Is anyone here an undergrad academic advisor/academic counselor? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-06-2007, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking about applying for an academic advising job. I have no experience as one, but do have a BSW and my experience is mostly in working with children and adolescents. I'm interested in this job because I'd be working on campus, and it's a job I think I'd be good at and really enjoy (ok, that's the short, simple version, lol).

I guess I'm wondering--what is the job like? What does your job entail? Do you enjoy it? Is it at all flexible/family friendly (I realize this will depend on where the job is, etc)?
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#2 of 7 Old 05-07-2007, 01:03 AM
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Well, I'm not one, but I can tell you what qualities I've observed in my colleague.

She handles (with some assistance, but not enough) general academic advising for roughly 350 undergraduates. She gets to know them, cares about how they're doing. We go through spates of having kids with a lot of personal/behavioral/mental health problems: she's on the front line of that. She has masses of paperwork to do, both with admissions and with graduates. She is empathetic, stern when necessary, and keeps a sense of humor pretty much at all times. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't give up the job...

In our particular case, the kids enter knowing their major, so it's not a question of helping anyone decide what the course of study will be. Students also have faculty advisors, who handle the requirements for the major.

Mom of two girls.
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#3 of 7 Old 05-07-2007, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for responding
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#4 of 7 Old 05-07-2007, 07:24 PM
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It so funny, I am considering the same thing. I have a degree in psychology and school counseling and have been working in early childhood but am quickly getting burned out and thinking of a career change. I like the idea of working with a college population.

Subbing to this thread to find out more. Let us know how it works out for you

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#5 of 7 Old 05-08-2007, 03:55 PM
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I work at a college and for the msot part help studnets who wnat to get employed after they graduate- this also means that I do some academic advising.. mainly all my students have disabilities though so taht makes it a bit tough.. in my job.. I usually see about 3-8 students per day, 1 hr lunch appointments can be scheduled by clerical (or myself) so there is soem flexability, but not a whole lot. Where I work you can be a academic advisor witha B.A degree. the "real academic advisors" here probobly see more studnets tahn this on a daily basis and really have to know about classes, majors, transferable classes, graduation req, etc. they also deal with the calworks population (some who would love to get a b.a degree but only have 12 months to get an education) they are very resorucesfull adn know their community VERY well. of course not everyoen is liek this but a lot of studnets ahve great thingsd to say of them vs. regular counselors. you also have to know how to register a studnet for classes, look at transcripts from otehr colleges, schools, etc. hope this helps.. if you have any more questions... feel free to PM me...
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#6 of 7 Old 05-13-2007, 01:36 AM
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This is the career path I am beginning to explore!
I am still in undergrad. What is the best master's to get for this career?
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#7 of 7 Old 05-13-2007, 11:18 PM
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I used to be one

It was a little "different" because I advised all distance education students. Most of my contact was by phone/email but I also frequently travelled to be available in person. I handled transfer credits, admission, graduation, and general advising as well as many non-advising duties. I was more heavily involved outside of advising than the other advisors in my department but even the others spent at least 30% of thier time doing other departmental duties like committee work, assessment, and accredidation.

I really enjoyed it. I now teach at the same university. I would not say it was overly flexible but it could have been had I asked. There are other academic advisors at the same school that have worked out 3/4 time positions that allow them to be off for the summers but still get benefits. Universities tend to be more flexible than other employers. Although I work at a predominently male university (engineering) so it can be tricky depending on who the "boss" is.

What I likes most is that I was in charge of myself and had very little that I ever had to "answer" for. I could plan my days to do the trickier work during my peak alert times and more mundane stuff at other times. I did not always like the confrontation when you have to tell a student something they won't like, but usually the "rules" are pretty set and there is not much to "argue" about.
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