Problematic advising needs reform

Illustration by ANTHONY KISER | The Ranger


Advising is an important aspect of college that can often be a frustrating experience for many students. The challenge of choosing what classes to take and attempting to make them fit into a busy schedule is already difficult and can be even more so at community schools like Amarillo College. 

With such a diverse demographic, many students live different lifestyles that require different needs in terms of scheduling and advising. To better fit the needs of students, AC needs advising support that places greater emphasis on student communication.

One of the most common complaints among students is that it can be difficult to get in contact with their adviser when necessary. The option to schedule an appointment is always available, but appointments are often filled weeks in advance, which can be a long time when considering how quickly college terms move. This can result in students not being able to sign up for classes until days before they begin, which is not a realistic option for many students as they have jobs and other responsibilities that they must balance with their education. 

A problem that is more unique to community colleges like AC is the challenge of handling returning students who have been removed from education for long periods of time, or individuals who are older and are pursuing higher education for the first time. 

For both of these common groups, the idea of figuring out where to start with going back to school can be an intimidating task. Someone who has never gone to college may not understand what a transcript or GPA is, and may need more communication than the average student. What seems like normal issues that arise for most students during registration may be the hurdle that holds back those who want to attend college for the first time. Having the advising resources available to help individuals like these in a personal and timely manner can be a key to their academic success. 

Advising should be a top priority for AC. It is crucial to student success and leaves a huge impact on student’s academic experience. Students need to be able to access their advisers more easily, and advisors need the time to be able to develop those relationships with students. Advising at any school is a challenge and should be handled with plenty of attention. Ensuring that the advising department has the amount of staff and resources to properly help students with their needs should be a priority.

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