Misled by Academic Coordinator/Advisor

  1. I know the decision to complete pre-requisites is a very important one for all of us due to time constraints and prior engagements with our lives. My intent when applying to (nameless college- you can look in my previous posts to see the college) was to complete my pre-reqs as quickly as possible and when I had my meeting with my advisor today I completely felt mislead in a direction I did not want to be pushed in. A little background on me is that I am an early high school graduate (I recently graduated a year earlier than my graduating class) and wanted to kick start my butt into gear and get as many pre-reqs completed as I could to get into nursing school (for my BSN) and complete my BSN within 3-4 years. I am a very goal oriented person, and from my previous track record in high school this is obviously evident. What it seems like to me is that whenever I speak to college advisors the only thing going through their head is dollar signs b/c of my high GPA and early graduation. It is not about me, Nicole, the future nursing student, it is all about FAFSA/ government CHA-CHING they're going to be rolling in. I think what iritates me the most is that when I researched this whole nursing thing I really had a goal in place (what pre-reqs i wanted to complete this summer and upcoming fall) and during the meeting she just shifted those aside and basically TOLD me what to take (mind you my intent was to take courses ASU - my local 4 yr university requires for their BSN program). Having left after my meeting with the advisor I completely felt she jerked me right and left and never really listened to the needs I have. I know I really have nothing to complain about, but what are my rights as a student???? I guess the worst part is I feel they were very unprofessional in the fact that they had me, an underage 16 year old minor solely sign my summer/fall registration papers without any parental regard or consent. I do not feel that I recieved the best option for what my pre-reqs to be completed and she wouldn't even talk it over and somewhat scooted me out of her office in a sense that "NEXT, I HAVE OTHER STUDENTS TO ADVISE LATER" (when there WERE NONE in her office or waiting in the lobby for advisement. I know the pathway I want to take and if she's not working with me what should I do??? Would you back away from this school and basically wait it out until fall and just go to another school or just suck it up and get an education? Sorry for my long rant but it seems like I'm reading and wanting one thing but being pushed to another due to what she believes is lack of "college smartness" /whatever it may be. Responses are welcome, thanks for reading.
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    About nnicolee

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 160; Likes: 31

    43 Comments

  3. by   Kyla.ann
    If you know what you want to do, then do it. Don't let anyone else decide what is best for you. Go see another advisor. You have a right to see someone who will give you the help you need, and if this one didn't then move on to someone else.

    You have to learn to stand up for yourself and stick to what you know you want.
  4. by   markuskristian
    At my university, seeing an advisor is required to register for classes, but that doesn't mean that you must register for what they recommend. After having a bad first semester, I started advising myself and bringing a sheet to the advisor with the classes I needed to take.
  5. by   kristi1111
    Did your advisor tell you WHY she wants you to take the classes she suggested in the order that she suggested? The reason I am asking is because when I began taking nursing prereqs I enrolled in an Intro to General, Organic and Biochemistry class. However, I was having a lot of trouble in it and so I scheduled a meeting with my advisor to discuss dropping it. During that appointment, I was informed that there was a Basic Chemistry class that she highly reccommended I take before this class because I had never had Chemistry in high school. I took this Basic Chem class the next semester and got an A in it. I then reenrolled in the Intro to Gen, Org and BioChem class and got an A in that class also.

    My point is although, the Intro chem class was the actual prereq for the nursing program, it was in my best interest to take the Basic Chemistry class first (even though it was not an actual prerequisie for the Intro to Chem class.) I guess I am just wondering if her class order reccomendations were based on things like that also rather than just money. (I am not saying that money couldn't be her motivation though because universities, unfortunately ARE a business.)

    I think I would try to find out her rationale was behind her reccomendations before changing your schedule (just to be on the safe side.)
  6. by   caliotter3
    Are the classes she pushed on you classes you will need to take? Either way, just register for what you need on your own if you can. If you can't, then look at attending another college. There is no reason why you should have to endure having someone force something on you. I graduated a year early too and remember how hard it was to navigate the college registration process. My situation was complicated because my school was being paid for and the people with the checkbook dictated what courses I was to sign up for.
  7. by   tfleuter
    I'm a little confused as to what she advised you to do, so I'm not sure what to say. Many advisors see the trends of students and the classes they take, particularly incoming freshmen. They often have a good handle on what order to take certain classes and with what sort of course load. The only concern I would have is if your advisor is not familar enough with the nursing program in order to give specific direction as to the best course of action for that degree. I know at my school we have so many applicants that there is specifically a pre-nursing advisor and she knows the ins and outs of that program and others in the area. She tells each student point blank "I will do my best to help you increase your chances to this schools program, but if you can't get in here, I will continue to help you find a program that will work for you." She was the best! Anyways, I never felt like the advisors at my schools were trying to convince me to take any frivolous courses.

    The only time I ever felt "advisors" were being used as sales people were with the for profit private colleges that seem to be popping up on every corner. I spoke to a rep at one in my area and she spent a big portion of the conversation trying to convince me that all students interested in doing the nursing program should first take a years worth of "health careers" courses to make sure they really wanted to do nursing and not something like medical assisting or billing. And of course, none of those courses would cross over towards the nursing degree. What a joke
  8. by   js408
    Whether you get FAFSA money or pay out of pocket has nothing to do with advisors. It's not like they get a commission. At any rate, the college gets the same amount of money whether you pay out of pocket or through FAFSA. Not sure why you mention this since it's irrelavent.

    An advisor's job is to advise. Their job is to tell you what classes to take. They did their job. You went to see an advisor, and they advised you. Their job isn't to tell you what you want to hear. Their advice may be different from what you think is correct. You're under no obligation to follow their plan. You never said why they disagreed with you. You could be picking the wrong classes if you do it on your own.

    I'm not sure why you mention the fact that your parents didn't consent. What do your parents have to do with it? It's not your parent's job to micromanage every little thing you do. Your parents aren't going to college for you. College is about getting things done on your own and taking personal responsibility. If something goes wrong, you can't make it your advisor's fault or your parent's fault. You need to take some responsibility for things.

    As for your needs as a student? You need to take the required courses, end of story. Whatever else you need is beside the point. If you want to take courses that deviate from the education plan, then do it, but what's that got to do with nursing? The advisor's job is to get you into the nursing program as fast as possible. It sounds like they did that. What needs aren't being met?

    What are your rights as a student? You have the right to take whatever classes you want, as long as it meets with the admissions and registration requirements. You don't have to follow the advisor's plan. They are giving you ADVICE, which means YOU get to choose what to take and they ADVISE you. You don't have to listen to their advice. If you think their advice is wrong, get advice from another source. Go to a different advisor. Ask another student. Be resourceful.

    Quote from nicolemsm
    I know the decision to complete pre-requisites is a very important one for all of us due to time constraints and prior engagements with our lives. My intent when applying to (nameless college- you can look in my previous posts to see the college) was to complete my pre-reqs as quickly as possible and when I had my meeting with my advisor today I completely felt mislead in a direction I did not want to be pushed in. A little background on me is that I am an early high school graduate (I recently graduated a year earlier than my graduating class) and wanted to kick start my butt into gear and get as many pre-reqs completed as I could to get into nursing school (for my BSN) and complete my BSN within 3-4 years. I am a very goal oriented person, and from my previous track record in high school this is obviously evident. What it seems like to me is that whenever I speak to college advisors the only thing going through their head is dollar signs b/c of my high GPA and early graduation. It is not about me, Nicole, the future nursing student, it is all about FAFSA/ government CHA-CHING they're going to be rolling in. I think what iritates me the most is that when I researched this whole nursing thing I really had a goal in place (what pre-reqs i wanted to complete this summer and upcoming fall) and during the meeting she just shifted those aside and basically TOLD me what to take (mind you my intent was to take courses ASU - my local 4 yr university requires for their BSN program). Having left after my meeting with the advisor I completely felt she jerked me right and left and never really listened to the needs I have. I know I really have nothing to complain about, but what are my rights as a student???? I guess the worst part is I feel they were very unprofessional in the fact that they had me, an underage 16 year old minor solely sign my summer/fall registration papers without any parental regard or consent. I do not feel that I recieved the best option for what my pre-reqs to be completed and she wouldn't even talk it over and somewhat scooted me out of her office in a sense that "NEXT, I HAVE OTHER STUDENTS TO ADVISE LATER" (when there WERE NONE in her office or waiting in the lobby for advisement. I know the pathway I want to take and if she's not working with me what should I do??? Would you back away from this school and basically wait it out until fall and just go to another school or just suck it up and get an education? Sorry for my long rant but it seems like I'm reading and wanting one thing but being pushed to another due to what she believes is lack of "college smartness" /whatever it may be. Responses are welcome, thanks for reading.
  9. by   crazytonurse
    I agree with Kristi. I felt the same way towards my advisor the first time I met with him. He pushed me into the 5 year plan.. instead of the 4 year. I was frustrated especially since a few friends of mine had other advisers who were listening to them and letting them take whatever they wanted (within reason) and they were on the 4 year track. I took Basic Chemistry, while others took GOBC1. However I discovered, that I had a better hand. They were rushing through and a few of them had to drop GOBC and wait for the Basic Chemistry class the following semester to get a better understanding. While I am currently taking the GOBC1 course and and getting an A whereas they are scheduled for Basic Chemistry in the fall and have to wait until next summer at the earliest to take GOBC1 again. Your do not have to take your advisers advice, however you do have to keep in mind that they have been advising students for years, and know what will give you a great foundation for success in college. Good luck.
  10. by   FaithWorks
    I agree with many of the previous posters. First, the advisor is there to advise, that's pretty much it. I doubt they know anything about your financial situation. You don't have to take their advice, BUT in the long run, as I noticed the hard way, they pretty much know their stuff. I decided to just create my own schedules using the pre-reqs list but the advisor knew the best combination of classes so that you can mange each one and succeed. I Applaud that you are an early graduate, but here is the thing about college, Its designed to groom you into adulthood. With that being said, most of the time you only need parental consent with the financial aspects of college. My parents have not signed anything else and I too was under 18 when I began my freshman yr. The only reason why you signed the advisement form was the certify that you had been advised. It's not a contract that you MUST take the classes. It simply implies that you have been advised and any deviation from that schedule is your responsibility.
  11. by   Stephanie K
    The best bet is to talk to an advisor in the Nursing Department. The general advisors know the general education requirements you need to graduate. It's not completely uncommon for a freshman to change their major (in my case I change 4 times before settle on Psychology got my degree and now I'm going back for nursing) and the advisors are going to make sure you take what's necessary for all degrees before focusing mainly on a specific degree. Many nursing programs require all general education requirements to be completed before you apply for the program and it's best to focus on the ones that don't directly focus on your intended major so the classes that do are fresher in your mind.

    My best advise though, without knowing exaclty what the contridiction between your plan and what the advisor suggested, would be to speak with another advisor and/or a nursing department advisor. When I showed my advisor the plan I felt was the best for me she disagreed. I later found out the reason she disagreed was because the plan I had would delay my admission to the program.
  12. by   nnicolee
    Quote from js408
    Whether you get FAFSA money or pay out of pocket has nothing to do with advisors. It's not like they get a commission. At any rate, the college gets the same amount of money whether you pay out of pocket or through FAFSA. Not sure why you mention this since it's irrelavent.

    The reason I mentioned this is because at the rate she put me in classes (she gave me less credits i.e. summer 3 credits WHEN I could be doing 10 credits and the more credits you're taking the cost is cheaper.) The program I signed up for has and associates degree and I explained to her that I didn't want to do this program b/c it is far to long (about 3 YEARS!) and I'd be wasting time and pre-reqs when I could just get my pre-reqs for my BSN and apply to one of my state universities schools.

    An advisor's job is to advise. Their job is to tell you what classes to take. They did their job. You went to see an advisor, and they advised you. Their job isn't to tell you what you want to hear. Their advice may be different from what you think is correct. You're under no obligation to follow their plan. You never said why they disagreed with you. You could be picking the wrong classes if you do it on your own.

    I actually did disagree with her. When I walked into the meeting I had my printed out lists of pre-reqs for one of the universities I plan to attend - ASU. I explained to her that I wanted to take MATH 121, psychology, and english this summer and that for fall I wanted to complete BIO 201 (accelerated which they offer) and after complete BIO 202 (accelerated which they also offer) as well as ENG 102, and finally college math MAT 141.When she was done with me she only enrolled me ONLY in summer MATH 121 and for fall BIO 201, BIO 202, ENG 101, PSY 101, and NTR 200. Mind you all the while she was claiming that "our program doesn't require all those courses". Did I mention I didn't WANT to do their associates program? Oh yes, I did- numerous times. Well (skip a few days later after my appointment) and here I am still mad that I could have knocked out PSY 101, ENG 101 and MAT 121 this summer but instead she claims I can't. So you know what I did- I went to the PSY 101 teacher, ENG 101 teacher and I got permission to join their classes like that. So there goes to my advisor claiming I CAN'T DO THAT...

    I'm not sure why you mention the fact that your parents didn't consent. What do your parents have to do with it? It's not your parent's job to micromanage every little thing you do. Your parents aren't going to college for you. College is about getting things done on your own and taking personal responsibility. If something goes wrong, you can't make it your advisor's fault or your parent's fault. You need to take some responsibility for things.

    I completely understand taking full responsibility, and I'm never one to blame another human for a mistake I caused, but in this sense SHE was the person who's supposed to listen to me and enroll me in the COURSES I want and are able to take. My mom I feel should be interactive in the process because deciding to go to a school is really important and if she had seen how she just shoved me aside I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be going there anymore. I really have trouble sticking up for myself and I often have my mom fighting my battles for me. Idk what it is, but many people see the opportunity to just step on me because I'm a really kind hearted person and I guess I just don't care to fight over such things....

    As for your needs as a student? You need to take the required courses, end of story. Whatever else you need is beside the point. If you want to take courses that deviate from the education plan, then do it, but what's that got to do with nursing? The advisor's job is to get you into the nursing program as fast as possible. It sounds like they did that. What needs aren't being met?

    But she didn't. I didn't intend on doing their ADN program and I was really CLEAR on that. I did however explain that I wanted to take my pre-req courses and transfer to a four year state university. I guess she did not understand that? That's not my fault if she's blindsided by her own head. Also, she wasn't trying to make me complete the program as fast as possible. The plan she set me up on would make me finish my ASSOCIATES in 3 years..... pass on that when I can get my bachelors in a year more.

    What are your rights as a student? You have the right to take whatever classes you want, as long as it meets with the admissions and registration requirements. You don't have to follow the advisor's plan. They are giving you ADVICE, which means YOU get to choose what to take and they ADVISE you. You don't have to listen to their advice. If you think their advice is wrong, get advice from another source. Go to a different advisor. Ask another student. Be resourceful.

    I did that exactly and I went above her head. End of story, I got the classes I wanted and I'm happy.

    As for all you who replied , thanks for your replies and I did infact try to speak to someone in the Nursing department (prior to speaking to my adviser) but they explained to me that their nursing program doesn't specifically have an adviser....... SHADY much?
    Last edit by nnicolee on Jun 6, '09
  13. by   Stephanie K
    Does the community/local college you're attending right now not have a specific nursing advisor or the University you're transfering to? If the University you want to transfer to has an advisor talk to them and make sure all the course that you plan on taking at the community college transfer and what you specifically need in gen eds from that college. I took a few classes at the community college but never spoke with any of their advisors, only the ones at my university because the community college only knows what the community college needs while your university can tell you exactly what they require.

    Also, just because a bachelor's degree is supposed to take 4 years doesn't mean it will. I have many friends in various nursing programs and from them I've seen 3 year ASNs and 5-6 year BSNs. Sometimes the wait time to get into the actually program can take awhile. At the school I'm attending now they give you the projected graduation date which includes the amount of time you have to wait to get in. I'll be done with all my pre-reqs after the winter semester, I'm going for an accelerated program which is one year but my projected graduation date is Summer 2012...
  14. by   nnicolee
    The college I'm attending now just doesn't have a nursing adviser AT all. They're really more about just signing you up for their "required ADN courses" and could really care less about if you're transferring out what courses you need for a state U. My state university does have nursing advisers, but they won't even talk to me until I attend one of their "nursing informational sessions". So if you have not attended you're really limited to what's available online (as pre-reqs are concerned)

    Icompletely understand that. As waitlists are concerned they seem like all of our worst enemies as time is concerned. As do competitive programs (like ASU) only taking in 100 or so applicants a year! Basically I want to complete my degree before I turn 21. I'm 16 (turning 17 soon)... so if I get a jump start on my pre-reqs now I can get a good start and hopefully complete my goal!!!!

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