Take advantage of advisement resources to get the most out of your college experience by Laura Taveras
March is advising month at the City College New York. All departments encourage their students to get advised! Advisors help students choose courses, decide on majors and minors, assist with transfer credits, and generally act as point person during your academic career as you move toward graduation.
As March winds down, advisors in a number of CCNY divisions offer some helpful tips, and students share their experience.
Professor Richard Bernstein, political science lecturer, and advisor at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, suggests arriving prepared to advising appointments. “Students should come in with clear and focused questions,” he says. “Advisors can’t read minds.”
Bernstein also notes that student advising can be a grueling job, especially in large, cash-strapped divisions – so be kind. “Students should treat their advisors with respect,” he says, and adds: “Introduce yourself.”
Raymond Strom, who advises students in the college’s largest division, Humanities and Arts, also has a few tips for students to consider. While he thinks students should come in with tentative schedules, he also encourages his advisees to follow an appropriate pace, and enjoy the journey. “Balance everything; don’t try to do to it all at once,” says Strom. “College is also about making friends and connections.” (Storm knows this first hand; he also graduated from CCNY!)
Even when advisors hearts are in the right place, advisement at CCNY can be chaotic and choppy. Students have varying advising experiences. Chemical engineering major Devinra Ramadhar, 21, said that he really appreciated his advisor. “ I LOVE MY ADVISOR he’s great,” he raves. “He literally does everything for me. He comes looking for YOU!”
On the other hand, political science student, Michael Vitelli, 20, had a less pleasant experience in his advising session. “Last time I got advised I told her my method and she said: ‘I should start doing that too.””
Vitelli decided to take matters into his own hands. “I advised myself,” he explains. “Hopefully I won’t be here for six years.”
Always take advantage of the college’s advising resources even as you advocate for yourself, especially this month. Strom reminds us that it is always a good time to get advisement: “Advising is ongoing come whenever January, March, February… that gives us more time to talk and make projected plans.
For a list of advising contacts by department, click here.