Are academic advisors actually helpful?

It’s that super fun time of the year again when Monmouth students wait in anticipation to register for next year’s classes. Between finals and preparations for next year, this troubling time can be extremely stressful; so, students look for some guidance and assistance from their academic advisors. But, are university advisors doing all they can to help students, or just enough to barely get the job done?
Luckily, most of our editors have had nothing but positive experiences with their advisors. “I visit my advisor bi-weekly, and she is incredibly helpful. I would be lost without her,” said one editor.
Another editor added, “I feel my academic advisor is very helpful. Anytime I need help with classes or advice on similar matters, they always go through everything with me very thoroughly to make sure I have a full understanding.”

Other editors chimed in explaining how their advisors are always there to help with whatever issues they are struggling with. Additionally, most of our editors noted how easy it is to get in touch with their advisors whenever necessary.

An editor explained, “It’s not difficult to reach my advisor at all, I just shoot him an email or go find him.”
“My advisor always answers her emails the day I send them, and she is always willing to fit me into her schedule if needed,” shared another editor.

Most of our editors shared that their advisors are available by email, text, and phone throughout the regular work week.

However, one of our editors seems to be an outlier from the rest: “I think it can be challenging to get ahold of advisors sometimes. But once you do, they steer you in the right direction of whatever you might need. With that being said, I do feel that advisors think that we know what we are doing and might steer us in the right direction, but think we can do the rest. Additionally, there have been many times I have needed something from my advisor, and it has taken weeks to receive any contact back.”

This fact made some of the editors start to question the fairness of students being given advisors by the faculty, rather than having the liberty to choose an advisor themselves. Most of the editors agreed that allowing students to choose or transfer advisors if they feel their needs are not being met would eliminate situations similar to this.

One editor said, “Students should have the option to choose their advisor, 100 percent. Students should feel like their advisor is helping them, not harming them.”

Another editor chimed in, “I am constantly hearing horror stories that students are experiencing with their advisors. I believe there should be a collaborative effort where no one is working against each other. If the student is not getting their needs met, I believe it is important for that student to seek another advisor to ensure they have a positive academic experience.”

Another editor agreed, “An advisor is there to give you guidance and help with any questions or concerns you have. Therefore, students should feel comfortable with their advisor and if they feel that their needs are not being met, I think they should have the chance to change their advisor.”

However, one editor saw the flipside of this idea. They said, “I do believe students should have this option to choose an advisor, as I have heard some horror stories of academic advisors who don’t even respond to emails or calls. However, it could put more stress on advisors depending on how many students they have to take care of.”

Regardless, we are all on track to graduate, which I guess is all you can really ask for, as one editor explained, “I’ve had a total of four advisors over my time at Monmouth. Some have been better than others, but at the end of the day, I’m graduating on time, and I enjoyed the classes I took over the past four years. That’s really all I can ask for, so I do think they successfully helped me get to where I need to be.”

All in all, it appears Monmouth’s advisors make an effort to connect with the students and provide assistance when necessary. However, if you feel your needs are not being met, don’t hesitate to reach out to other members of the faculty. You pay to go here, so get all you can out of your education at MU!