I have been admitted for Spring 2013 as a distance student and everyone up until the advisor level have been super helpful and have answered my questions right away. I feel like I have hit a wall with the advisor level and I am not sure if I should consider this to be a sign of how the college *is* or whether I should just try to work around this minor flaw? I see on one hand, they may feel that we are adults and should be able to find the answers to our questions independently and shouldn't need the college to do a lot of hand-holding. I am not sure if that type of college would be a good fit for me, I am a mid 30s mom of 3 who works on my degree in my spare time and I do need to rely on the support of the experts within the industry at the college. I don't know if I was just very lucky while completely my associate's degree at the community college because no question was too small, everyone was extremely helpful, and they answered questions quickly.
I was admitted to UA for Spring 2013 a few months ago. I had my transcripts evaluated and I see the results in MyBama. As you all know, MyBama tells you what classes you need to take but of course it's not an official advisor so I planned my spring schedule and emailed it to the advisor to make sure what I planned will suffice. Twice now, over the course of a month, I got a very "wait your turn" copy and paste type email. That there is no guarantees of advisement before registration begins, but I will be advised before classes begin and if need be they will open up spots for distance students. I was a bit turned off by this, I am still in the researching process and if the classes I am thinking aren't going to work if I expect them to, or if the program as I am expecting won't work, I may end up going a different path (or college) for my degree. I am hoping everything will work out because for the most part I love UA, but if my questions are shelved for X days/weeks that may close the door on my being able to be admitted in another university in time to start in time for spring 2013, should this not work out. Also...my questions were NOT anything that couldn't be done within a few minutes of time. Type in my CWID number I provided, confirm/deny the classes I was planning would work, respond either way. My old advisor at my community college would do this within a day or two max, not weeks and weeks. I don't know if she was just a super multi-tasking gem in the industry or "wait your turn" emails are the industry norm.
And if the advisor is always busy, who do you turn to, especially in a distance degree program, if you are struggling? Again, my old advisor at my community college was wonderful and I felt I could go to her with any question either by phone or email and she was always willing to guide as needed. I just don't know what I would do at UA now? Or does UA not have that level of student support?
Last edited by collegemomto3; 10-17-2012 at 09:59 AM.
I was a student at UA in the early 1970s and my daughter attended and graduated in the early 2000s. From what I have seen, from both my daughter's years as a student and working in a small way with my sorority chapter's students, UA is VASTLY more supportive to students since my days 30+ years ago.
However, it's still a big, big university. You need to be thoroughly familiar with the requirements of your major and be prepared to know more than your advisor.
Sounds like you are getting an automated response. Remember that your community college probably had less than 10,000 students and UA has almost 35,000. UA has, I'm sure, more advisors, but the ratio of advisors to student is higher. While you're waiting for a response, you might want to study your major's requirements and options.
Thanks! That's what I believe I am doing, doing most of the legwork myself but I did want the double check behind myself since I am not the expert and this will be my first semester at UA. I figure once I have a few semesters under my belt this will all be old hat and I may not need the extra support, but as a newbie it would be nice. I haven't decided what I am going to do next week- I see I don't have an advising hold so I wonder if I can just sign up for the classes I am considering to hold my spot, and then once the advisor gets in touch I can play with my schedule as/if needed? I figure that would be a heck of a lot easier than hoping they will open up a spot for me.
As for the second question, I haven't found a distance learning office. All questions seem to be directed to one person which also surprised me. I was thinking, like the community college level, most general questions would be answered by general knowledgeable seasoned work-study students and anything difficult would be escalated to a full time employee as needed. It seems like UA is missing a student success center or maybe I haven't found it yet.
It seems to me that there is plenty of support for students at UA - certainly much more than my D takes advantage of. However, I have to say that we have been underwhelmed with the advising - both at Bama Bound and for spring 2013. My D bypassed the group advising session that was the only thing she could get for spring (she waited too long to sign up) and went to the department head. I'm not sure what you would do as a distance learner, but I wouldn't hesitate to e-mail your department and try to get your questions answered that way.
I can understand that advising wouldn't be available "on the spot" when you call, but it seems there should be some formal procedure before registration. Even our daughters who are taking online classes through UA Early College are required to attend advising sessions by appointment in order to have their registration hold lifted. Fortunately the advising can be completed online although the times are not always convenient with the time difference.
I'm sorry you are having difficulty. I hope you can find support to make this possible.
Academic advising is conducted in the individual colleges. We are happy to assist with course selection and can arrange academic advising with the appropriate college if needed. Please call 1-800-467-0227 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
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Thanks! I have been in touch with a few of the people on that page and I have been directed to the advisor who I received the "wait your turn" type responses from. I prefer not to name the specific program/degree I am working toward, not that I have anything to hide, but I feel slightly embarrassed to be "bashing" the school in this way already and I feel bad enough just calling the school out by name. I seems there is only one advisor per program so it would be pretty easy to narrow down who I am talking about, and I really don't mean to be negative I am just feeling frustrated right now. The only reason I state the school's name is I wanted to see if anyone else is sharing similiar experiences. As I said, everyone seems super nice and I LOVE the user friendliness of MyBama and DegreeWorks, hopefully this is just a minor kink and everything will work out soon.