Why is it Important to Meet with Your Academic Advisor?
Whether they are a working adult or a teenager fresh out of high school, college students enter a time of great transition when they decide to earn a degree. Without guidance from an academic counselor, they may find themselves struggling to get through school, missing out on resources and student services, and even staying in a program longer than needed. An academic advisor’s entire job focuses on supporting students throughout their college career. Working with students in both traditional and online programs, they provide what students need for college success. Touro University Worldwide assigns an educational advisor to each student in all of the school’s online degree programs. These advisors collaborate with students, ensuring that they experience a positive learning environment and complete their degree programs.
Why Meet with an Academic Advisor?
Students need every opportunity to meet with academic advisors, but they must make the most of those opportunities. Studies have shown that by doing so, they increase their chances of college success. A recent report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement found that 78% of returning college students met with an advisor. In comparison, only 62% of new students did so. The report found that important because only 50% of college students return to the same academic institution for their second year. The report also found that students who met more often with their advisors showed higher levels of student engagement. Researchers measured student engagement through five benchmarks – active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction, and support for learners. Colleges see greater student engagement “when advisers are spending more time talking with students about developing an academic plan, their career ambitions and opportunities for employment,” stated by Evelyn Waiwaiole, executive director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement, told Inside Higher Ed. Inside Higher Ed also reported that when Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee made academic advising mandatory for new students and all credited students, the graduation rate increased from 14% to 22%. Also, the number of students earning at least 24 credits in their first year increased from 10% to 30%.
How Academic Advisors Support Students
Most people think about educational advice when they think about academic advisors. For example, based on what they learn about students from their meetings, an academic advisor suggests options for students to consider in their areas of interest. Advisors also help students understand degree program requirements and help them create a plan to complete the degree they choose. At TUW, educational advisors do this for new, transfer, and continuing students. But that’s only part of the job. Academic advisors offer students support in many ways, including the following:
- Reviewing transcripts and credit transfers
- Registration for classes
- Guiding students to resources and student services designed for students seeking academic, social and vocational support
- Providing information about policies and procedures, enrichment opportunities and support services
- Offering guidance when students run into challenges
- Furnishing a positive support system
- Helping students stay on track to complete a degree program through an individualized degree plan that keeps students updated on what and how many courses they need to complete their degree.
Role of Educational Advisors at Touro University Worldwide
The role of the educational advisor at Touro University Worldwide has evolved over the years. They now seek to create a collaborative relationship with their students and have added an academic coaching element to their role as advisors. To work effectively as an academic coach, educational advisors identify learning trends and apply them to their students. They use regular check-ins with students to build trust and accountability. They also focus on making sure that students have an enjoyable academic experience as they work toward earning their degrees. To maintain the important student-advisor relationship, TUW encourages students to meet with their academic advisor at least once each session to review their academic plan. Advisors also review any changes the student wants to make to their schedule, ensuring that any change does not inhibit them from completing their degree on time. Academic advisors play a key role in student success. TUW invests in the student-advisor relationship, ensuring that those seeking a degree at the university receive all the support they need to earn their degree and move onto a successful career.