Opinion

Advising system requires better communication

Registration went digital with the introduction of CaneLink in 2013, but students are surely aware that signing up for next semester’s classes isn’t as simple as the press of a button.

For one thing, there’s no substitute for face-to-face human interaction, and while advising is handled differently in each school within the University of Miami, it remains an essential component of the registration process.

Again, not quite as easy as it sounds. Much more than an online appointment-making system, what students really need to navigate the registration process is increased communication.

For example, students double- or triple-majoring in different schools are not usually assigned an advisor in each of their subjects and often experience difficulty locating the individuals who can provide the information they need.

With so many students exploring different areas of study at once, the university should look into appointing liaisons to help students navigate the schools with which they are less familiar. A single advisor, after all, cannot be expected to know everything.

Along those lines, the university could alleviate some of the burden on individual advisors by establishing a system in which students are assigned a teaching assistant or student advisor in their area of study.

Students would be able to pick the brains of others closer to their age and in similar situations. These advisors could provide more knowledgeable recommendations, drawn from recent personal experience, about the classes that will best suit a student’s needs.

However, students must pull their own weight in the advising process to help it go as smoothly as possible. When you meet with your advisor, do some research on your major and have at least some understanding of the requirements you need to fulfill in order to graduate. Don’t just walk in and say, “I have no idea what to take.”

Advisors are supposed to help you figure out the answer yourself, not just to tell you what to do.

In the end, one advisor may not have all the ingredients for your perfect schedule. But if the university unlocks the pantry, and you’re willing to examine the shelves, you can make a complete meal.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

November 16, 2014

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The Miami Hurricane


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