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William is an Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in the Department of Business Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management. He is fascinated by research around how individuals construct and create their social realities, intrigued with the powers of creativity and innovation, and an avid proponent of outstanding service experiences. When not teaching, writing, or researching, he tries to spend time with his family and occasionally paint. He is currently completing his PhD in Management at Saint Mary’s University.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The ‘academic’ advisor

Like many schools, we here provide the service of academic advising. On it’s face, this would look like dealing with questions about majors, concentrations, electives, and overall direction. I’d even toss in some questions about university process, like ‘who do I talk with about dropping a class?’ or ‘when might I go to have such-and-such paper signed and submitted?’. However, more and more, I’m finding academic advising constitutes questions on what courses to take when going into second semester or which language option should I take? I’ve asked people of my generation if and when they would go in for advising. Generally, the consensus is that advising would only be sought if serious implications were at stake and then only if options could be presented to the prof; less a matter of ‘what’ than ‘what do you think of option a vs. option b.?’ Have we actually not taught a generation to make decisions? Are they this coddled or is it something worse? I’m personally looking forward to the rebound on this trend.
Knock on some wood for me.
What are your thoughts?


  1. This is a really interesting observation. As a student myself, I've noticed the same thing and have asked my fellow students why they rely so heavily on academic advising. As university students, shouldn't we be capable of making our own decisions and figuring these things out for ourselves? Similar to other aspects of university education, the standards and expectations are continuously decreasing. These resources for assistance and advising are so readily available that they are often viewed as a substitute for students simply thinking on their own and making their own "adult" decisions.

  2. I'd be curious to understand better the reliance on advising in it's current form. Why do some students seek it for commonplace questions? It is a need for reassurance or stress reduction?
    Love to know what people think about this!


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