Meet the academic advisers of BC

Academic advising at Bellevue College is provided in order for students to have access to resources that will help direct their future.  Applying to a new university can be tough, and staying on a transparent road towards that new university can be even tougher. According to the Bellevue College website, academic advising consists of “advisers [who] assist with course selection, help you map out your educational plan, and are here to discuss major selection and the transfer process.”

Academic advising can cover a variety of things in the course of just half an hour to an hour. According to the Bellevue College website, a student can expect to discuss his progress toward educational goals and engage in a review of any and all completed coursework. This means the adviser is capable of looking at a student’s transcript and identifying academic progress. Not only that, but an academic adviser will engage the student in a discussion on his major and, if applicable, disclose detailed information on the university transfer process.

The only tricky part about academic advising is finding the right time to meet with an adviser. As a large portion of academic advising is a drop-in, first-come-first-served system, the schedules of advisers can be filled up quickly.  According to Emily Kolby, a Bellevue College “general adviser,” on a busy day she could see between 20 to 25 students. Thankfully, there is also a scheduled system in which one can book an appointment with an adviser. Depending on one’s schedule, drop-in may be easier than scheduling an appointment or vice versa. One key component that Kolby mentioned was the lateness some students register for their new classes. She theorized that people would have just finished their midterms and would be incredibly busy. Still, she recommends that students register for their classes as early as possible, as the seats do fill up.

There are many advising options specifically aimed at different majors. There are advisers in the arts and humanities sector, health science, business transfer, sciences such as biology or pre-med, social science and undeclared/exploratory. There are over eight total academic advisers stationed at Bellevue College throughout the various departments, such as arts and humanities sector, business transfer, sciences, like pre-med and the humanities sector.

Recently, Paula McPherson has noticed a large number of international students coming for academic advising. Many will ask for guidance on curriculum, their educational path and even the basics like understanding more about Seattle. Each day, she says she sees “12-15 students.” This shows the level of competition for Paula’s time. What makes a student stand out when they are applying to the University of Washington, for example, is their “proactive[ness],” says Paula. A student, according to Paula, should be connected with the Bellevue College community, should remain up to date with politics, and have clear, set goals for their future. One mistake many students make is missing deadlines for applications. “Students become overwhelmed,” says Paula. Indeed, this is easy to do. With so many different deadlines, essays, and interviews, keeping track of all the deadlines associated with applying to colleges can be challenging.