Early registration is less than a week away, and Florida A&M’s School of Journalism &Graphic Communication is without any academic advisors to counsel
students for the upcoming spring semester.
Many students aren’t sure what to do, or who to talk to about their academic concerns. Some don’t even that their advisors are no longer affiliated with the university.
Journalism and public relations majors are to contact the interim journalism division director, William Jiles, for advisement and any other academic concerns.
Graphic design majors are to contact professor Anosh Gill for advisement. SJGC’s two former academic advisors departed to pursue teaching roles at Florida State University and a local high school. Nonetheless, a higher salary is frequently at the top of reasons for exploring different job opportunities.
At SJGC, academic advisors giving two weeks’ notice in the middle of a semester is not unusual.
Jiles, the interim division director, said he has experienced this before and had to continue advising hundreds of students for the entire academic year while the positions were vacant.
The possibility of bringing in faculty members from the Academic Advisement Department to help alleviate the growing faculty concerns at SJGC is no longer an
option as they are in the interview stage of the hiring process, according to Ruthie Little-Berry, assistant vice president of the Academic Advisement Department.
Hiring new faculty members to fill these positions only solves half of the problem, as it takes time for these individuals to be trained and learn the SJGC curriculum to advise students properly. The training process is usually about a month and time is of the essence with spring registration and December graduation are right around the corner.
“I’ve been looking for people familiar with our program and asking if they would be interested in applying for one of the advising positions,” Jiles said.
Finding individuals already familiar with the SJGC curriculum will cut out that month-long training process and is the main goal before the start of the spring semester,” he added.
“Because it would certainly give us a head start, and we wouldn’t have to wait as long for a newly trained advisor if we already had someone familiar with our degree programs and could come in and start right away,” Jiles said.
The advisement process for students this semester may take longer than usual, but the SJGC faculty’s mission to “deliver quality education to students” remains, Jiles added.