Our View: Advice about the advising system

DKS Editors

During their first visit to Kent State, almost all students meet with an adviser. Incoming freshmen scheduled classes for the first time after meeting with an adviser during the day-and-a-half they spent on campus over the summer as part of Destination Kent State.

According to the Advisor-Student Responsibilities document available on Advising Services’ Web site, “Academic advising is one of the most important services you will receive at Kent State University.”

Lately, however, not all students have been able to receive the benefit.

Students in the College of Education, Health and Human Services sometimes spend more than two weeks trying to schedule an appointment. The college has five advisers and two graduate students responsible for helping almost 5,500 students.

The Advisor-Student Responsibilities document holds students accountable for a series of actions including preparing appropriately for advising appointments, reading pertinent sections of the course catalog, monitoring the academic calendar and meeting all deadlines. Furthermore, it says it’s students’ responsibility to seek advice when needed and accept the responsibility for accomplishing their academic goals.

Yet, students cannot accomplish any of these responsibilities if they cannot schedule an appointment with the right adviser.

Advisers’ responsibilities include helping students develop class schedules for upcoming semesters, assisting students applying for graduation and informing students of semester and yearly deadlines, according to the document.

Recently, the Provost’s Office proposed a policy to the Education Policies Council that will ask undeclared-major students to meet with an adviser after completing 45 credit hours. With the already limited amount of advisers, this new policy will only place a burden on students.

Last academic year, some colleges began offering decentralized advising in hopes of offering better and faster services to students. Today, there are 19 advising units across the eight campuses. The College of Communication and Information divided its advising system among three schools. The School of Fashion Design and Merchandising under the College of Arts and Sciences has its own advising system.

According to the National Academic Advising Association, the recommended ratio of students to adviser is 300-to-1.

Students willing to meet with an adviser are likely to fulfill their responsibilities. Now colleges should be liable for having enough trained advisers available to students.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.