Getting to know your academic adviser

October 15, 2012

It may feel like going to college from day one is like being set adrift in a massive academic sea, but there are plenty of resources available to single moms on a college scholarship to help with orientation and finding tools to help them succeed. Offices around the campus are geared toward assisting students with getting their bearings, finding good habits and helping them manage their college careers, so familiarizing with these different areas can be a great help in getting settled.

One of the best tools a single mom could hope for on-campus is her academic adviser, a person whose only job is to help her find the right classes, plan her next four years and ensure she is on the path to success. Looking through a massive catalog of college offerings can be confusing, so when she is feeling overwhelmed, the first place to turn is the adviser's office.

Class schedulesColleges and universities have entire catalogs of courses available for a number of different majors, but knowing which ones to take can be difficult for a single mom. She may not have had any traditional schooling in years, and telling the difference between CAD drawing and advanced computer applications may not be the most intuitive decision for her roster of classes. What's more, she may need to take both or neither of them to fulfill academic requirements toward graduation, but how is she to know?

Academic advisers provide detailed lists of classes that must be completed, as well as alternatives if those courses are filled or unappealing to a student. They can provide insight into how to plan for the coming years, combine classes that should be together and organize a learning outline that can guide a single mom through the turmoil of course selections.

Performance indicatorsFor single moms on college scholarships, academic performance is especially important. If she feels like she is falling behind on homework, doing poorly on tests or struggling with regular attendance due to childcare or other legitimate reasons, it is a good time to check with an adviser to make sure the situation can be remedied.

Having trouble in college is not limited to single moms - all students are prone to difficulties. Meeting these problems head-on and handling them with an adviser shows planning and responsibility, as well as helping to diffuse a potentially bad situation. If caught early enough, an adviser can help moms get around academic roadblocks and get back on track to success.

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