Grateful for good advising

July 14th, 2011

Grateful for good advising

I’ve had two opportunities in the last week to spend time with some of our most important and often overlooked colleagues: academic advisors. Yesterday I was invited to stop by a staff meeting of the Office of Academic Advising. Director Jennifer Joslin and her team do amazing work to ensure the academic success of our students.

And last week I had the pleasure of speaking to a large group of summer academic advisors composed of faculty, advising staff and higher level students who were assembled and trained by the Office of Academic Advising. They know there are as many approaches to learning, studying, and academic success as there are students. It is impossible to underestimate how much of a difference these advisors can make in the lives of our students.

Our professional advising staff—from academic advising, to the Office of Multicultural Academic Success (OMAS), to the Teaching and Learning Center and many others—are on the frontlines in helping our first and second year students gain understanding, comfort, and confidence in planning and pursuing their academic path. Our advisors are also the first to recognize and alert campus leaders to administrative, bureaucratic, and other impediments to student academic success in specific areas of study. Good advising can make up for an abundance of bureaucratic unintended consequences.

In talking with our academic advising team I was reminded of why I love it here, and why I am so optimistic about the future of the University of Oregon. We are a university with state-of-the-art research facilities, more than 2,000 courses and nearly 100 majors, yet we are small enough that we can really get to know our students. That’s exactly what our colleagues in academic advising do. I am grateful.

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