Armed with a graduation check-off sheet from the College of Business, Sean Richardson a freshman business major at CSU saw an adviser this semester. Hoping to get some advice on what courses he should take next fall, Richardson left the meeting with mixed feelings.
“The College of Business has everything you need for graduation on a check-off sheet,” said Richardson referring to course selection. “I kind of knew what classes I wanted to take, but I also wanted to know which courses are related and should be taken together. My adviser told me basically everything on the sheet. I didn’t learn much new.”
With academic advising serving an important role in a student’s collegiate career, Associated Students of CSU is taking steps toward making the advising process at CSU more effective for students.
Ruth Arthur-Asmah, director of academics for ASCSU, is attempting to pass a policy that would generate a university-wide academic advising survey, asking students to evaluate their advising experience.
“The survey would entail questions from the academic colleges on how students feel about academic advising on campus,” Arthur-Asmah said.
To discover what isn’t working with academic advising is not the purpose of the survey, according to Arthur-Asmah, but the opposite.
“The survey will be used as a tool to evaluate good advising practices and ideas,” Arthur-Asmah said.
If the survey is distributed, students will be asked to fill out the survey after they have finished their advising meeting and before they receive their SMART form, Arthur-Asmah said. It will also give each department and college an opportunity to ask questions of their own.
“What makes this survey unique is the it entails a separate section of 15 questions, which the separate departments can ask of their students,” Arthur-Asmah said.
Another different survey ASCSU passed out last semester also has the academic advising in focus at CSU.
“We sent out one survey to every adviser on campus. At least one adviser from every department or department responded,” said Katie Clausen, the academic committee chair and vice president elect for ASCSU.
With the results of that survey in, ASCSU is attempting to initiate advising forums for the different colleges and departments.
“Right now, we’re going through and asking each academic college to do an advising forum, and then we want to invite all the advisers to come and discuss ideas,” Clausen said.
All of the work being done to improve advising at CSU is a good idea to Richardson.
“I think a better understanding of what options are available for us as students is important,” Richardson said.
Arthur-Asmah agrees. “We don’t want to say that all advisers on campus are bad. We want the survey to provide means for students to find out who is most helpful and to help the different departments improve the problems they see in their system.”