Students need helpful advisers

Staff Editorial

For some students, their advisers are the most valuable resource of their UVM experience. They’re open for office hours and let their advisees in on internship opportunities.

For far too many students, however, an adviser is inaccessible and unconcerned with each student’s personal experience. It is an understandable predicament; professor’s are often overbooked and non-incentivized to understand the technicalities of class requirements.

Most students rarely see their advisers. With exception of first-year registration blocks or switching majors, many don’t see the advantages of taking time to visit office hours.

This is a shame, as they are a valuable source of information to draw from to plan a curriculum or career path.

It is implied that advisers are best used to navigate UVM’s often confusing technical side instead of helping you grow as a student or discussing possible research options.

UVM’s website states that “your adviser is the best place to start if you have questions about your audit, degree requirements or university services.”

In practice, however, many students find that their assigned adviser is just as clueless about what classes to take as they are.

Professors can often, understandably, seem to have better things to do.

Some advisers don’t hold office hours, opting instead for an appointment-based system where students arrange to come at a certain time to discuss a certain topic.

The most successful students form close relationships with a staff member who can serve as mentor, according to an Aug. 17 New York Times column.

An important step in this process, the author points out, is the student going out of their way to connect with a suitable professor.

According to the column, a survey given to recipients of a prestigious scholarship showed that nearly all of them found “relationships with faculty members” one of the most valuable elements of their college experience.

Incentivizing advisers to be accessible and invested in their advisees’ success is an important part of making sure that every UVM student gets the most they can out of their college experience.

Advisers are one of the most valuable resources available to students.

To make advisers more accessible to students, we need to give them more incentives to interact with students and take their concerns seriously.