The end of the spring semester is quickly approaching, and for many students at IUP, that means it is time to begin registering for the fall semester. 

Scheduling can’t proceed without advising meetings, which some think is a weak spot on IUP’s campus.

Students complain that advising is something that is very important for a student’s success but is inconsistent and weak at IUP. Complaints with advisers vary from lack of knowledge/care, lack of time and lack of communication. 

Another complaint is the inaccuracy of Degree Works, an online tool that is used to keep track of classes students need for their majors and ones they have already completed. When students have trouble with their advisers, they tend to turn to Degree Works, but inaccuracy has left some students with nothing. The main inaccuracies include wrong graduation projection dates and wrong general elective courses.

“I once had trouble contacting and working with my adviser to build a schedule, so I turned to Degree Works,”Sadie Lightner (junior, hospitality) said.

 “Unfortunately, the information provided on the website did not help and was inaccurate. This error caused me a lot of stress and wasted time.” 

Not all advising feedback is bad, though. Students also feel, depending on the department you are in, it can vary the experience. Some advisers are very involved and want to watch the student thrive, while others simply want you scheduled and done.

In February, faculty members attended a student success workshop in which they discussed ways to make students experience at IUP better. The main topic discussed was advising and ways the university can work to make it better and more consistent across campus. 

“I was very happy to hear that the faculty heard our complaints on advising and are working on trying to improve and fix this problem,” Kirsten Rush (junior, College of Education and Communications) said. “I think if the campus can get a sense of consistency across all majors, that will be a big step forward.” 

Another complaint that ties in with advising is registration dates. Many students complain that the dates for registration leave students in a bind when they can’t get the classes they need. Faculty hope that with better advising registration issues can be resolved with better communication and effort from both the students and advisers. 

 Poor advising is not all on the faculty, and many students are to blame for the lack of guidance. Many students choose not to meet with their adviser and would rather just get their registration code. 

In the near future, IUP hopes to work with both the students and faculty in order to improve all aspects of advising for both parties.

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