Liberal and Creative Arts adviser Steven Cochrane (left) and student assistant Juliana Rodriguez (right) review the advising appointment schedule in the Liberal and Creative Arts Advising Resource Center (ARC) in SF State’s Humanities Building on Nov. 14, 2022. The ARC’s advisors are fully booked for Advising Week. (Tatyana Ekmekjian / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tatyana Ekmekjian)
Liberal and Creative Arts adviser Steven Cochrane (left) and student assistant Juliana Rodriguez (right) review the advising appointment schedule in the Liberal and Creative Arts Advising Resource Center (ARC) in SF State’s Humanities Building on Nov. 14, 2022. The ARC’s advisors are fully booked for Advising Week. (Tatyana Ekmekjian / Golden Gate Xpress)

Tatyana Ekmekjian

SF State’s student advising process to change in Fall 2023

General advisers will take on major advising, allowing faculty advisers to be mentors.

November 14, 2022

SF State’s advising model will be altered in an attempt to make the process more efficient in Fall 2023. Students will no longer be automatically required to meet with faculty advisers for course planning. 

In mid-Feb. 2023, all advising centers will move to the Administration Building. SF State aims to assign students one general adviser for their first two years, then give them the freedom to branch out to other advisers. 

General advisers will help students on degree advising, while faculty advisers will take more of a career mentorship role. 

According to Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Kimberley Altura, the decision to change the model was based on student feedback that said the current model is confusing.  

The advising department saw more success with a newer advising model that was introduced to freshmen in 2020, where the students were assigned an adviser. 

“This new model just means that they will have the faculty advisers they can speak with and they’ll also have the advisers in that one stop center, and those advising teams will all be getting training directly from the academic departments,” Altura said.

In Spring 2023, “advising squares” — or adviser training — will begin. According to Chemistry Professor and Director of Faculty Advising Dr. Nancy Gerber, in the multiple training sessions, four faculty members from almost every department will come together to figure out what faculty advising will look like in Fall 2023.

“Hopefully that will help improve the communication between the professional advisers and the faculty advisers,” Gerber said. “So that it’s not a matter of a student that would just see one or the other. But there’ll be a nice, warm handoff between the two.”

SF State will move all advising centers to the second floor of the Administration Building starting around mid-February to make students less confused about the location of advising. It’ll be a one stop center for students to get help from general advisers on course planning and other general advice.

This would give faculty advisers more room to be mentors to students, taking the routine aspects of advising out of their roles so they can work with students on career advising, internships and scholarly activity.  

Biology major and student assistant Anastasia Chaudry has worked in the Liberal and Creative Arts’ Advising Resource Center for the past two years. Chaudry isn’t thrilled that the ARC will be moved to the Administration Building because she feels it’ll lose the cozy and approachable charm it currently has.

“It feels like it’s just going to turn into a very business only area,” Chaudry said in a text message. “Like we won’t get the chance to really interact with students and have a relaxing atmosphere.”

The Department of Computer Science is excited for the change, since they don’t have enough faculty to keep up with the number of students seeking advising. But Gerber said not every department is excited.

Health Promotion & Wellness Public Health intern and Public Health major Miya Valdehuesa prefers getting advice from faculty advisers and the Metro College Success Program, because they’ve gotten to know her better than general advisers. She would prefer to speak to a faculty adviser only, because it would be tougher to schedule two separate appointments for general and faculty advising.

“Faculty advisers are more likely to be aware of their colleagues’ teaching styles,” Valdehuesa said in a text message. “They might be able to provide more insight as to which professor is a better fit for a student’s learning style.” 

LCA Graduate Teaching Associate in Creative Writing London Pinkney has never interacted with a general adviser during her time at SF State, both as an undergraduate and now as a graduate student. She thinks it’s a good thing that general advisers will be sharing some duties with major advisers.

“Even though I’m not an actual professor, I can’t imagine juggling advising and being an instructor,” Pinkney said. “So, I think it would be really great to have people who are, you know, their dedicated position is to be an adviser that can actually learn the systems.”

Students will be notified of the changes in the coming months.

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About the Contributors
Photo of Matthew Cardoza
Matthew Cardoza, Copy Editor
Matthew Cardoza (he/him) is the copy editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. He was born and raised in San Francisco, and still lives in the city. He was previously a part of The Guardsman, the campus newspaper of City College of San Francisco. Matthew likes to write about politics, culture and interesting events on and off campus. In his free time, he likes to drive around San Francisco, rock climb, play video games and hike in the wilderness.
Photo of Tatyana Ekmekjian
Tatyana Ekmekjian, Staff Photographer
Tatyana Ekmekjian (she/her) is graduating this spring with a major in photojournalism and a minor in hospitality and tourism management at SF State. Tatyana has a great passion for the culture, industry and preparation of food. She hopes to express her passion for food through the medium of photography to further her success in the food and lifestyle industry.

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