In response to student concerns and dissatisfaction about the advising process at Columbia, the Advising Center is constructing a new model to better serve student needs. Implementing a new model is a critical move for the college because it will help all students get the most out of their education, regardless of their majors.
The college has been working to design a new system for the past few years and it will go into effect for incoming freshmen this fall. The new system will be more streamlined and efficient, following a trend within the college to centralize services. Recently, three assistant deans of Faculty Advising were appointed, one for each school. This shows Columbia’s commitment to creating a system that works by actively managing the system.
“What we’re trying to get to is an advising model that will allow the students to really take advantage of all Columbia College has to offer,” said Doreen Bartoni, dean of the School of Media Arts.
The current advising structure is confusing, inconsistent and inefficient. There is a lack of communication between advisers and students, and the difference between a faculty adviser and a college adviser is unclear. The large number of students currently seen by college advisers makes it difficult to foster individual relationships.
In the new model, all incoming freshmen will first meet with a college adviser, someone who is well-versed in general Liberal Arts and Sciences requirements and has a good idea of the college’s overall structure. The college adviser will help freshmen find a path that’s right for them based on their interests, clarify the general requirements for graduation and suggest classes that satisfy them.
There will be less pressure to immediately declare a major in the new model. After a student declares a major, they will be assigned a faculty adviser in their department who will assist them until graduation. This consistency and clarity is exactly what is needed in the Advising Center.
This system, if executed properly and efficiently, will be a tremendous improvement from the current model. It will allow students to build a relationship with their faculty adviser and understand the requirements of their major in a clear, consistent manner.