Take Advantage of Academic Advising Sessions
One of the most essential, yet underutilized, resources during college is the academic advisor. Academic advisors can help you stay on track for graduation. These professionals have the main task of assisting students in registering for classes, but are often a vast wealth of knowledge regarding classes, graduation requirements, internship opportunities, job hunting, and industry contacts, as well as in their respective fields. Check out these tips to learn how to get the most out of your academic advisor appointments.
Schedule you appointments well in advance. During class registration, advisors are extremely busy. Email them well before the date you want an appointment and be willing to be flexible. Realize that your advisor has several other students they must meet with besides you, in addition to teaching courses or conducting research.
See your advisor more than once a semester. Students who only go to see their advisor to register for classes are missing out on a great opportunity to get real-world advice from a professional. Let your advisor get to know you so he or she can take your interests into account when making suggestions. Insight into different professors, scheduling suggestions and helping you think through your goals and how to achieve them are ideas to cover during meetings. In addition, your counselor could be a great connection for finding an internship, job or writing a letter of recommendation.
Do your research. Don’t bog down your meeting time with questions you could’ve easily looked up yourself. Bring in a copy of your degree audit/degree progress report and look it over beforehand. Be familiar with the requirements of your degree or program and research the required classes. Give thought to the courses you want to take and why. This way appointment time can be best utilized for discussing more complex issues or questions you may have.
Come prepared. Have a list of questions written down so you can make the most use of your appointment and so you won’t forget any of them. Write down the answers so you can refer back to them. When you come prepared, your academic advisor can more readily point you to critical information, help you better understand administrative processes and academic programs, and connect you to valuable resources.
Choose the appropriate office. While academic advisors are there to help you and are very knowledgeable about a wide variety of subjects, they won’t have the answer to every question you have. Be aware of other on-campus resources such as career services, tutoring assistance, financial aid office and others. Also, when picking among classes or professors, you may also want to seek the opinion of your peers to determine what professor would best suit your learning style.