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Preparation Reduces Long Wait Times in Advisement

By Manuel Guerrero
Preparation Reduces Long Wait Times in Advisement

Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) students can expect to spend more time at Komatke Hall than they would like. The wait to see an advisor currently takes upwards of an hour due to students walking in without preparing for the meeting.

EMCC is a growing campus and according to Linda Scott, Director of Career and Education Planning, the ratio of students per advisor is about 850 to one which has led to long wait times to see an advisor.

However, EMCC student Matthew Ortiz pointed out that high schools were as much to blame for this situation as the colleges, because the structure is much different. “In high school, you have school counselors that guide you. That is not the case in college,” said Ortiz. “You lose that personal touch. It seems like each student is like a drop in a bucket at EMCC.”

College has hundreds of class choices and career paths, and it is up to the students to educate themselves on which classes they need to take. Advisors have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and are trained on effective communication skills and excellent customer service. They are trained to help, but students need to prepare themselves for the meetings by doing their homework.  Students need to know what kinds of questions to ask.

One way to prepare is to speak to a university representative at the EMCC Career and Transfer Center. Talking to an advisor and career counselor will give students a better idea about what classes to take and whether or not they need to transfer to a four-year institution to reach their educational or career goals. For students interested in transferring, MCCCD’s MAPP Program with Arizona State University lowers students’ tuition if they meet all the requirements upon completion and transfer. According to Scott, signing students up for this program helps students have a set plan.

My.maricopa.edu is also an effective tool for students because it lists updated classes. Students can reserve a spot for classes from home as soon as they are available. They can also visit aztransfer.com to compare classes offered at EMCC to other schools in Arizona. The website includes schools from ten districts in Arizona, as well as the three major Arizona universities.

If students do not want to go the online route, they have other options such as setting up a meeting with an advisor by calling 623-935-8888. The wait time for an appointment may be about a week, but it eliminates the waiting time in Komatke Hall for “drop in” advising.

When students are at the appointment, they should be prepared, added Scott. Students should bring a copy of their check sheet for their degree choice, an idea of what classes they want to take, what they are planning to do in future semesters, and be ready to ask questions.

“Students have to be informed consumers when it comes to their education. For example, when you want to buy a car, you know exactly what you want,” said Scott. “By students being prepared, it allows them more time on answering difficult questions, things they need to do (for graduation), and ways to make themselves more competitive in the job market.”

Scott also advises students to pick their schedule early. Enrolling for classes two weeks before the semester starts, means running the risk that the needed classes are already full. A better way to enroll is to talk to an advisor for the upcoming semester in the current semester.

For more information about the Advisement Center, please visit: http://www.estrellamountain.edu/students/advisement