By Adam Baker/News editor
Improving academic advising will be one concern addressed by the Chairs’ Council later this month. The Student Government Association brought the issue up in October.
After students expressed concern about the current advising process, the Student Senate voted unanimously to pass a resolution suggesting two major changes to the university’s advising procedures.
SGA’s act called for advisers to attend one mandatory training session per year and to be limited to 35 advisees.
“Kristina O’Brien (SGA president) talked to Lyle Cook (university provost) and convinced him that it was something he needed to look at,” said Lance Melching, SGA executive vice president.
Melching said the university will look at surveying students about advising next year when they register for classes.
“We can’t really make any major moves or anything until the report comes in,” he said. “Dr. Cook is moving forward, and I think we’re going to see some positive changes by next spring.”
Diana McGregor, director of Academic Advising, said her office has received informal concerns in the past relating to the availability of students’ assigned advisers.
“There have also been concerns expressed about the level of knowledge some advisers have about Eastern policies and procedures,” she said.
McGregor called SGA’s suggestions “sound.”
After initial discussions between her office and other university officials, however, she said limiting advisers to 35 students may be difficult to accomplish in the future.
Cook agreed the goal of 35 advisees per adviser is ideal but complicated.
He explained there are probably more than 400 majors in the department of forensics but just five or so faculty members.
“Clearly we can’t get everyone advised by a forensics specialist and still stay under 35 in that major,” he said.
McGregor explained there is currently no limit on the number of advisees an adviser may have. Each department, however, may limit the number of advisees assigned to an adviser by informing her office, she said.
This issue, as well as providing annual training to advisers, will soon be discussed by the Chairs’ Council.
“The Office of Academic Advising would be thrilled to provide the suggested training sessions to advisers,” she said.
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