EDITORIAL: Great leadership empowers

Photo by AMANDA CASTRO-CRIST | The Ranger


Photo by AMANDA CASTRO-CRIST | The Ranger
Photo by AMANDA CASTRO-CRIST | The Ranger

Students scurrying from class to class, professors hustling to get papers graded and tests prepared and advisers directing students on the course to graduation; school is back in session.

Colleges have a responsibility to provide students with an education equal to tuition costs, qualified teachers, a safe learning environment, good learning equipment and proper guidance toward completion.

Professors, entrusted with broadening students’ minds with facts, rather than opinion, are expected to deliver excellence, honesty and fairness.

Advisers have a duty to know and understand the needs of the student, expectations the student must meet to graduate and what the school’s policies are regarding substitutions, dual majors, CLEP testing and any other vital information the school wants students to know or accomplish before receiving a certificate or diploma.

Students are obligated to know which courses are required, which still need to be met and what substitutions, if any, may be made to meet their degree requirements.

Not every student, teacher or adviser is the same. Some are better equipped or more helpful than others, while some seem to not care to try at all.

Students are busy juggling work, school, families and, for many, health issues.

Advisers also are busy trying to balance teaching, family, advising and sponsoring clubs. In truth, there are days where everyone needs a break or feels like quitting. Being rude or disrespectful helps no one and only creates bitterness in those at whom it is directed.

Students: When meeting with an adviser, make an appointment, come prepared and be polite. That makes advisers want to help students more. Have respect for their position and time. If unable to keep an appointment, call and cancel or reschedule.

If an emergency meeting is necessary, call ahead when possible; they may be able to give aid over the phone. If that doesn’t work, drop by the office but expect to wait. Those who have appointments take precedence over those without.

After receiving help, remember to thank them for their assistance. Remember, they are people, too, and it always is nice to be appreciated. When meeting with an adviser, dress and act as if going to a job interview.

Advisers: When meeting with students, show respect. Having a degree is a privilege, not an entitlement to throw at students who have not yet reached the level of education most instructors, professors and/or advisers have. Leadership is guiding people in the right direction and empowering them.

Force is a misuse of power that often is used by people in authority who are dissatisfied with their position in life.

If advisers force students to submit to their ideals, demands or choices without explaining how or why they should do so, students might revolt or quit. Students seek advice from counselors who already have walked the path they have just begun.

Advisers need to ask students what their plans are and why they chose to pursue them.

When advisers don’t know the answer to a student’s question, they should find someone who does. There is no shame in bringing in a third party, and it breeds trust in those seeking advice because they know the adviser has their best interest at heart.

High dropout rates reflect poorly on institutions and students alike. Inefficiency creates financial hardship for students.

When students are told to take unnecessary classes, some of the responsibility falls on their adviser, but some also should land squarely on the shoulders of the students. After all, it is their education, and they should be aware of what they do or do not need to take to meet degree requirements.

It is worthwhile for everyone involved to slow down, research the facts and take a moment to do things right.

In short, preparing for graduation and transfer to a four-year school is a shared responsibility.

Each student will be a success, and AC will prosper as its reputation for excellence grows – if everyone does their part.

See what students and staff are saying about advising here and here.