Academic Advising: One Student’s Perspective

front doors of Savitz Hall

Graduating from Rowan on time can be as simple as meeting with your academic advisor once a semester. Think about that. It only takes eight meetings with an advisor throughout your time at Rowan to help you graduate within the time you want and with the classes you need, setting the perfect foundation for your future career. And hey, when you work with your advisor, there’s always the possibility of avoiding those dreaded 8 a.m. classes!  (8 a.m. in college somehow feels much earlier than 8 a.m. in high school – trust me.)Entrance to the university academic advising office.

As a junior, I can see that my advisor has played a huge role in my college career.  When I was an incoming freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to do.  Not knowing made me extremely nervous since I thought this would affect how many years I spend in school. When I met with an advisor during freshmen orientation to decide what classes to take my first semester, I expected choosing classes would be extremely difficult, especially considering my indecisive nature. But, having an advisor made the process much easier. After our first meeting, it was clear to my advisor at the time I should enter Rowan as an undecided student, which is called our Exploratory Studies major. 

This, surprisingly, was my first step closer to realizing where my true skills and passion lie. Since my advisor recommended taking the undecided route, I was able to explore different interests I had through Rowan’s various clubs and courses. During freshmen year, I finished my core courses. Thanks to my advisor, literature, biology, public speaking and college composition are some of the classes I now don’t need to worry about completing to graduate. Taking these courses as a freshman allowed me to find a passion in writing, and a not-so-much-of-a passion in biology. If I had not enrolled in these classes as a freshman, I might have never ended up where I am today, as a double major in public relations and advertising.

My advisor also recommended to try three totally different clubs, so I could get a little taste of everything and further pinpoint my interests. I tried the Advertising Club, The Rowan Arts Collective and the Pre-Allied Health Club. After a few meetings, I knew that I had the highest interest in advertising. So, I went back to my advisor to proudly declare advertising as my major. As we talked, she mentioned double majoring with advertising and public relations. I never thought I would be capable of studying two majors until I saw how my advisor mapped out the requirements for rest of my college career. From that moment on, I knew exactly which courses to take and when.

Registering for classes using three different possible schedules.

Each semester, I make sure to meet with an advisor to guide me in creating a schedule for the following semester. If ever during class registration I wasn’t able to enroll in a course, my advisor would help rework my schedule to find another course that fit, or reach out to professors about overriding classroom capacity limits. So far, I have managed to enroll in each course I need.  Some say I’m lucky, but I say Rowan just has great advisors, maybe you should set up a meeting!

The advisors at Rowan are truly here to help you every step of the way. They help me stay on track with my classes, grades and future plans. My major advisor, Lori Block, emails me almost every day with internship opportunities and on campus involvement for my field of study. While my Achieving The Dream Scholarship coach, Marren Magee, makes sure that my GPA remains above a certain point and pushes me to use the Rowan Office of Career Advancement (resume preparation, mock interviews, Prof Jobs) to my advantage.

Public Relations advisor Lori Block working in her office.  Thinking back to freshman-year-me, I was never the kind of person to go out and explore. I have always been a planner. But when it was time for me to plan for my future, it would’ve been impossible without advisors by my side. Now, I am only three semesters away from graduating on time with valuable experience for my future career. My advice to all Rowan students is to make sure to reach out to your advisor and always stay connected with them throughout your time at Rowan. They are more helpful than you may think!

By: Katelyne Ortega