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Some UNF students having trouble with academic advisors

The mission statement of Academic Advising at the University of North Florida states that advisors can help students select a major and assist them with their academic schedules.

However, when asked about their academic advising experience, many students said they did not receive the help they needed.

The most common complaint about academic advising for undergraduate students at UNF was inconsistency in putting together schedules that follow their degree paths. 

UNF has first-year advising services and six academic colleges with different advisors, which differ among students.

Several students said their advisor has changed several times since they enrolled at UNF. Some said these changes created a sense of instability and confusion when it was time to pick their required courses, even when their advisors tried to help them.

Amelia Amarrador, a sophomore studying marketing, said she did not receive the assistance needed to register for courses. 

“I feel as if I haven’t gotten much help. I’ve done it all myself. My advisors have not told me what classes I need to take. They have told me to check the Osprey Map,” she said.

Once students finish their first year, they are moved out of first-year advising and assigned to an advisor in their college.

“Because first-year students are new, they should have more stability in who their advisors are and what they need to get for the next level,” said Jahzara Alexander, a freshman studying social work.

Several UNF students have complained about inconsistent advising quality. (Justin Nedrow)

Another problem some students experienced was that advisors instructed them incorrectly or told them to register for the wrong courses. 

Ebrar Yuksel, a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, said some of her advisors went out of their way to sign her up for the correct classes, but others were unhelpful.

“I have had other advisors that get me [to sign up for] classes that are unavailable, not on the schedule or classes I have taken,” she said.

While many students had issues with their advisors, others had no problem navigating course registration.

Celina Christopher, a junior majoring in graphic design and digital media, said her advisors changed many times, but all of them were flexible. 

Similarly, Lucas Gunn, a junior studying physics, said he has had three advisors at UNF.

“I think I might be one of the few that hasn’t had many problems with advising. My first advisor helped me set up my graduation and class track,” he said.

Overall, opinions on advising at UNF are inconsistent; multiple students have expressed concern about changes to their advisors and their effectiveness in helping them navigate course registration, while others have generally positive experiences.

Mistakes in course registration can have effects like duplications of academic transcripts, financial aid conflicts and even getting graduation pushed back. 

Kellie Woodle, the senior director of Student Success Initiatives, said she wants to partner with students and help them meet their goals to see them graduate on time.

Erin Richman, the associate vice president of Student Success Initiatives, said her team is “trying to create a more user-friendly interface for students to interact with their advisors.”

She added that students can find MyNest in their MyWings account, which they can use to reach out to their advisors and other academic support resources.

“We are just at the beginning of launching this, but it is essentially a better, cleaner way for students to get in touch with their advisors,” Richman said.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Justin Nedrow, Photographer
Justin Nedrow is a Jacksonville-based photographer who started volunteering for Spinnaker in 2020 and recently graduated in spring 2023 with a degree in sports management from the University of North Florida. Taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, Justin has helped Spinnaker reporters cover everything from sports games, protests, ordinary campus life and more. Photography is a passion project for Justin, one he started to meet new people and express himself without words.

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