Make advising easier: prepare
October 25, 2007
We’ve finally reached the halfway point of fall semester at UW-River Falls and for returning students, that means it’s registration and advising time. The advising period starts Monday and registration begins Nov. 2.
The strange thing about this time of year is that, for some, it seems to be more stressful than the midterms they just got done taking.
Students aren’t alone in feeling the stress that comes with advising, as many advisors seem to have problems setting aside enough time in their schedules to properly help students map out their academic careers.
We’re all busy people, but for a college student I can’t think of too many things that should be more important than laying out an academic map to get out of school in a timely manner.
Most of the problems that occur with advising come from either the student or advisor not taking enough time to carefully check all aspects of the students DAR or course schedule.
For students, while it may seem easy to blame your advisor you have to realize that you’re in college now and someone is not going to hold your hand every step of the way.
When a problem arises you should try and do your best to see if you can figure out a solution and not leave it all on the advisor. Two people working towards one solution is a much more effective than just leaving it all up to one person, who is busy with other work.
When you go to your advising meetings, check up on the policies your department has. Follow the instructions your department has set out for you, and it will make for a smoother appointment with your advisor and make the whole process easier on your way to graduation.
Check over your DAR, make up a rough estimate of what your schedule will be and don’t depend on your advisor to do it for you. They are there to answer questions you may have about the DAR or certain classes in your major, not to make a schedule for you. Ideally your advisor will be just as well prepared as you are, but you should be ready to deal with this not always holding true.
When you notice you have a problem with your DAR, don’t wait until the last minute before graduation and then freak out. Look ahead of time. Print off a new DAR right away when the new semester begins to make sure all your classes fill up the right slots.
The advising period should not be as big a headache as some make it out to be, especially if everyone involved just takes a little bit of time from their busy schedule to prepare.