Do you wonder what counselors are like at AWC SLLC (better known as academic advisors in the college realm)? Most of us have probably asked ourselves what the advisors will be like, and some may have gone as far as questioning their potential importance. Some of them would look like they do not even care about your problems. Through this post, we will establish a firm definition of “academic advising” and delve into advisors’ involvement with the students.
An academic advisor does just that, what their title proclaims. They are here to provide guidance when we are navigating through the vastness of career options. According to our very own college’s website, our advisors are “guiding students into, through, and beyond their college experience”. To eliminate any potential confusion, academic advisors are not counselors who offer therapy.
We must realize that all evaluation is based on criteria. We used criteria for recognizing the usefulness of our academic advisors. You might ask “what is the criteria?, what makes it neutral?” Our criteria is specific: advisors must offer good solutions, demonstrate a sufficient level of experience, and maintain a relationship that they feel will aid the student. The Arizona Western College website introduces and defines to the public what our “academic advisement services” are about and how it works. It mentions that students are taught to discover their interests, explore their options, create their college experience, and prepare their future. (click here, to read for yourself.) We also found online, that our state’s university “University of Arizona” shares a similar definition for the purposes of academic advising (compare them by clicking here). It seems that there is a general census among colleges and universities about what academic advising is, and that there are not any “specialized” advisors who exercise abilities that the other doesn’t. (To further compare our intrastate colleges with another university’s opinion, watch this video.) Not only through the internet can we demonstrate the utilities of the advisors but also through personal experiences, like the ones which follow.
An advisor must offer good solutions, to be in accordance with the set criteria. To “offer good solutions” is a broad phrase, but that is because the problems for which we seek these solutions, can be of various descents. A student may require assistance with college planning, explanation for program requirements, and explanation of the college process, and their career paths. An effective advisor will help you to organize your academic life, and guides you in the right direction when it comes to transfers, residence, plan your schedule, scholarships, and clubs. Upon initial visit to the academic advisor’s office, a certain group member initially scored very low on the math placement test… an advisor suggested, and also encouraged him to re-take it, then what do you know? The student scored higher and qualified for a higher math class than he originally was qualified for.
Another attribute that conforms to our criteria for academic advisors, is that the advisor demonstrates sufficient level of experience on subjects. By this, we do not mean that we expect them to have been working for historical periods of time, but rather that they are familiar with college process, requirements for our career paths, and that they can get us to where we want to be. It is essential for the advisor to know what it is like to be a college student, and to be aware of our demands. An academic advisor should know the definition of terms, such as AGEC and credit hours, and also recognize steps in the career options, so that they can explain it to curious and prospective students. Our group members have sought the advisor’s help when choosing classes, and when we went to them we definitely were attended with suggestions for classes and direction in our career paths. When we sought them for a request to interview, they were more than pleased to grant us the opportunity and they answered our questions thoroughly, enthusiastically. There is reason to state that we have academic advisors who know their stuff.
Are the advisors friendly? Will they try to be my friend? Of course, the advisors won’t bite. Although, when compared their answers to each other, some of our advisors differ in opinions on “whether to be your friend or not.” This should not be misunderstanding, keep in mind that this provides diversity in your academic experience. Besides, it is not like the college faculty members are a group of white-collar automatons. Our academic advisors allowed us to interview them, which demonstrates their mindfulness and trust towards our needs. The interview yielded (among many other things) an opinion which differed in the two advisors. The question was “Should academic advisors build a friendly relationship with students?” The answers were: according to Arnold Trujillo an Academic Advisor at the AWC San Luis Learning Center to “Just keep it as professional as possible” and by Maria Guzman, Academic Advisor at AWC San Luis Learning Center, “Yes… it has been proven statistically that retention rate of the student increases.” The diversity in opinions, are not at all negative, in fact maybe such an arrangement can be great, because it proves them to be flexible.
The advisors at AWC SLLC are unified in the sense that, they are here for us (the students) to use as resources. Prospective students should have no fear to give an advisor a visit, so they can initiate their descent into the college realm. The advisors are a special tool to our success, and will aid us in any way they are suited for, in order for us to reach our goals. Visit your advisor regularly, they will help you do well and they might just have more answers than you think. Success will be more likely if students follow their advice.