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Faculty Advisors Help Navigate the Stressors of Course Scheduling

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Many Ohio Wesleyan students go through many stressors when looking to schedule for the next semester. One of the biggest things is the overlap of classes and trying to fit everything into one schedule, especially for juniors and seniors trying to graduate.

“This may mean that you take some classes in topics that you did not think would be of interest, but may find that you love once you learn more, when conflicts are unavoidable or you may need to wait and take that class that you have been waiting for another semester/year.” said professor and advisor of Biological Sciences Dr. Shala Hankison.

When you are faced with challenges, all you can do is try something new and be flexible.

Dr. Hankison laid out how the scheduling process is done, mentioning that when professors have to teach introductory-level courses they often are not able to teach upper-level courses at the same time, making it difficult not only for advisors to help schedule students but also for the students to be able to find a balance of classes.

When asked if it was difficult dealing with scheduling conflicts Dr. Hankison replied, “YES! And I feel for students who are trying to navigate class conflicts and schedules, especially juniors and seniors who are trying to fulfill major/minor/curricular requirements.”

The more we move through our years at the university the more conflict we are bound to face as we get closer to having to squeeze in the last of the requirements before graduation. Although navigating these challenges doesn’t have to be done by themselves.

“My advisor was quick to answer emails about scheduling and any other questions or concerns I had regarding my schedule this upcoming semester,” said sophomore Aniya Johnson,

Advisors are great resources for students to help manage the stressors that come with scheduling. While they may not be able to solve every problem, they are able to help students take the next steps to make a class schedule as well as set up as possible ways to keep students on track for graduation.

When making the scheduling decisions on how the classes are set up there is a lot of time and consideration that goes into it.

“Within departments there is a lot of discussion about when courses are offered and how to prevent overlap between courses where students might enroll in both. We also discuss common classes in other related departments and how those classes overlap with our own departmental classes like chemistry and introductory biology courses,” Dr. Hankison said.

The scheduling process can be stressful for the advisors with tons of emails coming in daily with questions. The advisors want to make sure students are on track to graduate.

“I am not as comfortable with helping advisees with a major outside of the program or department that I am in. Since I am not as familiar with the requirements for majors in other departments or programs, it takes more time to look through information in the course catalog and the department/program webpages.” said Dr. Chelsea Vadnie, professor and advisor for the Psychology Department.

Dr. Vadnie mentioned that when students come prepared to their meeting it is much easier to advise them properly. While everyone is struggling with scheduling the only thing that we can do is trust the process and know that advisors have students' best interest in mind and will do what they can to make sure students are successful.

“Try to be as flexible as possible,” Dr. Hankison said.

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