Reckoning with advising anxiety

At the beginning of this term, the Advising Implementation Task Force asked all students registering for classes to participate in a survey asking about their experience with academic advising at PSU.

The task force, chaired by psychology professor Cathleen Smith and School of Education professor Janine Allen, constructed the survey to begin a cache of data about advising with the intention of using said data to inform future changes in advising meant to improve faculty and student opinion about the advising process.

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While meeting with an adviser is required to enter into classes or progress year to year at other public Oregon universities, at PSU, it is not necessary to get adviser approval to register for classes, nor is it necessary to meet with an adviser before graduation.

While the university encourages students to make appointments with advisers, the fact that it is not required and that sometimes advisers are unavailable creates an atmosphere of confusion surrounding the system.

The Advising Implementation Task Force is charged with resolving the ambivalence and confusion surrounding advising. While mandatory advising at PSU seems far-fetched at this point, due to the significant budgetary impact such a move would have, the implementation of the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is meant to alleviate at least some of the anxiety students feel about PSU’s often labyrinthine degree requirements.

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Read on to find a guided tour through that labyrinth, and a walkthrough of the online DARS system.