Advising Week approaches

IUS Horizon

With the Presidential election growing closer, the Advising Committee found it appropriate to use a similar theme, Decision 2008: A Time for Direction, second annual Advising Week will be held Oct. 13 to 16. Advisers are using this week to promote the importance of the process.
“We try very hard to go to regional and national conferences with other advisers to get ideas,” Jane Spitznagel, academic adviser for Academic Success Center, said. The idea for this year came from the National Academic Conference two years ago, doing a whole series of events all in one week. These events highlight advising, Why to get advised? How to get advised? When should a student get advised?

“Basically we want to make sure that students realize that we are their friend, they are here to help the students to decide not only what courses to take but, proper sequence of courses,” Spitznagel said.

Students too often take courses that will not benefit their degree requirements, wasting time and money. All of the activities, some of which are repeated from last year, are based on that bottom line.

“Talk to your adviser, let the adviser help you,” Spitznagel said.

With activities such as, golf cart advising, where golf carts drive around campus, stopping students to inform awareness of advising. Mobile advising, where the will have tables set up in different buildings and lodges informing students on steps to getting advised. A major’s fair is also going to be held, where students can come and talk to faculty from all the different schools at IU Southeast.

There will also be workshops on how to maximize OneStart to the students benefit. This advising week is planned to inform many students like Daniel Hoskins, business sophomore. Hoskins said, “Who would advise me?” According to Spitznagel too many students have that same question.

“Students come to campus not knowing what they want to do,” Joy Cox, academic adviser for School of Natural Science, said. “The advising process therefore gives them options.”

“As an adviser you are able to provide students with various opportunities for introductory courses. After the first or second semester, students and their adviser have a better view on choosing a major. Those students who are proactive and have made out a plan, can still benefit from an adviser. Advisers know the little insights and are better able to help students do the degree plan a bit more accurately,” Cox said.

Advisers are not here to just help with your educational career; they too can provide information on opportunities once graduated.

“Advisers can tell about different careers within particular majors, offer Web sites to research more information into these fields of study, and recommend internships,” Cox said.

Advising is not just a check sheet, though that is also helpful, the role of the adviser is much like an assistant.

“At the end of it, our main goal should be teaching students to make up their own minds, make their own decisions. We give them the options and at the end the students have chose a major,” Cox said.

“There are students on this campus who have never been to an advser and courses they have taken are not matching up to any degree program and that’s where the danger is,” Cox said.

There has to be structure or students are going to waste money and time.

“I think that if students are going to go without an adviser they need to be really organized and keep up with bulletin and requirements for specific majors,” Amanda Goffinet, psychology senior, said.

Goffinett believes students overlook all the small details in major requirements.

“Students should utilize OneStart and the student progress report,” she said. Goffinett also encourages students to at least discuss their plan with one professor or adviser in specific departments.

“We had a lot of participation last year, but we are looking for even more”, Spitznagel said. “Students will be able to pre-register for spring classes in November.  It is important to think about being advised as soon as possible, enrollment is not the time to be advised.”

Spitznagel encourages students to go Academic Success Center as a point of contact and for students just getting started on advising.

“Your academic adviser should be your best friend, we are not here to pass any judgment, our bottom-line is student success,” Spitznagel said.

Staff Writer