Academic advising to get restructured by Fall 2019


This hall on the second floor of Samuelson is home to General as well as Department specific Advisors. Advisors can be seen through appointments made via phone call as well as during their personal walk-in hours.

Nick Jahnke, Senior News Reporter

CWU’s advising model is going to be rethought and reorganized over the coming months, and according to Faculty Senate Chair Amy Claridge, these changes will be implemented by Fall 2019. According to Claridge, the current advising structure lacks organization, resulting in students being assigned multiple advisors with no clear communication between those advisors.

Students are then burdened with figuring out which advisor to go to, which can be a lengthy and troublesome process.

“We want to be more coordinated so hopefully students can come to one place and get what they need,” Claridge said.

Claridge said that the way advising is currently set up can be confusing for students, especially for those with double majors, any number of minors, or those who are part of special groups like the College Assistance Migrant Program for student athletes.

Claridge said that part of the advising problem is that, with each new department a student joins, they are assigned two advisors, one faculty and one professional advisor. This means that a student who is double majoring and taking a minor could have up to six separate advisors.

Problems with advising are nothing new. Claridge said that a faction of the Baccalaureate Task Force (BTF) has been assessing our advising model since 2017. The BTF is a collection of work groups created by President Gaudino in 2016. Claridge said the task force has been doing survey work to try and find out what students, faculty and staff think about the advising model and how it can best be fixed.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities visited CWU this last October to evaluate academic operations and measure them against national standards. CWU received accreditation, and according to Brown, was recommended to “build a more effective system of academic advising.”

At the beginning of January this year, Provost Catherine Frank formed the Academic Advising Council (AAC), according to Brown. Brown said that the AAC is made up of faculty, staff and the student representative, ASCWU President Edith Rojas.

“The collective purpose of this group (the AAC) right now, this year, is to develop a vision and mission statement for advising on campus, to align our structure to strategy, to enhance our advising assessments and student learning outcomes within advising and then just really ensure that the institution is following national standards and guidelines for the best quality advising we can have,” Brown said.

According to Brown, the AAC has met twice since it was formed. He said they are currently working to devise a mission/vision statement, which the Provost wants done by this June. Brown also said the AAC is working on developing a few different concept models of what the upgraded advising model could look like. He said he doesn’t want to take too much from the advising models of other schools, although the AAC is studying the way other universities structure advising to find out what works and what doesn’t.

According to Claridge, the AAC is getting ready to host a series of town hall meetings in February in which they will present four or five different models and open the floor up for discussion. She said the first two meetings will be for faculty and staff, while the third and final meeting will be for students only. Claridge said the plan for these meetings is to present the models and then break the audience up into small groups so they may discuss their likes and concerns among themselves. Brown said that there will also be an online survey available for those who didn’t get the chance to attend or those who feel they have more feedback to share.

“It’s a community project to make advising the best we can make it,” Brown said.

For students who are passionate about improving advising, Brown said there are a number of ways to get involved. He encourages students to get in touch with Rojas, or even to come to him directly. Brown said the most important way to get involved in the process is to attend the student town hall meeting, which will be held Tuesday Feb. 26 from 12-1:30 p.m. in SURC 137A/B.