UO senior helps others as a peer advisor for PathwayOregon
Like many University of Oregon seniors, Haley Vigeland is excited and nervous about her upcoming graduation this spring. She plans to take a year off before applying for a graduate program in school counseling, and ultimately she intends to pursue a career working with high school and college students.
Vigeland is a member of the first class of graduates from the PathwayOregon program that started four years ago to assist academically prepared Oregonians to attend the university with decreased reliance on student loans. The program covers the difference between other sources of financial aid and the total cost of tuition and fees for 12 terms within a five-year period.In addition, program participants receive comprehensive academic and personal support to ensure timely graduation from the UO. To qualify, students must be Oregonians who meet income criteria established by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Vigeland was very involved in sports, choir and other activities at South Salem High School, and continues to stay busy at the UO. She was a member of the Club Sports Water Polo team until she earned a spot on the women’s a capella group, Divisi, which requires hours of practice and weekly performances.
She also serves as a peer advisor for PathwayOregon, visiting high schools to inform students about the program and her experience at the UO. She also assists other PathwayOregon students with reminders about important financial aid deadlines and milestones.
"I find my work to be very satisfying, knowing that I have helped a student in some way whether it be meeting one on one, in workshops, or calling to remind them about important dates and deadlines," said Vigeland.
She recalls being overwhelmed in the first term of her freshman year before PathwayOregon Coordinator Carla Bowers helped to focus her interests and choose courses carefully. Frequent check-ins with Bowers kept Vigeland on a four-year track to graduation with a double major in sociology and psychology.
The academic tutoring and personal support for the approximately 1,400 students in the program is provided by three professional advisors and two peer advisors—including Vigeland.
“Every person on the PathwayOregon team does a phenomenal job creating a warm, welcoming environment for students,” Vigeland said. “Pathway students really want to be at the university and they work twice as hard to get here and stay here with this support.”
Vigeland is a second-generation Duck with both of her parents attending the UO before opening an art supply business in Salem, Ore. Her brother Erik currently attends the UO as a sophomore.
Her family will attend commencement on Monday, June 18, when Haley will graduate along with others from the first cohort of the PathwayOregon program.