The sunny Spring Fling festivities of Tuesday, April 16 included token bits of wisdom, especially from a stand with a sign that read “Advising Help, 5 cents,” in the fashion of the Peanuts comic strip.
To create a greater visibility of Temple’s academic advising team, advisers from each college volunteered for a one-hour time slot and gave out a variety of tips for the inquiring Spring Flingers.
Some advisers said many problems students encountered could be easily avoided if students planned ahead.
Scott Alessandro, an adviser to the honors program, noted that students concerned with transferring credits from one major to another should bring these concerns to their advisers’ attention as soon as possible.
He said students sometimes run into problems when they schedule three or four extremely difficult classes for themselves in one semester. Students who find their workload to be overly burdensome decide to drop a class.
“The greatest joy [in being an adviser] is getting to know the students and getting to find out what they’re interested in,” Alessandro said. “And then making sure they take classes … and get involved in things they’re interested in.”
Brigitte Johnson, an adviser within the Kinesiology department, said the Spring Fling booth was a chance to “capture some of the students floating around and have them become familiar with some of the advisers here.”
She said that the first two years of college can be valuable “exploratory years” for undergraduates a time to become familiar with different academic departments and take introductory courses. These years help students “find their niche.”
Johnson added that knowledge of course requirements and their prerequisites keep students from feeling “lost in the system.”
Jan Lyons, from University Studies, said that internships, externships and study abroad programs make students more marketable.
“Be open to different types of classes,” Lyons said. “Certainly the core is a requirement, but the core is also a time for you to explore different areas, different majors.”
She said students are responsible for research into different areas of study; utilizing facilities such as Career Services and talking to people within different departments and people already in the field.
“There are a lot of people out there that can provide resources to students, it’s just a matter of us telling the students about these resources, and the students following up and making some connections,” she said.
Amy Jennifer Reed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org