I have heard a vast multitude of horror stories from both friends and strangers about having issues with their advisors.
Students being one class short of being able to graduate, not having enough classes over the 300 level to graduate, taking classes that they did not even need, and being told a required course transferred when it really didn’t are just a few examples of these problems.
Speaking from personal experience, the advisor that I was assigned has been useless. He is always unorganized, has no idea where I am at in my schooling career and gives me no direction that I could not have figured out myself. I was just told by another faculty member that I could have been graduating this winter instead of having to take more classes in the spring in order to graduate.
I know I am not alone in this after hearing all these horror stories about other students and their same, if not worse, issues with their advisors.
I am currently in my second and final year at Ferris State after transferring from Western Michigan. While I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Bulldog much more then as a Bronco, there is something I miss from my time at Western Michigan. The thing I miss is that I used to have an actual advisor. Someone whose only job is to give advice. That is it; their main and ultimate concern was advising students to the best of their ability.
Ferris clearly has an issue with doubling up its professors as advisors. The issue is that advising is not a professor’s top concern, at least that is how it seems. Professors have enough on their plate as it is with forming lesson plans, writing tests, holding office hours, and grading. It really is not fair to ask professors to take on the monumental responsibility of advising students on top of everything they have to account for already.
Advising is something that cannot be taken lightly. Poor advice can result in a student not graduating on time, which also could relate to the student spending thousands of extra dollars they should have never had to spend. College students are poor enough as it is; we do not need to be taking unnecessary classes on top of everything else.
Changes need to happen. Students should not be questioning the advice they are receiving from their advisor which will have a huge effect on their future.
It is time for Ferris to face reality and realize that the current system is unacceptable. While some professors can handle the double duty, it has become clear that many others cannot.
If one student does not graduate on time due to poor advice from their advisor, then that is one too many. For now though, I would recommend talking to as many faculty as one can to make sure that he is staying on the right track. Do not let someone else’s incompetence come between you and your goals. n