By Collegian Staff
Due to a lack of knowledge, communication or effort, too many Butler University advisers fail to help their students achieve success.
An adviser’s job is to guide his or her students to the right classes and opportunities to achieve the students’ goals.
Students are disadvantaged when their advisers don’t fulfill their academic needs. Incompetence of advisers creates problems for students. Students may experience frustration when signing up for classes or even an inability to graduate in four years.
Some Collegian staff members have applied for graduation and found out they didn’t know about a certain requirement to graduate. At this point, they have had to stay extra semesters because their advisers didn’t catch the mistakes.
Advisers’ mistakes have cost students and their families extra time and money that some individuals may not have been able to afford.
In other cases, students who switch advisers have received conflicting information from their new advisers within the same department.
These problems shouldn’t happen. Students have advisers for the very purpose of navigating the often confusing world of curriculum requirements. Some advisers aren’t guiding their students well.
In the College of Communications (, all full-time professors are also advisers. The college tries to appoint an equal number of students to each adviser. This practice makes the assumption that all professors are qualified to advise students.
CCOM professors receive an introduction to the my.butler system and the graduation requirements for the university when they arrive and become advisers. There is no real “training program” for novice advisers.
We are using CCOM as an example and as a microcosm of the university, but this is a small amount of preparation in relation to the important role advising plays in a student’s career.
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) offers additional workshops for professors who want to improve their advising. However, this training is not mandated for faculty with advisees. All advisers, in every college should be mandated to attend these courses for the sake of their advisees.
When changes are made to curriculum requirements, whether core curriculum or department curriculum, faculty receives an email about the change. When faculty inboxes are overflowing on a daily basis, this isn’t an effective way to communicate changes that could impact students’ educational plans.
One way to help fix these issues is to increase communication between advisers and their students.
Professors need to foster relationships with the students they are advising. The university should require multiple meetings each semester so that advisers have the time and opportunity to have in-depth conversations with their students about future goals.
Students’ success is the most important aspect of a university. The best advisers are those that go the extra mile to help their students.
The university could also implement a independent review of advisers. Taking issues to higher officials would help highlight specific problems students encounter. Butler could save itself time and effort by monitoring advisors more closely during throughout the semester.
The advising system needs to improve. Butler students deserve to receive accurate and relevant information about their education. Their graduation and career opportunities may depend on it.