LV Life Editor
All students at the University of La Verne have an academic adviser whose job is to advise them on classes, yet some students are sidetracked by miscommunication and advice from friends.
A survey conducted by the University of La Verne last spring on 181 traditional undergraduate students showed that 83 percent of students meet with their counselor more than once a semester to organize classes, yet some students still take classes they never needed.
“One person gave me advice on a class they never took,” junior political science major Valerie Lezin said.
Lezin registered to take a history class this semester based on advice from a fellow student.
She dropped the class when she realized the class was not what she expected and unneeded to complete her major or general education requirements.
Lezin consulted with two students on her taking the history class.
The first student, who never took the class, told Lezin the class was fun.
After talking to a second student who previously took the class, Lezin changed her mind.
“The second person told me the class was straight history. I didn’t even go to the first class, I just dropped it,” Lezin said. “My adviser had nothing to do with this, it was just me asking other students for advice.”
“You want to trust your friends 100 percent except when it’s about what classes to take,” said Professor of Education John Bartelt.
Bartelt said that all students should meet with their adviser and no one else when picking classes.
It is OK to be paranoid, check in with your counselor to make sure everything is right, Bartelt said.
Students are required to meet with their adviser each semester, yet a miscommunication can still occur.
Graduate education student Avedis Ovakimyan registered for a health class at Pasadena City College to fulfill a requirement at ULV.
Ovakimyan met with his graduate school counselor who told him he needed the credit from a health class.
Ovakimyan took a health class as an undergraduate at ULV, that health class fulfilled his graduate school requirement.
Ovakimyan originally did not inquire about his previous health class with his counselor so he registered for the class at PCC.
“I realized I didn’t need this class so I withdrew but it cost me $300 because I couldn’t get a refund,” said Ovakimyan.
“I misunderstood my counselor, I didn’t follow up with my counselor, it was my fault,” said Ovakimyan.
“‘Nobody told me,’ ‘I didn’t know,’ those are not good excuses when in front of the undergraduate appeals committee,” said Carlos Cervantes, associate dean of academic support and retention services.
Cervantes does presentations for freshmen and continuing students on the importance of meeting with a counselor. Cervantes and the office of academic support also hold workshops to help undeclared students chose a major.
“Do not seek academic advice from your friends or family, go to your adviser.”
Brian Velez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.