Academic Adviser – Optional or Essential?
Your Academic Adviser…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 adviser 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 Adviser
In theory, academic advisers 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 adviser.
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 adviser, then maybe you should consider making a change.
First of all, check with your college student handbook about the process for changing academic advisers. 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.
Is there good chemistry? Do you feel comfortable in their presence? 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 knows how to access the information you’ll need specifically to achieve your college and career objectives.
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 advisors 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.
Maximizing Your Options
Remember, you are laying the groundwork for building your own personal college and career network.
Don’t 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, be pro-active and check out our working smarter, not harder resources.