Advisory system needs major reform

The advising system at MCTC is broken, and needs to be radically reworked. Scaling the program down would save MCTC money they need for other projects. Maybe some students find it useful to talk with advisors, but many just don’t need to. When I looked on my account and saw I had a registration hold I was confused. When I first came to the school, I was told that I needed to attend orientation and advising for the first semester after that. This is semester three, and yet I have to burn another two hour block this semester.

The last time I had advising I had to sit there and twiddle my thumbs, thinking about the work I have to do for my classes until the advisor could talk to me and tell me I am good to go and can have my hold taken off my account. The advisor did nothing, and I wasted time. This is not effective.

I realize that I do not represent every student at the school. I do however, represent a fair portion of students: students that not only receive no benefit from advising, but are actually negatively affected. I am very busy this time of semester and squaring out another block of time to talk to someone I don’t really need to speak to is hard.

When I tried to ask why I had a hold for advising, despite this being my third semester, I was told that all students have an advising hold. Putting aside the incorrect information I was given during orientation (that advising holds were only placed for the first two semesters), this seems very uneconomical. The simple-to-read, interactive audit is enough for some students, including myself, to work out what classes they need. Some students have their plan from the first day they walk into school. Some students are only enrolled partially, in one or two classes, and don’t really need an advisor at all.  If not all students need advising, taking the time to reach out to every last member of the student body is a waste. It would be like having a birthday party with twenty people at it, four of them lactose intolerant, and buying enough ice cream for everyone. A waste of four people’s worth of ice cream, or, in this case, funding to inform students of the dates and actually provide advising.

Any advisory program that remains at MCTC should be three things: optional, have a minimal staff, and inexpensive. The school has a lot of things to pay for, and this could be a potential drain on the limited resources MCTC has. By making the program optional, students who need to talk to an advisor could, those who do not could have more time for their classes. Instead of giving all students an advising hold, why not make just make advising something a student in need can seek out?