For college students, frequently meeting with their adviser is an important part of educational success.
In most cases, Weber State University does not require students to meet with their advisers before registering for classes, but college of science adviser Monica Linford stresses the importance.
“We don’t want students to just come in, take a few classes and then drop out, ending up in debt,” Linford said. “We want them to get on the track, stay in school and finish and become healthy, productive members of society.”
Linford specializes in student retention, which includes tracking a student’s success and helping students through their education.
“There have been many students who have been thankful for having been able to talk to me,” Linford said. “The Journal of Education says that students who know that there is someone who cares about them at their university, those students are much more likely to finish their education and not drop out.”
Linford says it’s all too easy for students to to make mistakes when registering and waste their money, so she strongly recommends advising sessions.
Unlike Weber State, the University of Utah does require its students to meet with their adviser before registering. For University of Utah sophomore Michael Marion, this requirements has caused some problems.
“Beyond orientation, which already requires meeting with your adviser, you are prevented from registering for your spring semester classes before scheduling an appointment for your first two years at University of Utah,” Marion said.
Marion’s issue with having mandatory advisory appointments is that often when spring registration opens many of the appointment times with student’s particular advisers are full, leaving students unable to even reserve a seat in a class until meeting with the adviser.
“It’s honestly fine that it’s required, because some people might not know what they’re doing,” Marion said. “It’s just that it should be more widely known to students that they have to meet their advisers if it’s required.”
During his fall semester, Marion tried registering for his spring semester a month after it became available, only to realize that he couldn’t until he met with his adviser.
“It was already a month late, and my adviser didn’t have time to meet with me until a few weeks later,” Marion said. “By then most of those classes were full.”
He believes more awareness of this requirement this problem could have prevented this problem. However, he thinks requiring students who otherwise would have never reached out to their advisers is beneficial.
“You’re still meeting with your adviser, as opposed to never doing it if it wasn’t required,” Marion said. “I accidentally took a physics course not knowing my calculus already fulfilled it, that’s something an adviser would have easily caught.”
Not only are advisers available to help students with their course schedules, but Weber offers programs designed to keep students on track.
One of the newer programs designed to help students is the Bounceback Program.
The Bounceback Program is meant to help students maintain good academic standing at Weber State by aiming to help struggling students raise grade point averages. When a student’s GPA drops below 2.00, the minimum requirement for good standing, that student may face academic warning, probation or suspension.
This program puts students on a registration hold until they complete a short online workshop on college success strategies and academic policies as well as a mandatory appointment with their academic adviser.
Students who complete this program will then meet with their advisers in a follow-up appointment two years later, and students who complete the program before eight weeks into the semester will not receive a registration hold.
Another program designed to help students is Starfish.
Starfish is a new tracking program in which teachers are able to notify advisers like Linford of students they may have who are struggling. Advisers then reach out to those students for the support they may need.
“We have a system in place to catch those students who are struggling,” Linford said. “In that way we’re reaching more students.”
College advisers like Monica Linford are available via appointment for any students within their specific college throughout the semester.
“I would say you should go in to see your adviser if you have any question ever,” Linford said. “And I always say, ‘I have chocolate on my desk, come and see me anytime!’ I don’t think you should ever be afraid to go and ask your advisor anything.”
Find your advisor and schedule an appointment at https://portalapps.weber.edu/advisors/