Seeking a second opinion always helps with the decision making process.  ​Knowing what to ask, who to ask, and when to ask is key.

second opinion, academic advisingMost college students typically use a first responders type of approach to problem solving i.e. inquire and act on the advice from the first “reliable” source they encounter.

Questioning the validity of the information and/or the information source rarely occurs to them. Quickly solving the problem is all that matters at the moment.

For example, if they’re having an academic problem or challenge in school, they’ll ask a peer, friend, and/or family member their opinion first before actually going directly to an official source such as an academic adviser.

Study after study continues to document that seeking advice from an academic adviser is usually an afterthought for most college students, unless it’s a mandatory requirement like semester registration and/or an academic discipline issue.

Developing an on-going, consultative relationship with an academic adviser is a missed networking opportunity for many students.  And, as a result, seeking second opinions is not necessarily in their wheelhouse of college success strategies. And it really should be.

So What’s the Benefit Again?

Although seeking second opinions is standard practice in modern medicine today, in higher education, it is often perceived as intrusive, particularly if a case management approach governs the institution’s academic advising program. The caseloads of academic advisers range anywhere from 1-200 to 1-600, depending on the size of the institution.

Colleges and universities generally assign academic advisers to students during the New Student orientation process.  Most students think that it’s a permanent assignment, when, in reality, students can change advisers if compatibility does become an issue.  If you think that you and your adviser are not communicating on the same plane, then make a change!

second opinion, academic adviser

That’s why it’s so important for new students to begin accumulating their own “team” of advisers during their freshmen year.  By doing so, they can seek out second opinions without fear of insulting their assigned academic and/or faculty adviser.

Getting curbside consultation from their assembled team of advisers can certainly benefit new students, particularly those unfamiliar with higher education culture like first generation students and adult learners.

Analyzing and evaluating any sought after information and/or information source is a worthwhile skill set to nurture as a college student.  Just imagine what you can do with it once you enter the world of work!  Access to choices, options, and opportunities will be boundless!


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A Word to the Wise...

Whenever a college student faces an academic and/or social challenge, they often ask a peer or a friend first for advice. And that’s okay.

However, resolving the issue to your best advantage often requires consulting with an academic advising professional as well.

Your academic adviser knows the campus academically, administratively, and socially.

And what they don’t know, they can point you to the person who does know.  Include this strategy in your current plan for college success.

And we're always available to help as well!

Disclaimer Reminder: A college student's first line of inquiry should always be with their campus academic adviser. College Success Life Advising Sessions provide additional problem-solving options to undergraduate and graduate students for further exploration on their individual campuses. Students should always consult their assigned adviser not only during the course selection process but periodically to keep apprised of programmatic changes, testing requirements, course additions/deletions, GPA modifications, etc.

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