Advise and Consent
Advising season at U of All People is upon us, that time of year when full professors hide behind their office doors, practicing the fine art of seeming to be unavailable as clueless students roam the corridors. One Comp Lit professor averse to the whole process thought he was being smart in printing, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” in 52-point Helvetica above his door, not realizing that those who seek advising often have abandoned all hope.
“Abandon all cash” is illegal to post, though a quorum of the faculty in the Economics Department voted to issue a price list for services rendered.
In one department that shall remain nameless (all right, it was Psychology), at least 30 students made it from their first freshman days to graduation without ever being advised. Equally damning, twice that number in Psychology who were advised regularly never made it past their sophomore year.
“Tell ’em what they need to do. Post the info. If they don’t access it, that’s their problem,” the Sociology Department chair liked to repeat, a policy called into question after the university lost a major lawsuit levied by a disgruntled student who was never told that she needed to graduate. Starting this year, therefore, U of All People has decided to streamline the whole messy process of advising with this handy set of guidelines:
Advising For Students
If you don’t know who your advisor is, log in at <www.uallpeople.edu/what-me-advise?> and follow the onscreen instructions. Once you locate your advisor, contact that faculty member at once (because, chances are, that person doesn’t know either), and set up an appointment to meet.
Please bring these documents to your advising session: a #2 pencil, a #2 eraser, a list of courses you’ve taken, and a list of courses you hope to take that will be utterly compromised by the end of your session.
To make matters easier for you, we now have these resources online:
To view your unofficial transcript, go to the registrar’s homepage, input the secret code that changes daily, and click on 1. To view your fortune, click on 2. To read the instructions in Spanish, register for Spanish 101 this spring.
Advising sessions should last at least 10 minutes, despite the Theater Department’s infamous 60-second takes or the Philosophy Department’s marathon periods of two hours.
Sample questions to ask your advisor:
- What courses do I still need to graduate?
- Does Rhythmic Swimming satisfy the Fine Arts requirement?
Questions not to ask:
- Why do I need to take science when I plan on being a novelist?
- Is it true that Professor Rudin gives A’s to students who go to his parties?
Codes for checking course availability online:
C: Sorry, this section is closed or has been canceled.
O: This section is open for the next five seconds, so click now.
N: This slot never really existed but was posted simply to get your hopes up.
- Be advised that University 101, a core course that you need to graduate, is offered only every five years.
- There is no longer a Finger-Painting concentration within the Art Department.
- Depending on what year you entered, graduate requirements may differ. Check weekly to see what we’ve come up with.
- You need 126 credits to graduate. Taking five courses per semester at three credits per course, you still won’t have enough. If this state of affairs bothers you, see our Maymester, Wintersession, and other revenue-boosting schemes.
- Transfer credit: up to 30 grudging credits, and get it in writing because we may later deny it. As of September 2008, you may not transfer any course credit from the Storefront Community College that says it exists in Scranton, PA.
Advising For Faculty
Please show up.
David Galef is a professor of English at Montclair State University. His latest publication is A Man of Ideas and Other Stories.
- Breaking the Code
- Dealing With the Committee
- Advice for professors on starting over at a new college, Part 1 (essay)
- Adios to Spanish 101 Classroom
- Graduation Day, U of All People
- My Advisor Sucks; Advise A Social Scientist
- A Suitable Chair
- Short-term courses for maximizing learning -- and revenue (essay)
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