Advisers: your source of academic wisdom at UVM

College can become a web of confusion with such a wide range of classes, requirements and schedule options.

It is for this reason that we are each assigned to a faculty member who can help guide us throughout our college experience: an adviser.

Students can find their advisers and their contact information on the MyUVM portal under the “Advising (CATS)” tab.

Students must contact their adviser to schedule an appointment in order to discuss anything related to their academic career, according to UVM’s website.

“Course selection for the upcoming semester, career options and other educational decisions are matters to discuss, as well as any problems that may affect one’s academic performance,” the site states.

Students have experienced many different encounters with their advisers concerning these subjects.

Senior Ian Franco, an engineering major, spoke highly of his adviser meeting.

“I met with them once going into my hardest year,” Franco said.

He said their recommendations concerning his schedule  “made the whole semester significantly better.”

“Personally my adviser has been helpful,” and she is “easy to contact and personable,” junior Melanie Johnson said.

“However,” Johnson went on to say, “I have heard of negative experiences from friends as a commonality amongst advisers as a whole.”

Junior Shauna Corbet is one of those people who has had a negative experience with an adviser.

“One time, I met with my adviser, and he walked out of the room to talk to his daughter on the phone,” says Corbet. “He was gone for 20 minutes and I was late to my next appointment.”

Corbet said she has a new adviser now, who is much better.

Junior Delaney Row also expressed frustration with her advisers.

Row said after switching advisers almost every semester, she was finally assigned a permanent – and unhelpful- adviser during her last semester of sophomore year.

“I had to e-mail him three times until he answered to try to set up a meeting,” Row said. “When he did answer, he said he was too busy and to go to a drop -in advising session.”

Row also talked about another time where she was able to schedule a meeting with him, “but then when I got to his office for our meeting, I found a note on the door saying he had to run out and to e-mail him to reschedule.”

“The problem to me seems to be that these advisers are also professors, and so advising students really isn’t their first priority,” Row said.

“I think it would be much more beneficial to have advisers whose sole job is to be an adviser,” she said.