Instability in academic advising

Students too often face high turnover rates and lack of access to academic advisers.

As students prepare for another round of class registration this week, many will make urgent phone calls and emails to their advisers with last-minute questions.

Academic advisers can provide a sense of relief and assurance to students feeling lost in the sea of 30,000 undergraduates. Managing uncertain class schedules, fulfilling prerequisite criteria and submitting UROP proposals are all issues made easier with the personal relationship and guidance of an academic adviser.

But many students are finding issues with adviser turnover and accessibility, and the Minnesota Student Association is planning to take its concerns to the Board of Regents.

Developing a personal relationship with an adviser is important for students who are unsure of their major or are looking to create their own. Though a student’s record and notes may transfer when they’re shuffled from adviser to adviser, fostering a meaningful relationship becomes difficult, if not impossible. Month-long waiting periods are also a burden for busy students.

Whether it requires hiring more advisers or a policy aiming to decrease adviser turnover, we hope the Board of Regents will take MSA’s presentation seriously and work to make advising a more streamlined, reliable and individually focused resource for students.