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July 25, 2010 / Brent Sears

Dealing with Bad Academic Advisement

I happened to be on Facebook the other day and my brother, who is a senior in college at Ohio University, posted a comment on his wall about how bad college advisement is.  It was quickly followed up by a comments from “friends” on the ‘worthless’ nature of some advisors.

When I worked as a study abroad advisor I had a simple test that I asked every single advisee I met: Would you rate your advisor thumbs-up, thumbs-in-the-middle, or thumbs-down?  In my opinion the academic advisor is the most important person in a students college”higher education.”  They are the person that is there to help the student, who is new to the college, navigate and fulfill their academic requirements.  If a student gets bad advisement it could end up costing them another semester in college.  Depending on the college, that could be a cost of $20K.  Is there any other person, other than maybe the financial aid advisor, who could help more?  And all the have to do is make sure the credits line up and sequence correctly.

So what do you do if you give your advisor thumbs-in-the-middle or thumbs-down?  What does common sense tell you?  Change your advisor.  It varies depending on how the institution is set up, but if your advisor is also a professor, then changing can be as easy as going to the department secretary and asking for a new advisor.  Sometimes if you know a professor who is a great teacher, you can make a request.  It is worth a shot.

At the end of the day, you are paying too much money to go to an institution that gives you poor academic support. DON’T PUT UP WITH IT!!!! Find out how to make the switch.  Even with bad advisement, you are still responsible for your education.

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