Bad Advising

I had an entirely silly time with an Adviser at the college. I mentioned in an earlier post that I might have found a way to graduate two quarters early. Well since our school’s website class projector thing – AgileGrad has been known to get things wrong a time or two, I thought I’d pop in and talk to some one specifically about it.

The lady was a “drop-in” adviser. I’ve seen her before, I remembered talking to her when I thought I had to register for classes in person. She ended up not doing a thing for me and just directed me to a computer. She got onto my AgileGrad, looked at my transcript, and was immediately confused that I had a bunch of classes from my Running Start years. I explained to her that I had those classes expunged – which she was very vocal about not understanding why as it would put me closer to graduating (neglecting to see the various D’s and F’s I had from that time, clearly), and that while they appear on my transcript, they don’t count toward my GPA.

“But then those classes don’t count.”

“Yes, I know,” I replied, trying to be patient. “I have it covered -”

“But you had German in there, and all these English classes that you had A’s in!”

“Yeah, I had to throw those out with the bathwater, but the German grades I have covered, I’m taking French -”

“French doesn’t count towards German, you don’t have that made up,” she interrupted before going on.

Obviously French is not German, but as far as a foreign language and cultural studies requirement goes, it covers both. It’s generally the way it works – at least that I’ve come across, any way.

Then she was impressed that I was able to use AgileGrad – which is a student tool for planning their schedules. When I went in to discuss the possibility of even going to school my adviser at the time showed me how to use it. And it’s not difficult. But she was really amazed. On AgileGrad you can create multiple plans to play around with to plot out your schedule over the upcoming quarters. So, I have three different plans I’ve been playing with. I showed her the first one, which is the one I generally stick to. She was telling me that I should be going into English 202 next quarter, even though I haven’t taken 201 and pointing out all these different flaws. I needed another science class and Nutrition I thought would be an easy one. I made the mistake of admitting I’m a certified Nutritionist, which is why I was taking it. She told me I couldn’t take the class then (there’s nothing to say that I can’t take the class).

So then I showed her my alternative plan that I was looking at that had Oceanography listed instead of Biology and she said, “Oh! You’re taking Oceanography – well then, in which case you need to -” and then proceeds to rattle off all these things. I told her that was just a draft plan, not the one I’m sticking to, that I really don’t want to take Oceanography. But she wasn’t listening.

In the end she’s so confused by my requirements I’ve met that she’s telling met that there’s no way I can graduate by the end of Fall quarter since I need another 60 credits and it says I have 45 already and that’s not right (I might note that I have 3 completed quarters at 15 credits each – which is 45, and there’s this current quarter, Spring, Summer and Fall – that’s four quarters at 15 credits each, which is 60 credits) – though I haven’t a clue why she thought that. She then began to tell me that if I wanted to make sure I had what I needed, then I should go to Western Washington University to find out what they require.

….

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So, Whatcom Community College is in Bellingham, just like Western Washington University – and they’re buddies. All of their programs are designed with the intent on producing students that can easily slip into Western’s arms. The transfer degree is designed for Western specifically. I have been told it countless times in Writing Center trainings (since we deal a lot with college application essays there, and we also host a great deal of seminars and workshops with representatives of Western trying to get students) by my boss, by the head of the learning center, and by most of my teachers. I don’t know, maybe we have it all wrong.

I left thinking I had wasted an hour of my time getting nowhere with a lady who looked as though she should have retired ten years ago (I do sincerely mean that in the nicest way possible) that gave me no information but rather told me to go to the university that I have no intention of even applying to to get more information as to what my transfer degree needs. I was pretty annoyed, needless to say.

I have a goal to be done at Whatcom by the end of Fall 2015. That has been waved in my face now (granted, I did that to myself), and I’m going to do my best to make it happen. So my list is to get a hold of Durham and find out what I actually need to qualify to get in, set up an appointment with an adviser that specializes in non Western Transfers, and talk to some of my teachers about a learning contract which may or may not contribute to my Honors classes. I’ll take it from there.

Oh, and on a more positive note, I received an email from Penn. State inviting me to consider their university as well. My options are opening!

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