Things Advisers Hate To Hear

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advisingAs a former college adviser, I must admit there were definitely some pet peeves I had regarding working with students. I always try to keep this blog positive, so I want you to know I’m not writing this post to criticize or to be negative. I just want students to be aware of some things they can do to help out their college advisers as well as themselves.

So here’s a list of some of the things I often heard in my office from students that I hope you’ll never say to your adviser.

Tell Me What I Should Take

Yes, it is an adviser’s job to be familiar with the curriculum requirements for their school’s various majors. However, it’s not your adviser’s job to tell you what to take. Students also have a responsibility to be familiar with their degree requirements. In addition, you adviser doesn’t know you well. You know yourself, your strengths, and your preferences best. Please have at least some of idea of the classes you’re interested in taking prepared before showing up for your scheduling appointment.

I Need You To Make My Schedule Work

Another thing that would drive me crazy was when students would show up with demanding scheduling requirements like only being able to take classes two days a week, after lunch time, and they needed only very specific classes that never seemed to fit their time availability. Students should show up to their advising session prepared to offer at least some ideas of classes that may fit their availability. If you know your time is limited, you’ll need to be flexible in which classes you’re willing to take.

Do I Have To Take That Class?

Yes, you do. If it’s a required course for your major, it’s most likely that you have to take it. Very rarely is an exception made to departmental policy. For certain classes like a foreign language or introductory course, there may be a skills test you can take in order to test out of the class. But advisers don’t have the power to just sign you out. You’ll have to work for it. If you truly believe there are extenuating circumstances that should exempt you from a certain class, you’ll need to speak with either the professor teaching the course or the dean of the department that the course falls under.

These are just a few of my scheduling pet peeves. Again, please know that your college adviser is there to assist you and is usually happy to do so. Just keep these things in mind when setting up your next advising session.


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