Advising at UW-Madison
At ASM’s recent Forum on Advising, 20 students attended as well as Don Woolston, Emeritus Professor in Engineering who is leading the Provost’s Office commission to reform advising. Obviously, we all aren’t too happy with advising systems, often finding the process frustrating, unnecessary, unhelpful and possibly avoiding the advising experience all together. Others find great help with advisors and rely on them for almost everything (those are the kids who need to learn how to read DARS reports…but that’s a whole other issue…probably within advising itself)
The major critiques of advising:
- Large (major) department advisors are busy, don’t have time to see students and have strict requirements for students to even set up a meeting with them
- Contradicting advise from various departments, for those double majoring or exploring options
- Inability of DARS to create one report with multiple declared programs
- Advisors need to know when courses are offered (semester, yearly) and how often
- SOAR needs more knowledgeable student advisors and be ready to help with individual needs/questions
The major solutions taken away from the forum:
- Hire more advisors in various majors to help with accessibility
- Inform advisors about common major requirements in other departments, learn more about other programs, and be able to advise on certificate programs.
- Create a database of advising notes from previous advising sessions with students so each session is more personalized and advisors know what was discussed previously
- Develop a DARS report that would allow for long-term course planning and double-majoring students
- Develop a tool to schedule meetings online through a calendar program
- Complete an interest survey prior to SOAR so students can receive class advice based on their interests
What would you want to see changed about advising on campus!?