Meeting with advisors prevents scheduling problems
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Even though it may seem like classes have just started, the fall semester is already more than halfway over! This means students can start looking forward to Spring 2018 semester and the classes that they will need to take. Before the start of the new semester, each Laker is required to meet with an advisor who helps them register for classes and offers some guidance about their next steps. Whether students are planning on graduating with their associate’s degree, becoming certified in a specific program, or are transferring to a four-year university, the advising staff at Lake Land College wants to make sure students have the help they need in choosing the correct path.
While most schools offer advisement and academic counseling as an optional service, Lake Land is unique among other colleges nationwide because advisement is mandatory for each student. Since the average college student changes their mind many times regarding a major or transfer school, having students meet with a counselor could help save them from taking costly and unneeded classes. Requirements for obtaining a major, transferring to a college, or earning a certificate could also change.
Advisors are able to give students up-to-date information in their meetings with students and can help make their transition into the next chapter of life seamless. Advisors like Krista Burrell want students to succeed at Lake Land College.
“We want students to have the best experience, to be able to graduate when they want, and make sure that they are enrolled in the classes they need to be in.”
The best recipe for student success is to have students utilize Lake Land’s advisement period, which officially begins the day that the schedule is released and ends when registration opens. Ideally, when registration opens, most students will have already met with their advisor and created an optimal schedule. However, this is not always the case with all students.
“Once registration for classes starts, students are still able to meet with their advisor, but students have usually lost the opportunity to get the best schedule,” Burrell said.
The biggest challenge of having a mandatory advisement program is making students aware of when advisement begins.
“No matter where I put the message or how many places I put the message, there will always be people that didn’t know they had to see their advisor,” Burrell said. “They will try to enroll and submit their schedule online and they will be blocked and as they are trying to reach their advisor, classes are filling up, which can be very anxiety provoking and is never what we want to happen.”
To try and make sure every student is informed about the advisement period, the word is spread in a variety of ways. Posters are hung all around campus, students are notified via Laker email a month prior to registration, a count-down to registration is put up on the Laker Hub site, the Canvas site features a banner notification, students are mailed informational postcards reminding them to register, and some counselors may personally reach out to their students. Burrell is even looking into new ways to engage the student audience by using Lake Land’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Students can check intended major, advisor contact information, and their educational plan in the Laker Hub. Spring 2018 registration for sophomores opens on the Laker Hub Nov. 6 and for freshmen a day later on Nov. 7.