QU advisors: Making the grade?

Stacey Kinnier

Without them, scheduling would be a nightmare. Choosing which classes to take and when to take them would be like driving cross-country without a map. They are your guides, your sources and the backstage crew to your academic lives. They are our advisors, and for many Quinnipiac students, they are lifesavers.

Scheduling for the 2007-08 academic year is in full swing. Many students have shifted their attention to meeting with advisors to plan for the fall semester.

Quinnipiac requires students to meet with their advisors before registering for classes and for some students, their relationship with their advisor is strictly based on an academic level.

“I don’t think that it is that important because I think an advisor’s job is more objective than subjective. Their job is to help you make the right choices, not to be your best friend,” said Andy Pilc, a sophomore physical therapy major.

After a bad experience with his advisor this year, Pilc feels even more strongly that there is no need to get to know his advisor on a personal level.

However, for others, the importance of getting to know their advisor is crucial in their success as a student.

“It is very beneficial to maintain a good relationship with your advisor. My advisor happens to be one of my professors and if it weren’t for him being my advisor I wouldn’t have gotten into the course as it was already filled by the time I had to register,” said Suzie Brothman, a sophomore psychology major.

Whether a student has had a good or bad experience with his or her advisor, students have options when it comes to choosing an advisor.

One aspect of advising that many students are not aware of is if a student is unhappy with their current advisor, he or she has the ability to switch advisors. A form must be filled out, explaining why the student wants to change advisors. If the advisor they wish to switch to has room for them and the switch is approved, then the student is able to make the change.

This ability allows students to feel as if they have more control over their academic situation here at Quinnipiac.

Nancy Worthington, a media studies professor in the School of Communications, feels that it is important for students to have someone to guide them through their academic years.

“I do believe it’s important for students to have advisors throughout college because they need support and information about different issues during different stages of their college careers,” Worthington said. “Course requirements, details on individual courses, appropriate minors, internships, jobs, etc.”

Worthington said she enjoys getting to know her advisees.

“We often don’t have a lot of time, but it’s a nice opportunity to talk to students outside of the classroom and get a sense of their interests,” she said.

Worthington feels that being an advisor is an important part of being a professor.

“It’s important because it’s an opportunity to assist students and to build relationships with them that aren’t related to grades,” she said.

Brothman believes that this kind of relationship gives her an advantage when it comes to certain situations such as studying abroad.

“When I decided to study abroad being on my advisor’s good side definitely came in handy as he has been willing to work with me, finding any answers to questions that I might have about the process,” Brothman said.

So a student’s desire to get to know his or her advisor on a more personal level will in fact vary. However, at the end of the day, what all students on this campus share is the need for an advisor’s guidance in their academic lives.