Episode 9

Your Academic Advisor

Check out parts two and three on YouTube.

Description of the video:

00:08
I think, and I really believe that you can know everything when you come in.
00:16
And.. that's a mistake!
00:19
And for most students, we are still young, we are unsure about our future careers, majors,
00:27
what kind of classes we are going to take.
00:29
I think sometimes it's hard to make a plan for yourself, especially beginning college.
00:34
Because college is so different from high school, the way it's set up, how much freedom
00:39
you have. Sometimes it's hard with all the opportunities to find what's right for you.
00:45
And also, coming in, there are so many resources here you don't know about.
00:54
Wow!
00:56
OK! An advisor is... we like to think about an advisor as an educational partner. Someone
01:05
who is there to support the students in their academic journey, but is not there to teach
01:12
or instruct.
01:13
But I also find myself more of a mentor. I have a lot of students who ask me questions
01:18
that are related to academics, but kind of the tangential relationship. So a lot of students
01:25
ask about where to live in town, dealing with mental health issues, and things like that.
01:30
It means I give you information, I give you my perspective, I give you my sense of what
01:35
might be a good choice, what might be a poor choice. And you have to take that information
01:41
and figure out what you want to do with it.
01:43
An advisor, I think, is trying to help students gain the most from their college experience.
01:48
Help them choose a major, courses that they're most excited about, and ones that are developing
01:58
the skills that they want to be developing.
02:00
Here's what you need, here's the math you need, here's the arts and humanities courses you
02:04
need, here are the major level courses. But it always goes beyond that in trying to also
02:08
help them to find their space here at IU.
02:11
We help students envision their futures and their presents, we pull from their pasts - their
02:19
hopes, their dreams, and see how we can help that come true.
02:27
What the degree is, sure, the "what" questions, you know, what is it. How to find things,
02:33
how to find certain resources - certainly that as well. But hopefully, and more significantly,
02:38
the "why": like, the "why" of this requirement, or the "why" of even this degree altogether.
02:47
Those are the more significant moments, I think, of this job, and I'm not sure that
02:52
those questions get answered in a good place elsewhere.

Exercises

  1. According to the episode, what is the role of an academic advisor in college? What do you think makes this student support role different than others on campus?
  2. What kinds of things can you ask your advisor about besides just majors and classes?
  3. At what point in the semester and under what circumstances would seeing your advisor be a good idea?
  4. Make an appointment with your advisor to discuss the advising role and the best way the two of you can work together.
Download the exercises