Required advising helps students stay on track and understand their major


Academic Advisor H. Bate Agbor-Baiyee discusses scheduling with a student during an advising appointment on the 5th floor of the Kent State Library on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014.

Tristan Buirley

As the end of the semester is getting closer, students begin looking for classes to take next semester. Before they can schedule, all Kent State students have to go through required advising with advisors from their college.

Required advising has been in place since the summer of 2012, but the idea has been brewing for a few years.

“We did a needs analysis years ago, before my time, to find out what students needed,” said Steven Antalvari, director of university advising. “We found out a few things: that students were not graduating on time and that they were not building the relationship they need with teachers, advisers and fellow students. Our front line for this were the academic advisers.”

Through the needs analysis, the position of director of university advising was created to make advising unified across campus. Another big thing that they found they needed was required advising to help students get connected on campus, build the relationship they needed and to actually get the help they needed to graduate on time,  Antalvari said.

“Required advising serves as a guaranteed touch point for students each semester,” Antalvari said. “By now, freshmen, sophomores and juniors all just know what to do.”

Enya Hennings, freshman fashion merchandising major, said she wouldn’t know what to do to schedule if it wasn’t for her advising appointment.

“I went to my required appointment because it was, indeed, required,” Hennings said. “It was helpful because as a freshman you don’t really know what you need to do.”

Hennings said she learned more from the handouts she received than from talking with her advisor. “Let’s be honest,” she said, “I wouldn’t have known that I needed to register for myself if I didn’t go.”

Finding the right classes to take can turn into a struggle for students, but Sandi Randulic said required advising is in place in order to help get rid of some of those fears.

“I believe required advising has helped students to be proactive in knowing what they want to register for prior to registration date,” said Randulic, office of advising and academic services director for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the College of the Arts.

“It helps students stay on track by coming in to meet with the advising team,” she said.

Some students, like sophomore public relations major Taylor Meade, know they’re on track and don’t see the need for advising.

“I haven’t really had the best experiences with it, I just wish that my advisor was more helpful,” said Meade. “For the most part I look at my GPS and know what I have to take and it seems like I’m doing all of the work. It seems like I just go in to get approval for registering.”

The GPS, Graduation Planning System, is a sort of roadmap for students to look at and see what classes they need to take when in order to graduate on time, according to Kent State’s GPS Audit and Plan website.

“I think it’s good for the freshmen to have it required, but after your freshman year it’s simple to follow the GPS,” said Meade. “To me, I think of the advising as for people who are struggling with their major or who need guidance.”

Hennings wouldn’t go to advising if it wasn’t required, and said she would regret that decision.

“It would have been one of those things I left until last minute because I don’t know how much goes into it and how to shortcut it by looking  up what you want before registering,” she said.

Students who have not had an advising appointment yet can go to and click on thier college to schedule an appointment. Depending on the credits that a student has and is in progress for this semester, registration dates are coming up. Registration opens up for students every week day until Nov. 21.

Contact Tristan Buirley at [email protected].