By Jordan Wienke
Academic advisors play many roles for students, from roles as simple as helping with course registration, or providing a customized degree plan or map for your collegiate career; to roles as complicated as assisting with the reinstatement process for a dismissed student or keeping students informed of potential holds that hinder their ability to register for classes. Advisors also help students focus on their academic and career goals, making sense of an often complicated system. The best way to think about an academic advisor is as your personal touch point or coach at Webster University. Your academic advisor will help you sift through available resources that the university provides and give you the best advice on how to be successful.
It’s important for you to meet with your advisor regularly to discuss your academic and career goals. Once your advisor knows what your goals are, he/she can help tailor your experience to achieve those goals. A student may not have time to find all the offices on campus are and what services each office provides. Advisors, however, are well versed in all departments and can easily point a student in the right direction. Should you experience homesickness or struggle in your classes, have a desire to study abroad, or need assistance in picking an appropriate elective course, your advisor is there to guide you. Finally, academic advisors help students stay on track toward graduation. Having an academic advisor in your corner is essential to your collegiate success.
Beyond college or grad school, advisors can help you prepare to achieve your goals. Selecting a major course of study or a graduate degree that matches with your career goals is essential to success after college. Advisors have the tools to help you make this important decision. Work experience is also a great way to be more employable upon graduation, and your advisor is aware of the resources available to help you find opportunities. Knowing that there is a knowledgeable professional who wants to see you succeed after college can be reassuring.
Thinking of your advisor as a personal coach and utilizing them as a resource is a great way to be successful during college and prepared for life beyond college. Once in the work force, you will need to have people whom you can depend on for advice and direction, much as you depended on your advisor during your undergraduate and graduate collegiate experiences.
Jordan Wienke is an Academic Advisor for Webster University.