Students urged to consider courses, majors, advisers

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The winter and spring advising term began on Oct. 17. As students were planning required appointments with their advisers, looking over gaps in their transcripts and exploring the lists of available courses, the still somewhat new advising center was going through preparations of their own.

The list of things to do is meant not only to ensure students are prepared for advising, but advisers as well, said Gretchen Potter, Director of Pacific’s Advising Center. The most recent of the preparations were information sessions for advisers as well as updating their lists of student advisees.

Potter is expecting a steady flow of declaration of major forms throughout the year. Although students are not required to declare their major to the university until the end of their sophomore year, many do it before that deadline.

Potter wanted to remind students that it is okay to change their mind because the average college student changes their major at least once. She added that a student’s focus can be a bit of a “moving target” and the advising center can offer help to students in terms of “discovering something new that interests you.”

Another concern that may be on students’ minds as their advising period approaches is if their adviser is the proper fit for them. Requests for a change of adviser do happen, according to Potter, whether it is due to a change in academic interest or the adviser not belonging to the department in which a student is focusing.

Students are first paired with an adviser based on an academic interests survey they take prior to beginning classes their first year on campus. Over time, with “factors that come into play,” Potter said changes are bound to happen with most students.

If a student feels a switch is necessary because the adviser they were paired with is not the right fit for them, students can pick up a form from the advising center that will allow them to do so.
Changes have been made to this process from last year, so that the previous adviser’s signature is not needed on the form. It just needs to be brought to the advising center when completed so that updates can be made to advisers’ lists of students.

Although the ability to change majors or advisers are both processes that students should feel free to take advantage of, Potter encouraged students to remember that she and the advising center are on campus to be a “service and reference for all.”


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