Students share opinions about academic advising in survey


    Correction: An earlier version of this story contained a photo that was mislabeled as a photo of a student in an advising session. The photo was actually from the Fogelson Honors Forum.

    The university's department of student affairs and quality enhancement released a survey that will measure students' opinions about academic advising.

    The National Survey of Student Engagement measures student and civic engagement. The survey is released every three years and targets first-year students and seniors.

    “This is the first year that NSSE has allowed us to do separate modules,“ Angela Taylor, the director of the student affairs and quality enhancement department, said. “We picked advising to be a module because we hear a lot from students about advising in both positive and negative ways.” 

    According to the 2009 NSSE survey, 79 percent of first-year students and 69 percent of seniors at TCU rated the quality of their academic advising as being good or excellent.

    However, senior social work major Jodie Sutton said that her adviser failed to notice that some of her courses did not count once she changed her major.

    “I was a nursing major, and as a nursing major, both natural science classes can be within the same subject, so I took those courses,” Sutton said.

    Sutton said she changed majors and met with her adviser to plan out her classes for the next few years.

    “My adviser never mentioned anything about my science classes,” Sutton said. “It wasn't until the summer before my senior year that I went onto my TCU account to view all the requirements I still had to meet that I realized my science courses no longer counted."

    Sutton said that she had to fit in another science class into her course schedule in order to graduate on time.

    “My schedule was extremely busy, and it was really hard for me to find one to fit in my schedule with such short notice,” Sutton said. “I felt that my adviser should have picked up on this when I first switched my major sophomore year.

    Sutton said she thinks advising should be mandatory all four years and that advisers need to pay more attention to little things like course requirements.

    “Had I not gone and looked at a page on my.tcu that I didn't even know existed, then I probably would have been expecting to graduate in May without having known about my science course,” Sutton said. “It's not just the adviser's responsibility, but they are there to catch things that students may not catch or understand.” 

    First-year movement science major Briyet Sigala said her adviser did a good job advising her when she was having difficulty in a class.

    “At the beginning of the semester, I wasn’t passing one of my anatomical classes due to the amount of work I was taking,” Sigala said. “I met with my adviser, and we ended up deciding that I should drop the class. But she suggested that I continue attending so that I would have an early start on the next semester.”

    Sigala said later in the semester her adviser helped her decide to change majors and plan out her new classes.

    “I decided that I wanted to change my major to movement science, and my adviser was able help me make the decision,” Sigala said. “Even though she didn’t have to, she helped me plan my next semester with my changed major.”

    Taylor said she wants 500 more students to participate in the survey and for students to make sure to check their emails and share their opinions.

    “We have all heard the stories, so tell us about it so we can fix it,” Taylor said.

    Students who participate in the survey by June 1 will be eligible to win a $250 gift certificate.