EHHS students have difficulties in making advising appointments

Kelley Stoklosa

College lacks advisers to meet the demand

Many students in the College of Education, Health and Human Services are having trouble scheduling appointments with their advisers.

Tabitha Pearson, junior human development and family studies major, has been logging into the advising Web site to get an appointment every night for two weeks. Last semester, Pearson said she tried for more than a month.

“Sometimes if you do find a spot, by the time you finish filling in your information, you still don’t get the appointment if someone puts in their information faster than you,” Pearson said.

The only way to make an appointment is to log onto the school’s advising Web site. Appointments are only offered 14 days in advance.

There are currently five advisers and two graduate assistants in charge of almost 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

“Part of it is there are just more students than in the past, and that has exuberated the problem,” said Senior Associate Provost Timothy Chandler.

The college is aware of the problem.

“The advisers are doing the best they can,” said Joanne Arhar, associate dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services. “Five is not enough, but we are hiring two more advisers within the next month.”

A hiring committee is scheduled to meet next week.

“We are hiring one of the adviser positions to replace an adviser who left, and we were authorized by the dean to hire for a new position because we have such a need for additional advising staff to better serve our students,” said Charity Snyder, director of undergraduate advising and licensure for the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

She wrote in an e-mail that the National Academic Advising Association recommends a student to adviser ratio of 300-to-1. Hiring two new advisers would not reach the ratio, but Snyder said she believes it’s a step in the right direction.

Time will tell how much of a difference students see with two additional advisers.

“If we find we need more, we will hire more,” said Daniel Mahony, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services. “We think that will be enough, and we don’t want to over hire and take away from hiring faculty who could do other things.”

Pearson said she thought hiring more advisers would help.

“It won’t hurt the situation,” she said. “Even one more would help. I’d have to go through a new semester to judge if they need even more advisers or not.”

Chandler said faculty members doing more academic advising might also improve the situation.

The advisers have eliminated all non-crucial administrative responsibilities in an attempt to meet with as many students as possible this semester, Arhar said.

The immediate concern is whether all the students who need appointments this semester will be able to get them.

Mahony said he thinks students will get the help they need, but it will just take longer than they would like.

Snyder was reluctant say the same thing.

“The answer is likely no, that not all students will be able to have a regularly scheduled 30-minute advising appointment,” she said. “However, I am confident that all students will have been serviced in some way to meet their immediate advising needs.”

Students should explore other options, such as walk-in appointments, on-call advising and e-mailing his or her adviser, Mahony said.

Contact College of Education, Health and Human Services reporter Kelley Stoklosa at

[email protected]