I conducted four interviews with a few students from the College of Engineering, specifically the Computer Science Department. I tried to say as little as possible yet prompt the interviewee with enough for them to say what they have to say about their experience with advising. They did not want to share their names so i refer to them as students. Also, we did have longer conversations; however, they tended to steer towards very particular directions and nothing was said that was not already said.
The following are the four transcripts from the interviews.
Interview with student One
Me: So, you are in the College of Engineering?
Student One: yes.
Me: have you gone to advising yet?
Student One: yeah, at the computer science department .
Me: do you have an assigned advisor or do you just see a general one from the college?
Student One: I have an assigned advisor.
Me: about how many time have you gone to see your advisor?
Student One: three times, two of them were mandatory and the third was to ask about transferring to a different college.
Me: ah. Ok. I know you just said two of those meeting were mandatory; however, were you satisfied with the results? Did you expect the meeting to go the way it did?
Student One: well, I pretty much knew what to expect…so yeah, I guess.
Me: what about your last meeting, the one that wasn’t mandatory?
Student One: well it was more of like I knew what I had to do anyway. She did a lot of googling, which I could have done…I thought she would have some insight though, which is why I decided to go instead of doing it myself.
Me: So, overall, were you happy with the results?
Student One: well, I think it could have done better but I had no REAL problem with the advising, I got what I needed, which is the important part.
Interview with student Two
Me: So, you are a freshman in the Computer Science department?
Student Two: yes. I am currently taking my first programming class as well.
Me: how do you like it so far?
Student Two: well, it is definitely very intense; I guess you can kinda see it right now since I can’t get my program to run.
Me: aha. Yes, I see. What about the advising process? Have you gone yet to get help on anything so far?
Student Two: *nods head side to side* Yes, pretty much to learn not to come back for questions I may I may have. They told me nothing I already knew and were very little help over all. In fact, I felt kinda rushed since my advisor kept looking at their watch, as if they wanted to leave already.
Me: oh wow. So I take it your visit was pretty unpleasant? Did you not reactive a single act of good help?
Student Two: there was one thing that kinda helped me, but overall, no. I talked to some other friends and told me that CS advising was your “typical” college advising.
Me: what is this “typical college advising”?
Student Two: oh you know, you go for help but you pretty much get none. Bored advisors wanting to leave. Answer your questions with more questions.
Me: I see…about how many times have you gone?
Student Two: about two times.
Me: what have you gotten out of this so far?
Student: well, when I was talking with my friends in the departments and after my bad experiences with advising, they told me that if you ever need any help about what classes to take and questions concerning certain classes, talk to some of the seniors or people that have taken the class. They will be a lot more help than the CS advisors.
Interview with student Three
Me: So you are also a Computer Science major?
Student Three: yep. First year at the CS department.
Me: have you gone to any advising yet??
Student Three: yeah, a few…maybe like three times. One meeting was mandatory.
Me: were you satisfied with the outcome of each of those meetings?
Student Three: well, the mandatory one, I guess. I didn’t have much questions so it was rather quick. The other two, I am not sure too sure how I feel about them. I mean, it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t research myself and I ended up walking out having similar concerns as when I walked in.
Me: it seems that it was party successful and partly not?
Student Three: well…I just think that I rather go to other students who have actually taken classes I want or need to take for help.
Me: it seems like you are indifferent about your advising experience thus far with the CS department. Have u walked out of the advising office with no clue on what to do next in terms of picking classes or questions concerning what your school plan is?
Student Three: well I wasn’t necessarily in total confusion, but I guess I was just expecting something else besides the expected google answer.
Interview with Student Four
Me: hey, so you are in the college of engineering?
Student Four: yes. I’m a computer science major. Even though im taking my first programming class this semester, I have had previous experience.
Me: have you visited the advising office in the CS department yet?
Student Four: yeah. Only once though.
Me: how was your experience with it? Were you satisfied?
Student Four: mmm….yeah. I guess. I mean, I knew what I wanted and I pretty much knew what I had to do. I guess I just needed someone to agree with me.
Me: ah. Ok. Well I guess it’s a lot more helpful when you come in knowing what you need to do.
Student Four: yeah, I already had everything planned out, I just explained my reasoning to my advisor.
Me: well, it seems like your meeting was rather quick. In conclusion, overall, you would say it was helpful?
Student Four: well, yes. It was quick, I got what I needed, and left. I mean, the advisor actually had very little input, but more input wasn’t really necessary. So yeah, it was helpful.