Advisors play a key role in a student’s journey

Arthur Borders is an advisor in FAMU's music department.

Advisement is the first stop for students attending college. Students look at advisement as a starting point or the first step in the door.

Advisement is encouraged for students to guarantee that the curriculum is being followed in order to graduate on time. It only takes one class to push back the graduation date, and many students are eager to establish confidence in their advisor.

The goal is to graduate and graduate on time. Chance Stokes is a fourth-year music major. He said that he has had good experiences with advisement.

“I haven’t had any bad run-ins with advisement but I expect for my advisor to help me become ready for next semester so that I can graduate on time,” said Stokes.

Some people may agree that students need to do more on their part and not let advisement be their crutch – especially in junior or sophomore year. The goal of the advisors is to help students during their academic journey.

Arthur Borders, a FAMU graduate with a bachelor’s and MBA, is now an advisor for the music department. Prior to this position Borders was a career advisor.

One reason behind his return is to give back to students that need someone to relate to. He says that many students lack a mentor. He said that if he had had that person in college he would have been able to maneuver in many situations he experienced.

“In addition to academic advisement we are still in charge of helping our students obtain a career in that particular career path. One of my endeavors is to try to inspire my students and mentees to be culturally enriched,” he said.

Students are overwhelmed with expectations and come to advisors for an outlet, confirmation, or reassurance. An advisor may be the first relationship the student has at a university.

 The disadvantage is when the students has no connection with that advisor or has been misadvised. The trust is gone and because of that many students make the decision to advise themselves.

 Students say they are expecting the advisors to be there, be knowledgeable and be aware.

“My advisement experience has been somewhat nonexistent. I wish I had a better relationship with my advisor. Maybe I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now. This has affected my journey a lot. It has pushed my graduation date back. I would like the advisors to require more appointments with students so they can stay on track. I don’t want other students going through the same situation,” said Michael Maturin, a senior who has changed his major to interdisciplinary studies.

Students say they are looking for advisors to be honest, personable and professional. They depend on advisors to be passionate about keeping them on track and being successful. The curriculum is very helpful but the one-on-one time with advisors makes a big difference.