New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Opinion: NYU advising needs to do better

The hit-or-miss reality of NYU’s advising system leaves students grappling with a lack of guidance, revealing a need for a more supportive approach.
Qianshan Weng
NYU Connect is a portal for students to schedule appointments with their advisors.(Graphic by Qianshan Weng)

Despite my best efforts to connect with them, my CAS adviser has been a ghost throughout my undergraduate career. I have yet to see their face, speak to them over anything other than email or receive career advice from them. I’ve heard other students expressing similar frustrations about their advisers, all wondering why the person who is supposed to provide them with academic support is nowhere to be found.

I know that not everyone has a bad experience with their adviser. Some of my friends have said that their advisers are extremely helpful, providing them with alternative classes to fulfill their major requirements and responding to their emails with detailed and friendly answers. 

However, a student’s advising experience shouldn’t be a coin toss — everyone deserves the same high standard of support.

NYU sets high expectations for its advising program, so the least it can do is meet them. The university’s advising page states that the programs “aspire to help students find their purpose, achieve their potential, and become active and engaged global citizens” and are designed to create a “continuing conversation between you and an adviser.” 

My adviser, however, is impossible to pin down and has left me feeling alone in navigating my academics. When I tried to make an NYU Connect appointment with them, I was notified that I wasn’t allowed to schedule meetings. 

Now that both my majors have been declared, I’m also subject to registration clearance from my major advisor, which entails, at most, a two-to-three-email correspondence. Despite now having two advisers — my CAS advisor and my primary advisor — I have received no career guidance, mentoring or help making sure I can fulfill the infamous CAS core requirements.

“Whenever I make an appointment with my advisor, they never seem to know my history … they always tell me my plan is good and to register for classes, ” Stern senior Isabella Falcao said. “They never really suggest any program specifically or anything like that, and do not check up at all.” 

Advisers are supposed to help us navigate a plan to graduation and find ways to maximize the value of the courses we’re enrolled in. However, this is difficult to do when many advisers don’t update our AP and IB courses in Albert — an oversight that could lead to delayed registration times and repeating courses we might have already fulfilled the requirements for. 

Advisers are also meant to inform us about tools like the CAS Petition Portal, which allows students to submit requests to substitute core courses or alter requirements to fit their specific graduation path. They should also be frequently recommending the CAS exemptions, substitutions, and proficiency exams page, so students don’t take unnecessary courses under the misconception that they’re required. However, without advisers telling us about these helpful tools, they remain underused, and the already frustrating process of course registration gets more stressful.

Students should be paired with advisers through an interest form where they can find an adviser who is knowledgeable about their interests and who can provide consistent communication. When I needed help registering for journalism classes, my CAS advisor, who specializes in criminal justice, was occupied with assisting curious first and second-year students, as they communicated in their recent email. At this point, why was I even matched with them? 

The university should not be assigning individual advisers to hundreds of students across majors and grade levels. NYU needs to make sure it has the bandwidth to support both the students it admits every year and the thousands of students who are already enrolled.

A singular email correspondence to help me graduate seems inadequate given the cost of tuition. If students are going to be paying upward of $80,000 to attend this university, the least it can do for them is make sure they have the guidance they need to graduate on time.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Valentina Plevisani at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Valentina Plevisani
Valentina Plevisani, Deputy Opinion Editor
Valentina Plevisani is a junior majoring in Politics and Journalism and minoring in Italian. Born and raised in Peru she hopes to be a political journalist and is obssessed with reading. When she's not writing you can find her baking, down a Wikipedia rabbit hole or, honestly just taking a nap.
Qianshan Weng
Qianshan Weng, Multimedia Editor
Qianshan Weng is a junior studying Media, Culture and Communication and Journalism. You may pronounce his name as "chi''en-shan", or, if it makes your life easier, just call him "Ben." He grew up in Shenzhen, China, and has spent the last five years or so saying that he wants to learn Cantonese. The answers to the questions "when will he finally start?" and "why is this taking him so long?" remain mysteries, even to himself. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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