Toward the end of every semester, students head to their academic advisers to decide which classes they should take or to discuss the directions their degree plans are taking.But what about the student with multiple majors or minors? Or the premajor? Or the student considering various options and doesn’t know which direction to take?
Advisers may not be able to help these students sufficiently. They cannot necessarily answer questions about issues or classes outside the department, and they may not have time to fully discuss career plans and various options within the school.
Advising can significantly affect a student’s process toward his or her degree and future. One bad class suggestion can make the difference between four years and five. Bad or one-sided information can lead students onto paths that won’t take them where they want to go.
Academic advising, while helpful, is not always enough. Sometimes students need a different type of advice.
Now TCU offers peer advising, today through Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Sadler Hall 203 – not to replace academic advising, but to complement it. Students will be able to discuss with other students next semester’s class schedules as well as career plans and issues outside their majors.
Now, instead of, or in addition to, contacting an adviser to discuss whether to finish writing emphasis courses within a major or outside of it, a student can discuss options with another student who has been there. Students may learn valuable lessons from others’ experiences they will not be able to get from teachers.
Adding an extra (optional) element to the advising process, as long as students continue to visit their academic advisers, is a step in the right direction. Having one student tell another student, “Watch out for this; I made this mistake, so you should avoid it” can be a valuable contribution to a college career.
As advising improves, so will students’ academic experiences.
Opinion editor Stephanie Weaver for the editorial board