with the importance of skilled advising. I began my career as an Occupational
Therapy Assistant graduate of Milwaukee Area Technical College, earned my OT Bachelor’s Degree at
the University of Tennessee-Memphis, and completed my MS degree from Texas Tech University.
In my 15 years at South Arkansas Community College, I have worked with an inspiringly diverse range of
students and have had the joy of seeing those students make remarkable achievements in healthcare,
education, business, and more. I welcome all questions and look forward to serving the advising needs of our campus.
Alejandra Muñoz, College & Career Coach Advisor
ECC 241 (located in Student Services)
Alejandra currently serves as the College and Career Coach Advisor.
Alejandra has worked in education since 2009 and has served in various roles, which include institutional diversity, undergraduate education, academic advising, student affairs, as well as recruitment and retention efforts for First Generation College students. Alejandra earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance from Texas A&M University and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Baylor University. Her research focuses on how the social context in the college experience impacts the way undocumented students make meaning of their identity.
In her free time, Alejandra likes to take road trips and explore the many beautiful regions of the United States. Her goal is to see all 50 states by the age of 50! Her hobbies include crafting, hiking and cooking vegan meals. She also loves to spend time with her husband, her family, and her friends. One of her favorite quotes is “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” because she believes in making the best of every opportunity.
Dean Inman, Dean of Enrollment Services
ECC 258 (located in Student Services)
Dean Inman, Dean of Enrollment Services (Yes that makes me Dean Dean, Dean squared) started at SouthArk before most of you were born. Dean started at the college as the Director of Student Support Services, then moved to be Registrar, and finally to Dean of Enrollment Services.
He spends his 30 minutes of spare time away from the college: reading, playing with his dogs and pondering the great questions of the universe. If you are driving at the speed of light in a car, what happens when you turn on the headlights?
1. How are advisors assigned to students?
Advisors are assigned to students by major.
2. How do I schedule an appointment with an advisor? Click to schedule an appointment with an advisor: http://www.southark.edu/admissions-enrollment/student-advising-coaches and click the Schedule Appointment button.
3. How does a student advising coach help students? Advising coaches help students realize the appropriate number of classes to attempt each semester to help them achieve their goals. They assist with schedule planning, time management suggestions, referrals and suggestions to other people or departments who might be able to assist students with whatever challenges they are facing, intervening when students are at risk of not passing classes, and graduation paperwork.
4. What are your hours of operation? Monday -Thursday 8:00-5:30; Friday 8:00 - noon.
5. How are advisors assigned to students? Advisors are assigned to students by major.
6. Do you ever advise by phone or email if a student can’t come to the campus? Yes, student advising coaches try to be flexible with advising methods.
7. If I want to go to SouthArk for two years and then transfer to a four year university, what should my major be at SouthArk? An Associate of Arts degree will transfer seamlessly to a four year university.
8. I picked General Business as my major, but I really want to take Art Appreciation too, can I do that? It is imperative that students receiving financial aid or scholarships only take classes on their degree plan. If a student is taking a class that it is not on their degree plan, then the student would be responsible for paying for that class out of their own pocket. Art Appreciation is not an approved elective on the General Business degree plan.
9. How do I know if a class I took will transfer? Arkansas schools use a helpful website we refer to as ACTS, which stands for Arkansas Course Transfer System. The website is maintained by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. For schools outside of Arkansas, check with your advisor.
10. Can I register for classes online? We are currently working on our online registration capabilities. Check back soon!
11. How do online classes work? Online classes are taken through Blackboard. There is a link to Blackboard on the SouthArk website. Some instructors might require test to be proctored on campus, but some or all of the work in an online class is done online.
12. What is a hybrid class? A hybrid class usually meets once per week rather than twice, and some work is done online as well.
13. If I need to add or drop a class, can I just call? If you call, we will talk you through the process of where you can find the Add/Drop form on our website, because we do need a student’s signature in order to make changes to a schedule.
14. What is an Early Alert? An Early Alert is when a student is in danger of not passing a class. Student Advising Coaches attempt to contact the student after the teacher does, to let them know that we are concerned and want to see them succeed.
15. What is academic probation and/or suspension? All SouthArk students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress in all the classes they take. Students are expected to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA or higher while enrolled.
Please review the academic probation and suspension policies listed in the College Catalog located here: SouthArk Catalog Academic Standards. Please contact your Academic Advisor if you still have questions after reviewing the academic policies.
O*NET: Database that includes information on skills, abilities, knowledge, work activities, and interests associated with thousands of occupations.
Occupational Outlook Handbook:Guide to career information for hundreds of occupations developed and provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Additional Help Services in Union County
Interfaith Health Services
Health services, examinations, medicine, food pantry
Contact: 512 Champagnolle, El Dorado, Call for hours, 870-862-2269
Health Clinic: 403 West Oak, El Dorado, Call for hours, 870-864-8010
Helping Hand Food Pantry, St. Paul United Methodist Church
Food pantry, First and Third Thursdays from 1 PM - 3 PM
Contact: 700 West 8th St., El Dorado. 870-862-4242
Housing assistance and other services.
Contact: 1426 North West Ave. 870-864-0067
New Creations Life Center
Contact: Betty Morgan, Director. 870-818-3486
Emergency housing, meals, homeless shelter, food pantry, special services.
Community lunches: 11:30-12:30 daily; community dinner, 4:15 PM - 5 PM daily.
Contact: 419 South Madison, El Dorado. 870-863-4830
South Arkansas Community College
Food Pantry, clothing for students and staff
Career Closet (professional clothing for job interviews): By appointment,
South Arkansas Fights AIDS
Medical services, Food Pantry for patients
Contact for hours: 526 West Faulkner, El Dorado. 870-875-2099..
St. James Baptist Church Outreach Center
Food Pantry, clothing
Contact: 608 Martin Luther King, El Dorado. Call for hours, 870-862-6271.
Liberty Baptist Association
Food Pantry, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9 AM - 1 PM
Contact: 901 South Washington, El Dorado (Southside Baptist Education Building) 870-862-3063.
Hillsboro Church of Christ
Food Pantry, Second Thursdays from 2 PM - 3 PM
Contact: 1322 West Hillsboro, El Dorado. 870-863-4714
Helping Hand Food Pantry and Clothes Closet, First Baptist Church of Smackover
Food Pantry, Clothing, Tuesdays from 9 AM - 10 AM, and 5 PM - 6:30 PM
Contact: 201 West 7th Street, Smackover. 870-725-3941.
Additional Help Services in Ashley County
Greater Crossett Area Food Pantry, First Presbyterian Church
Food Pantry, Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM,
And Tuesdays from 5:30 PM - 7 PM
309 Pine Street, Crossett. 870-364-9551.
Additional Help Services in Bradley County
First Baptist Church
Food pantry, Third Tuesday of every month at 6:00 PM
Contact: 310 S Main Street, Warren. (870) 226-5884
Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church
Food Pantry, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 AM to 11 AM
Contact: 510 N. Walnut St., Warren. (870) 226-6128
Additional Help Services in Calhoun County
Calhoun County UCRC
Food Pantry, Third Thursdays from 1 PM - 4 PM and in emergencies
Contact: 648 Sturgis, Hampton. Susan Johnston. 870-798-2457, 870-798-4923.
Additional Help Services in Columbia County
Body and Soul Cupboard, Asbury United Methodist Church
Food Pantry, Thursday
Contact: 1300 East University, Magnolia. 870-234-5594.
Additional Help Services in Ouachita County
Fairview United Methodist Church – Good Samaritan Pantry
Food Pantry, Thursdays 9 AM to 12 Noon.
Contact: 2603 Mt. Holly Rd., Camden. (870) 231-4383
Stephens Community Outreach
Food Pantry, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 AM to 3 PM. Saturdays 9 AM to 12 Noon.
Contact: 316 West Ruby, Stephens. (870) 786-5943
First United Methodist Church of Camden
Food Pantry, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 AM - 11 AM
Contact: 121 Harrison Ave. SW, Camden. 870-836-6871.
Greater New Cavalry Church of God in Christ
Food Pantry, Third Sundays from 1 PM - 2:30 PM, Following Mondays 10 AM - 1 PM, 4 PM - 6 PM
Contact: 3150 Hwy. 7 South, Camden. 320-523-6551.