It’s that time of the semester again – advising time.
As students across campus scurry to prepare for their advising appointments, Student Government (SG) is taking a look at what can be done to alleviate kinks within the system.
Some problems seem to deal with communication among individual schools and accessibility.
Tom Cochran, a pre-med student working toward a bachelor of music at the Frost School of Music said his advisor at Frost has been helpful and knowledgeable. When it came to his pre-med preparations, however, his advisor was not aware there was pre-med advising on campus.
“I didn’t even know about pre-med advising until my junior year, when I found out you had to open a file. I felt rushed,” Cochran said. “You get one meeting with the pre-med advisor a year,and if you have any other questions they host Q and A sessions frequently.”
Another student, Rafael Hernandez, a senior majoring in biology, found that when it came to advising his program director was more helpful.
“My program director told me about the pre-med office and I’ve been aware of it since my freshman year, but it’s still pretty hard to reach them if you have any problems,” he said.
The pre-med website informs students about the advising process and generally most students like Hernandez and Cochran agree that the Q and A sessions as well as the pre-med office are very informative and effective, but they should still reach out more.
As a response, SG has made it a goal to help students who find themselves at odds when seeking advising, specifically those in pre-professional tracks such as pre-med.
Ryan Aquilina, SG press secretary said possible short-term solutions include a peer advising program based on a mentor-mentee system where upperclassmen can assist those who need it.
Pre-professional advising, however, is not the only program in need of a facelift. In the College of Arts and Sciences, junior transfer student Katie Mischel says that while she has had a positive experience with advising she also encountered issues like Cochran.
“No one told me about all these pre-reqs I had to take before I could start taking classes for my minor in the business school so I fell behind,” Mischel said.
Aside from lack of communication between schools, Katie points out that the wait time for advising appointments can be a bit long. Nevertheless, she says she does not mind the wait.
“I get that they have lots of students to help and I really appreciate that when they meet with me. I never feel rushed, I’m actually treated like a person,” she said.
Sherille Jackson, an advisor at the College of Arts and Sciences strongly believes in “not closing the door” on students.
“We pride ourselves in asking questions and listening,” Jackson said.
At the same time, she says some students don’t put in their part. According to her, some students come to their appointments completely unprepared.
“We send out three different types of notifications and still some students come in after registration saying they don’t know when their appointments are, some don’t even set up their appointments… they just don’t read,” she said.
At the School of Communication, advisor Marilyn Gonzalez said that this is not the majority in her experience.
“One of the strengths of our system is that most students come in prepared and know what they’re doing, and if not we always try to help them,” Gonzalez said.
Carmen Rodriguez may be contacted at email@example.com.