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Many college students struggle to choose a major, but better advising could help with that.

Students share views on academic advising

VSU has many great advisers, but students agree the advising process could be improved. Taking the right classes in order to graduate is crucial to why advising is important.

Advisers have several different responsibilities. They are in charge of informing advisees of any changes in degree programs or requirements and the standards for satisfactory academic progress. Also, they work with advisees to provide correct information for graduation applications, and they help advisees prepare paperwork to meet program requirements.

One of their main jobs is to monitor their student’s academic progress all throughout their school year. However, I do not hear from adviser’s until it is time to set up an appointment for the next semester.

Elizabeth Ellinburg, academic adviser for VSU’s College of the Arts, explains the role of an adviser.

“I like to think the role of an adviser is a success coach for college,” Ellinburg said. “We help students navigate class selection, connect them to campus resources and empower them to reach their goals both in and out of the classroom.”

The advisers should reach out to students periodically to check on how the classes are working for them. This way advisers will get to know students on a personal level which will help guide students in the right direction of classes that are best suited for them.

Deandre Stokes, a junior business major, said meeting more often would be helpful.

“I really do not think the advisers help at all,” Stokes said. “I always ended up making my own schedule. It would be more helpful if they got to know us more as a student and not treat this as an ordinary job because they are in charge of our life tracks.”

Without an adviser’s help, many students will look for the easiest way out. For example, students result to registering for easy classes to maintain a high GPA instead of registering for more classes that will help prepare them for their future. This is very common, and it goes through lots of students minds when preparing a schedule.

Jessica Hampton, an early childhood development major, has a different view of the advising process.

“My academic adviser has helped me with my time schedule as far as putting some breaks in my schedule to study for tests, and the adviser really knows what the professors want in a student,” Hampton said.

Mathew Rowe, a sophomore political science major, believes the advisers only need to improve in one area.

“The freshman advising process is both cumbersome and antiquated and subsequently should be revised and restructured to better fit student needs,” Rowe said. “However, upper class advising has seen monumental improvements and is now functioning at full speed.”

Overall, the adviser’s help students when they are in meetings, but the communication between advisers and students should be improved, so they know the right advice to give to students.

Story by Callie Pirkle, Staff Writer. Photo by VSU. 

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