Advisers feel stress of semester

By Alyce Malchiodi

Sue Doederlein, Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said the begining of every semester at NIU is a hectic time for academic advisers as well as students.

Students rush to see advisers for unanswered questions at the beginning of the semester in order to take advantage of add/drop and late registration, Doederlein said.

An adviser’s job is to help students choose classes for their major and answer questions about what classes are best to fulfill the university requirements, she said. The College of Liberal Arts worked with 7,133 students in the fall semester of 1989.

Advisers are busy with many different tasks since starting a new semester means a flood of work, Doederlein said. Advisers are busy reviewing dismissals, clearing December graduates, checking students credits to see how their schedule coordinates with degree requirements, on top of answering questions and giving last minute advice.

Mike Bevan, an adviser in the Undergraduate Studies of the Business College, said the first two weeks of the semester are the busiest.

Bevan said he suggests students wait until the first two weeks of the semester are over because in the first two weeks students see an adviser on a walk-in basis, he said.

During this time, students might have a long wait to see their adviser because they do not take appointments, Bevan said. Students also might want to see a counselor to combat stress.

Advising and counseling are almost the same, although counseling is more personal, Doederlein said. Students can get help with career decisions, stress management or just talk to someone about any personal problems they have, she said.

Counseling Lab Director Craig Williams said he thinks the two departments work together because a student can get information from an adviser about what class to take and see a counselor to help “look inside themselves and see if the class is right for them.”

Students should keep in close contact with advisers throughout the semester to be up to date on their requirements and credit status, he said.

Before students see their adviser, Bevan said students should know what questions to ask and be cooperative. Doederlein said students should bring a copy of their records, a recent copy of their current schedule and be open to advice.