When you get to college, each student is assigned an academic advisor. We’ve seen many go through college without taking advantage of their advisor. We recommend these tips to effectively utilizing your academic advisor.
Tips to help you better utilize your academic advisor
1. Have Patience
Your school did not employ one academic advisor for each one of the students they have. That means you have to share your advisor with other students. You might thus want to exercise a bit of patience when dealing with them if you will get the best out of every meeting
2. Start Early
The earlier you know your academic advisor and start building a relationship with them, the better for you. They will have a better understanding of you at different stages during your college matriculation and know how best to help you. That is opposed to going to meet them when you start having problems, and they find it hard to form a basis of judgment in assisting you.
3. Know Their Limits
Your academic advisor is not superman. To get the best out of them, you must be willing to accept the fact that they are there to help you with a lot of departmental-related problems and might be limited in other areas. For example, you should go to the financial aid office when related issues come up, not your advisor. They also might not be able to tell you if your classes would be hard or not. Keep meetings within the scope of their offering.
4. Check Your Email
One of the ways you can help your academic advisor help you is by checking your email regularly. It is not unheard of that advisors prefer to contact students under their guidance via email. If you keep missing important information they send you, how then will you be able to enjoy the resources offered?
5. Have Doubts?
…go see your academic advisor. What else are you waiting for?
Whenever you feel that you are not in the clear with an issue, seeing your advisor is a good bet in such a time. The worst-case scenario is that your advisor won’t be able to help you with that issue. The silver lining in that cloud is that they will be in the best position to point you in the direction of an answer to your questions.
6. Go Prepared
Whenever you have a scheduled meeting with your advisor, don’t go there without the intention of taking something away. Prepare your questions beforehand. In the off chance you’ve got none, prepare to take notes from whatever comments they make or pieces of advice they give.
7. Be Specific
When communicating with your academic advisor – especially via emails/ other text media – being specific is the least you can do to help them help you better. If you have a problem, have a class you want to register for, or anything at all, including any information you deem relevant to the cause. Don’t waste time by leaving your academic advisor fishing for information.