By Ariel Romo
A few years ago, I was a freshman who thought I knew everything there was to know about education at a university. As an undeclared student my first year, I was forced to meet with my advisor a minimum of two times per quarter. At the time, this bothered me. Today, as a fourth-year student I realize the true value of advising and the positive impact my undeclared advisor had on my college career.
Being a freshman on campus can be intimidating and it does not get easier when it is time to choose classes. It can be hard to choose the right courses that will lead a student to graduate on time. Yet, finding someone who can guide students through college is easy. Cal Poly Pomona has advisors for each major and each student. These advisors help students choose the right classes to take and can also help students with additional school-related and even career-related tasks.
The problem? Not all departments require students to meet with their advisors.
There is a reason undeclared students and students whose GPAs fall below 2.0 are required to see an advisor at CPP. This should be the case for all students on campus.
According to a research thesis from Kelly Pargett, a graduate student at the University of Nebraska, regularly seeing an advisor creates a positive college experience. Pargett discovered that, “developing a professional relationship with one’s faculty or academic advisor has significant benefits on not only student development, but overall student satisfaction with college as well.”
Navigating your way through college can be stressful, but when you have an experienced faculty member there to assist you, that stress is taken away.
During my second year of college I declared my liberal studies major. Since I was no longer required to meet with an advisor, I did not. Confused about which classes to take, I took random classes and told myself they could be used as electives. As the quarter started, I realized that a class I had assumed would be easy was extremely difficult. I failed my first class, and my GPA suffered.
I realized that had I met with my advisor to discuss my class schedule and to ask questions about the classes I needed to take, this could have been avoided. I had no direction on my own, but with an advisor the path was and still is clear. From meeting with my advisor, I eventually realized my career goals and switched to my final major, journalism, in my third year.
Some students might have had negative experiences with their advisor, and they might be against speaking to an advisor again. This of course is horrible, but you don’t have to see your specific advisor. In fact, there are some colleges on campus such as the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Education and Integrative Studies and the College of Business, to name a few, that have advising centers. These centers have advisors who will see any student within the college.
Annette Mastin, an advisor for the advising center of C.L.A.S.S., said that some students feel intimidated to meet with their assigned advisors, however they feel open to speak to advisors in the advising center. She also mentioned that students who go to advising are more proactive in their education and have plans to help them graduate.
Of course there are some students who might argue that they don’t have the time in their schedule to see an advisor, but at CPP you do! U-Hour is a great time for students with busy schedules to see an advisor.
Students should seek advising regularly. Although seeing an advisor isn’t mandatory for all colleges at this time, it should be. Graduating in four years is rare, but with mandatory advising, this could become a reality again.
Ariel Romo is the treasurer of Cal Poly Pomona Bridges.
Sungah Choi / The Poly Post
Students should regularly visit their advisors
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