If there’s anything that Cal State Fullerton has taught me to absolutely dread, it’s the necessary but frustrating process of going to advising during the semester.
Though my experiences only come from the College of Communications advising, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if students faced a similar impending doom in other departments on campus.
Getting an appointment for the College of Communications can be as grueling as humanly possible, even though it’s essential to one’s future.
Ultimately, this is a failure on the school for not being able to provide this basic necessity for students. Instead of alleviating students’ worries of academics or graduation, the advising process is an unneeded hurdle that many end up going through.
For the College of Communications in particular, there have been numerous times when I’ve seen a particular ill-fated routine occur.
It doesn’t matter what time a student arrives because the limited amount of seats are always occupied, the room crowded by equally bored students. The clocks seems to slow down to an excruciatingly slow pace, almost as if the second hand is only moved by a student’s tears. A literal tumbleweed could pass by at any moment, a symbol of everyone’s inevitable mental breakdown.
Once students are finally given the opportunity to be advised, the clock seems to triple it’s speed. Before one can compose their thoughts, it’s over, and all pressing questions are thrown out of the sixth floor of College Park.
For the College of Communications, advising has appointments and walk-ins, yet it’s basically impossible to ever schedule an online appointment. No matter how many times one may try to book an appointment online, the calendar is empty, like a repeated slap in the face.
It should be pointed out that this isn’t the academic advisors’ fault for this series of unfortunate events. With only a few advisors to provide information for so many students, their time gets filled quickly, leaving students frustrated but understanding.
What truly seems worrisome in these circumstances of academic advising is that in my time here, it feels like the norm. Students expect this to happen and get frustrated yet these frustrations just get ignored. No significant changes have been made to improve academic advising and no aggressive message has been made to call out this all too obvious issue (well, until now).
As a whole, the university and College of Communications have to recognize the importance of academic advising, and the error in dismissing these prevalent issues.
Academic advising is impactful for students and it can contribute to the overall satisfaction a student feels towards a school, according to a 2011 study by the University of Nebraska. It can serve as an essential support system, giving confused wanderers some much needed direction towards their path and reassuring those who just need to feel more secure.
Academic advising at the College of Communications at CSUF, and in extension, every department, must undergo a serious makeover with student feedback to try to alleviate current issues that frustrate students. Instead of making it a long and tedious process that students like me absolutely despise, it should be an enriching, effortless supplement.
Doing so won’t be easy, but if the university wants to deliver quality resources to benefit students, then it has to do better by turning a dreadful process into a more satisfying and positive experience.