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CCSC Top 5 Priorities Committee

Name: Lani Allen

Date: February 14th, 2016
General Topic: Strengthening Center for Student Advising
Objective: The objective of the CCSC is to advocate for more a robust Center for Student
Advising (CSA) and for additional student advising structures that better serve students needs.
This comes largely in response to negative feedback received by the CCSC about students
experiences with CSA.

Student Relationships with Faculty

o Columbia advising does not provide immediate access to faculty for incoming
students. Many students have expressed feeling intimidated by faculty upon
arriving at Columbia and desire more personalized, interest-based (based on
Common App Major Indicator) advising relationships between students and
faculty. The CCSC feels it is imperative to include a faculty element to the
student advising experience, as a supplement to the academic advisors to which
students are assigned through the Center for Student Advising.
o Presently, freshmen have the opportunity to Shadow Declare a major in order to
sign up for specific majors listservs and gain access to the resources and
opportunities to which declared majors have access. While this is certainly a sign
of progress, the CCSC asks Columbia College to reintroduce the pairing of
faculty advisers with incoming students so that faculty can serve as academic and
personal resources to students. Additionally, faculty advisors would be able to

provide more in depth departmental knowledge that academics advisors could not
o Yale University has very comprehensive advising system that introduces both
faculty and academic advisors to first year students. Yale assigns an interestbased faculty member to each student, whom students may continue to meet with
or may change depending on eventual major declaration decisions. The longevity
of such a relationship would not only help Columbia College students better
adjust to life in the Columbia community but also help mitigate students
dissatisfaction with high CSA advisor turnover.
o Feedback received by the CCSC reports that even many juniors and seniors have
not been assigned departmental faculty advisers (being assigned a departmental
faculty adviser is an expectation). The CCSC asks that the Deans of Columbia
College help address lack of departmental accountability in providing involved

faculty advisors to Columbia College students with declared majors.

Employment of Advisors
o Many students have expressed concerns about the frequent turnover of CSA
advisors. Upperclassmen, in particular, have expressed dissatisfaction with their
multiple advisor reassignments. Students, generally, have not had the opportunity
to build long-term relationships with academic advisors, and, as a result, their
advising needs have been not been met. Students feel there needs be a more
active effort to hire committed advisors. The hiring search committees for CSA
advisors should include student voices, and search committees should more
strongly take into consideration long-term advising experience and a commitment
to the field.

Further reading: