Academic Advisor – Optional or Essential?
College Students – Heads Up…
Your Academic Advisor…optional or essential? An asset on your college and career success team or a potential liability?
Unlike high school, where you can wait forever to see your guidance counselor, a campus academic advisor is an active, key member of your college and career success team.
You can always contact them either by appointment, text, email, or phone call.
Furthermore, they know the rules of the “graduation” game i.e. how to have a successful collegiate academic experience.
They also know how to navigate the campus system, pointing out alternative success strategies along the way.
Believe it or not, you do have options. And consulting with an academic advisor can often put your mind at ease in terms of solving many of the problems you may encounter.
Campus Information Guru – Your Academic Advisor
In theory, academic advisors are all knowing about campus life, academics, and student activities. And if they don’t know, then they know how to direct you to the individual who does know.
In reality, you may be having an altogether different experience with your academic advisor. Perhaps you haven’t made that connection yet. Or you have and you’re not necessarily that happy with your choice.
After all, academic advisors are human beings and function like everybody else, some good, some bad, and others, just mediocre.
If, in fact, you don’t have a compatible, working relationship with your academic advisor, then may be you should consider making a change.
First of all, check with your college student handbook about the process for changing academic advisors.
Then ask several upperclassmen who would they recommend and why?
Making a change could be as simple as just sending an email request for a change of advisors to your campus’ Academic Advising Office.
However, before you send that email, if at all possible, check out the potential candidates for yourself.
If circumstances allow, even give some thought to “interviewing” them. This is about building a long term, interactive relationship and not a drive-by counseling session.
Keep in mind that you’re looking for someone who not only knows the campus and academic culture well but also knows how to access the information you’ll need to achieve your college and career goals.
Most of all, it is really important for you to have on your team an academic advisor you can trust and whose advice you respect.
The name of the game today is to pull together a team of on and off campus collaborators who can and will assist you in achieving your college and career goals.
They definitely don’t have to know each other.
You will be at the center of that constellation of professionals, all eager to help you succeed.
Little Known Fact – depending on the size of the institution, the student-academic adviser caseload ratio can range anywhere from 1-233 up to 1-600. So, do your homework…select wisely…academic advising can be a very busy operation!!*
Maximizing Your Options
Remember, you are laying the groundwork for building your own personal college and career network.
Do not wait until your junior or senior year to begin this process. If you’re already a junior or senior, then there is no time like the present to begin!
Building a diverse collaborative of advisors as you begin your college journey is a solid investment in your future.
Finally, if you do run into a campus administrative problem, take care of it immediately.
Help, on campus, is always available. Use your campus resources. You’re already paying for them, so make them work for you.
Also, check out our working smarter, not harder resources.
So, be pro-active and check them out first!
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