Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Getting advised should not be this hard

Mohitha Ravikumar

When students are in need of academic guidance, it is essential that they have access to efficient, comprehensive resources from the university to counsel them. In theory, the most helpful of these resources ought to be students’ academic advisors. 

Students need to ask themselves if they know who their academic advisor is, not to be confused with Wellness360 or Honors College counselors. And if they think they know who it is, they should definitely check their myUTSA to ensure it is still the same person they are familiar with, because it has probably changed from the last time they checked. Students’ advisors can change at the drop of a hat with no warning and no announcement, which is extremely irresponsible on behalf of the Advising Center and UTSA.

UTSA’s academic advisors are swapped in and out of the job at alarming rates, leaving students scrambling to figure out why their advisor has disappeared and burdened with getting to know a new person unfamiliar with their academic history and goals. The bureaucracy of it all is entirely unhelpful to students just trying to get through their college career and leaves people thinking that they are better off trying to figure it all out by themselves. 

If students want to know who their advisor is, they need to check either their myUTSA or Degreeworks, as the Academic Advising website is entirely unhelpful. It is very useful, however, in telling students how to schedule an appointment with their advisor, if they know who it is, via phone or online. 

To help students find their advisors, students are directed to a listing of categories of academic disciplines that do not even correspond properly to the university’s colleges and departments. Under each of these categories is a list of majors that are supposedly under the jurisdiction of that category’s advisors, but it is not a comprehensive list of UTSA majors, nor is it accurate, and students may be assigned a counselor from a category not responsible for their major. Once a student picks a category, they are given a list of advisors, but they have no way of knowing which one is theirs, as the site does not mention how students are divided between the listed staff.

There is no point in having a website to help students find their advisors if the site does not actually manage to do that simple task. Further, the listings provide only advisors’ names and emails. Bios are not included, and worse still, there are several people without photos next to their names. The relationship between students and their academic advisors needs to be one of respect and trust, and this is not possible if students do not know who their advisor is, their qualifications or what they even look like. 

To avoid adding more stress and confusion to their students, UTSA needs to start telling them if and when their academic counselors will change via email and provide a complete profile of their new advisor.

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About the Contributors
Marcela Montufar Soria
Marcela Montufar Soria, Multimedia Editor
Marcela (She/Her/Ella) is an Honors College History and Classical Studies and Humanities major with a concentration in Religious Studies and a minor in East Asian Studies. She is an international student from Mexico and is the fourth member of her family to be a student at UTSA. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate education in Chinese history. Outside of school, Marcela volunteers at the Witte Museum as a gallery attendant during the weekends. Her hobbies include violin playing, amateur stargazing, video editing, writing, reading non-fiction, and painting. She joined the Paisano in Fall 2021, became Assistant Multimedia Editor in Spring 2022, and became Multimedia Editor in Spring 2023.
Mohitha Ravikumar
Mohitha Ravikumar, Graphic Artist
Mohitha Ravikumar (she/her) is a sophomore pursuing a Computer Engineering degree at UTSA. Outside Paisano you can find her drawing, painting and creating new artworks.

Comments (1)

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  • J

    JonathanMar 5, 2024 at 7:22 pm

    I am an Alumni. And they were prompt and helped me almost immediately. I think something should be said about how the students that are coming in are increasingly incapable of completing their own instruction. Degree plans are publicly available as well as courses. It’s necessary for students to take the initiative in developing their academic future, rather than put the blame on our Advising staff.