Saturday, May 30

Academic counselors answer one-on-one student questions at drop-in event

Students received academic counseling at the Counselor Speed Dating event at Rolfe Hall on Tuesday. (Habeba Mostafa/Daily Bruin)

Students were able to have their academic planning questions addressed in minutes by counselors Tuesday.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council’s Academic Affairs Commission held its first Counselor Speed Dating event at Rolfe Hall, during which students could speak with counselors from different academic counseling offices on campus including from the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Academic Advancement Program, College Academic Counseling and ASK Peer Counselors.

Alexandria Davis, a second-year political science student and secretary of outreach for the Admissions Ambassador Corps, said the commission created the event because it thinks many students need easier access to counseling services. Many students are not necessarily well informed about available counseling resources, she added.

“A lot of students just aren’t sure what (counseling) units to go to and that is what we would like to remedy with this program,” Davis said. “I feel like students should be able to utilize the resource more, especially with upcoming winter registration.”

Enrollment for winter quarter 2018 began this week.

Academic Affairs Commissioner Divya Sharma said the commission plans to continue the event in future quarters in advance of enrollment passes.

“We are looking to make this a continuous thing,” Sharma said.

Some counselors said they believe the session helped students become more familiar with counseling personnel, which they think will help the students feel more comfortable visiting department counselors in the future.

“I think by putting a name and a face to a department, it demystifies that department,” said Marcela Moreno, an academic counselor in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Several students who attended the event said they think it was a convenient and quick way to have their academic questions addressed.

Meghana Partha, a fourth-year psychobiology student, said she usually wakes up early to make counseling appointments before the time slots fill up. Attending Tuesday’s drop-in counseling session helped her save time, she said.

“It is always really hard to get down (to the counseling office) at 8 a.m. to sign up in advance, so just having them right here was really convenient,” Partha said. “It was a really easy way to have the counselors be accessible.”

Miranda Tomaneng, a second-year study of religion student, hopes to add economics as a major and said the counseling session helped her with questions related to double majoring.

“I had never been counseled at all because I feel like I am a very independent person, but I want to add a major,” Tomaneng said. “As a second-year, you can figure this out online, but it was nice to have (the counselors) clarify the process.”

Sarah Barukh, a third-year political science and sociology student, said she thinks setting up counseling appointments can be inconvenient because they need to be done in person.

“It was nice for this to be a one-stop shop,” she said.

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