Mary Frank, 2001 NACADA Outstanding Advisor Winner
A student walks into my class the first day of class and sits down. The class starts, and I begin reading names off my roster. I ask four questions of each student. I ask where they are from, what activity they are involved in on campus, if they are on a certain scholarship, and whom their advisor is. The last question usually answered by, 'I don't have an advisor.' This is where the relationship between teaching and advising comes together. I believe every student should have an advisor. I usually become the advisor for what I call 'the wandering student without.' The only bad thing about this is that I end up advising over fifty students each semester while some teachers advise none because they do not have the time. I've seen some students end up in the community college system for four years because nobody advised them how to obtain their Associates Degree in two years and put them in the right classes.
Like a teacher an advisor must be a listener, and a communicator, they must care about the students future, and they must teach a student the hard facts of what discipline, responsibility, and focus is for a student with dreams and goals. How can a faculty member become an effective advisor? I suppose that depends on the faculty member and how much extra time they are willing to work to give to his or her students. I believe I'm an effective advisor because I care about my students. I talk to them and advise them not only with their classes but I also listen to their personal problems. I'm there for them when they need help. No matter what time of the day it is, a phone call at home, or staying at school extra hours, my students know I'm there for them at anytime. Do I have all the answers with advising? No, but I've been teaching for ten years now, and if it hadn't been for one Sister Marie Leon LaCroix, I wouldn't be where I am today. She was my advisor in college, and today I teach what she taught me and the love and care she gave to me as a student I now give to my students. I hope my students will pass it on to their students of the future and become the type of advisor I am today.
Coffeyville Community College
Cite this article using APA style as: Frank, M. (2002, June). Teachers as advisors. Academic Advising Today, 25(2). Retrieved from [insert url here]