I went to my advising session last week with my Degree Progress Reprot in hand and the rest of my time at UWSP planned. I knew which classes I need to graduate and when I plan to take them. I spent less than five minutes in my adviser’s office.
Since freshman year, my advising sessions have gone similarly. I learned early on to read my DPR, and I mapped out my classes after declaring an English major. It was pretty simple and only took a bit of thought and time.
As UWSP administrators consider cutting the Student Academic Advising Center, which primarily helps undeclared majors, we need to also consider how the students who need these services will get help. It seems the responsibility to help these students will fall on professors.
According to a 2013-2014 report, the center helped 744 undeclared students during that academic year.
We’ve frequently talked about how packed professors schedules are, so I can’t imagine how adding another responsibility, especially of this magnitude, would impact their time.
Cuts are inevitable, and the center probably isn’t necessary at UWSP. However, if we cut a service so large, we need to consider changing advising to relieve professors taking on extra duties.
We need to make advising sessions optional campus-wide and encourage students to plan their own futures. Let’s also make DPR’s easier to read so that everyone can see exactly what classes they’ve completed and which they have to enroll in.
Some students will still need help, and at that point, they can ask their adviser. Many students, like me, would be grateful for the extra time they didn’t have to spend talking with their adviser about an already-planned schedule.