Graduating seniors have ranked the Schieffer School of Journalism the lowest in quality of academic advising out of all the schools on campus.The advising problem at the Schieffer School, said Tommy Thomason, director of the school, stems from the high number of adjunct faculty members. Adjuncts do not participate in advising, so the weight of advising lies on the shoulders of the 13 full-time faculty members, Thomason said.
The College of Communication has almost 600 students and 13 advising faculty members. The Neeley School of Business – which is ranked highest in quality of advising – has more than 1,700 students and only four advisers.
The difference? The Neeley School has a central advising center.
Its center employs four full-time professional advisers, all of whom are trained in either higher education or counseling services, said Lynn Cole, assistant dean of the Neeley School.
William Slater, dean of the College of Communication, which houses the Schieffer School, has proposed a similar advising center for the College of Communication. Slater said he proposed the center five years ago, and it was denied. He proposed it yet again six weeks ago, and the proposal is awaiting approval from the provost.
A College of Communication advising center would be the ideal solution to the advising problem. Having a trained professional whose entire job is to be knowledgeable about the curriculum and degree plan requirements would have undeniable benefits.
The center would take pressure off faculty members who have previously been forced to balance teaching full-time and advising 50 to 60 students each.
It would also ensure that each student is getting the individual attention he or she needs, and that the advice is of the highest quality.
The university should offer the best advising possible. Since advising centers have proven successful at other schools on campus, there is no reason the proposal shouldn’t pass this time around.
Managing editor Aly Fleet for the editorial board.