While I have only been an academic advisor for 6 months now, and I work in an office that is more hands-on than most advising offices, I thought it would be fun to make a list of things Academic Advisors wish students knew going in. This is based off of collective ideas and thoughts I've heard around the office, so I hope you enjoy the tips!
1. Book Your Appointments Early
2. We Are Here For You
3. When We Send You An Email, Read It
4. We Are Humans
Crazy, right? To think someone could be sick sometimes or go on a vacation every once in a while; but it is true. We are here to help you, and we love our jobs, but sometimes life happens to us too and we may need to reschedule an appointment. That does not make us care any less, it is just what makes us human.
5. We Can't Give You Professor Recommendations
A big misconception I hear about on what academic advisors do is when I hear complaints about, "well my advisor is the worst because they told me to take ... class!" Or "Ugh my professor is the worst, I can't believe my advisor would tell me to take their class." The classes we "tell" you to take are classes you need to graduate, we have no control over when it is offered or who is teaching it. And we can't tell you not to take a class because of the professor, because opinions on teaching styles are often so subjective. We can recommend classes/options/electives that other students have enjoyed, but for those it is still really up to you on if you choose to take them over another option.
6. Know Your Degree Plan
When you first begin at most institutions you are given a degree plan for your major and your academic start year. Whether that is a sheet of paper, a fancy degree works website, a giant book of majors, or a combination of the three, you have access to what classes you need to graduate. Part of being human is that advisors also sometimes make mistakes. We do our best not to, but seeing so many students it is hard not to miss some things.
I am a student affairs professional, an amateur chef, and an adventurer at heart.
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