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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Advising uneven among colleges

Certain colleges at the UA offer a variety of advising resources while others are more limited in what they can offer.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has 5,412 students, 20 different majors and 19 advisers, according to the UA advising website and UA Fact Book.

John McNeill is an academic adviser for six different majors within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences: sociology, linguistics, journalism, philosophy, politics, economics and law general education and undecided students. He said that although it “”looks rather impressive”” that he advises six different majors, it is “”not that difficult.””

McNeill is the general education adviser for three majors which all contain the same basic general education requirements and three others that all have additional faculty advisers.

McNeill said the wait time to see him depends on the time of semester, but priority registration is “”rough.”” McNeill said he asks students to make an appointment more than a week in advance during registration. McNeill also tries to accommodate other students through first-come, first-served walk-in hours, which he holds for four-and-a-half hours Monday through Friday.

Jenna Naegle, a political science junior, said she believes that there are not enough advising appointment times to go around and the appointments themselves “”go really fast”” during walk-in advising. Students have 20 minutes to talk with their specific adviser, according to Naegle, and, once walk-in advising hours end, the students waiting in line cannot be seen that day.

“”If I could change anything, there would be more appointment times or different walk-in hours instead of the same times every day,”” she said.

Eitan Cramer, a journalism sophomore, said he had “”managed to pull through (with the current advising system) but for incoming freshmen I can imagine it must be extremely challenging.””

The UA School of Journalism lost its adviser, Karen Weaver, at the end of Spring 2010. Now McNeill advises the school.

“”It (seeing the current adviser) is not the same as having a walk-in adviser in the department,”” he said. “”SBS is a big department and journalism is such a tailored program that SBS can’t encompass advising all of the journalism students when it has other departments it has to focus on.””

Not all students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences have had problems with the current advising system.

Daniel Mathis, a linguistics junior, said that the linguistics department “”makes life really easy”” by allowing students to book appointments through their website.

“”I’ve never had a problem with advising for my major,”” he said. “”They have always been really helpful and always put me on the right track.””

The Eller College of Management has 6,297 total students, five advisers for the eight majors it encompasses and five additional pre-business advisers. They have three advising options including 30 minute scheduled in-person appointments, “”quick advising,”” which is walk-in advising for five hours on Mondays and Tuesdays and three hours on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and email advising, which is for quick, general assistance.

Skipton Drulias, a business management junior, sees his adviser twice per semester and says the system is “”good the way it is.”” Drulias makes his appointments online ahead of time because every Wednesday the Eller College puts up available advising times for the following week. He uses “”quick advising”” whenever he has questions on a non-pressing matter and waits about five minutes to be seen.

Students in other colleges also find the advising system well organized and helpful.

Dan Shtutman, a physiology junior, met with his adviser at the beginning of every semester during his freshman year and used the “”online major map”” starting his sophomore year in order to see what classes were necessary to stay on track. Getting an in-person appointment is “”no problem””, according to Shtutman, as long as students look at the online appointment calendar about a week or two in advance.

“”I think it (the advising system) is really effective,”” he said. “”I was treated with respect and positive reinforcement. I gained great insight and my adviser knew what classes were hard, easy and interesting, and even gave me ideas to do independent study for graded credit.””

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