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How semester switch might affect advising

Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer

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With registration for Fall Semester classes opening April 30, many students might be struggling to meet with their academic advisers for various scheduling concerns.

As a result, some academic departments have recently adopted different options for students to ensure they get the advising help they need.

The College of Arts and Sciences normally offers walk-in advising Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., but has extended it from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. three days a week to accommodate students planning for the semester switch.

The Fisher College of Business offers 15-minute, same-day appointments the second week of classes through the seventh week. Thirty-minute evening and Sunday appointments are also offered, as well as a manager on-call daily for urgent questions.

Jacqueline Elcik, executive director of Undergraduate Programs and Advising Office of Fisher, said that while no new changes are being implemented, the aforementioned options serve as “things as part of the semester conversion that we’ve tried to be mindful and planful knowing that there would be more students than ever coming in to see us for appointments.”

On the current academic schedule, students say there is usually a point during the quarter where they all attempt to schedule appointments at once, often the cause of frustration for those anxious to see their adviser.

“I think what happens is, when students are planning, that it’s very common for students to wait for the peak, and the challenge is that there is so many people waiting for the peak. I mean, you come in here week two and three and it doesn’t look anything like week one,” Elcik said.

Todd Bitters, administrative director of Arts and Sciences Advising Services, said there are other difficulties that arise with ensuring that students are able to meet with their advisers in a timely manner.

“Many times, students do not show for appointments. ‘No shows’ take up valuable time that advisers could be using to see other students, so students should always inform us if they cannot attend their scheduled meeting, as that opens up the appointment time for other students,” Bitters said.

It is suggested that students meet with their advisers at least once a year to review their degree plan, though more visitations are always recommended.

Many students, however, said they feel that advising availability can often makes visitations difficult.

Erica Hagen, a third-year in communication and psychology, often waits about three weeks to meet with her adviser. Although she admitted she sometimes makes appointments last minute, she still would like to see a few changes take place during the semester conversion.

“I hope there is a lot more ease in scheduling, maybe more walk-in hours, and just more accessibility,” Hagen said.

Alexander Szaruga, a fourth-year in music education, said he usually finds that he has to come to open advising hours after 3:30 p.m. because his assigned adviser isn’t available after that time and he is unable to come sooner due to student teaching.

Though he is graduating this spring, he said he thinks seeing more flexible times for advising would be beneficial, as well as reminders about the importance of the appointments.

“I would also hope to see a little more encouragement from the adviser to come in and see them,” Szarega said.

Despite the overall concern from students with Ohio State converting to semesters, Bitters said he doesn’t expect the change to significantly affect advising.

“I don’t anticipate that the new academic calendar will have any impact on the availability of advising appointments,” Bitters said. “We will maintain the same size advising staff for the same size student population, and the offices will be open the same hours.”

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