Have You Been Advised?

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Getting students to stay on top of their academic progress at Morgan State University has been an issue for some time now. Different departments on campus have used a number of different tactics just to encourage students to visit with their advisor at least once a semester. “As a student, it is extremely important to know exactly where you stand academically with the university. One of the things our office is doing starting in the fall of 2014, we will be responsible for coordinating an advising program for all incoming freshmen. I think it’s a good start for this university. To really finally understand the significance and impact that advising can have for students” said Dr. Brenda James, director of the Center of Academic Success and Achievement.

But for now, all Biology, Broadcast & Integrated Media Production, Construction Management, Elementary Education, Fine Arts, History, Journalism, Music, Nursing, Psychology, Public Relations, Screenwriting & Animation, Communication, Theatre Arts, Speech Communication, Mathematics, and Transportation Systems majors are required to have an alternate pin in order to register for classes during any time of the year.

The only way to retrieve the alternate pin is by visiting with your advisor. Without the alternate pin, you are unable to register for any classes.

Ideally, one alternate pin covers two semesters. You could use the same pin from spring 2014 to register for classes in the summer but for the fall semester of course, you would have to go meet with your advisor for a brand new one.

Professors found this to be a brilliant idea, in regards to helping students have a successful and productive matriculation at the University.

“It’s important to make sure students are taking the right classes at the right time to prevent confusion and problems at the end. Some courses require a lot of prerequisite before you can advance in your studies, so students tend to be more knowledgeable and on top of things as far as what classes they need to take and when to take them.  The advisement is for clarity and eliminating problems before they occur” said Elizabeth Akinyele, Chemistry lecturer and advisor.

Other departments on campus that never required students to have alternate pins before registering for classes seem to be doing fine without them, but do look forward to having the method in place in the near future.

Dr. Leo White, a professor and advisor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, believes that the alternate ID requirement is beneficial to making sure students stay on track academically.

“We don’t require students to meet with advisors to obtain a pin before registering for classes, but students have questions about scheduling and usually end up in our office being advised anyway. I think soon enough every department will require a pin because it’s ideal to keep students on track to graduate in four years”

Although some departments aren’t use to requiring alternate pin ID’s, advisors like Dr. White agree that they are helpful to both students and advisors.

“The pin is necessary because we have some students who veer off course and take classes that are not needed as a part of the requirements, and a little bit of positive guidance and professional input could go a long way”

Most advisors have been very pleased with the results they’ve been getting regarding the affect that this new requirement has had on students. On the other hand, many students don’t agree with the new system. Students at Morgan State feel that advisement is pointless.

“Advisement is pretty poor here. According to what your major is and where you are at Morgan, it’s pretty much a do it yourself way of life. Morgan definitely prepares you for life in general as far as making it on your own. So through the years, I have learned just to advise myself” said Angel Kyler, a graduating senior at Morgan State University.

Only time will tell if alternate pins will soon become a requirement for the entire Morgan State campus. But should the University go to such great lengths just to ensure students stay on track?

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