Student Senate introduced the resolution “Advised Advisors,” which aims to create student feedback surveys for all advisers after each advising appointment. 

The resolution is currently being researched by the Student Affairs Committee, chairperson Sam Morrall said. After the research is completed, the committee will vote on the resolution before the general body votes.

One of the resolution authors, Elizabeth Mallory, College of Science senator, said the idea for the resolution came from both personal advising experiences and feedback from students.

She said she has had good and bad advising experiences and has heard mixed feedback from other students.

Some advisers on campus already use feedback surveys, but she wants to encourage uniformity across the different colleges and departments, Mallory said.

Through the surveys, students can let the advisers know how their communication is being perceived, Mallory said.

“Any professor who cares, any adviser who cares, will say ‘I want to know how I’m doing from the people that I’m serving,’” she said.

Mallory’s peers in the Student Affairs Committee will be researching this resolution, not her. The research on the topic will be about the implementation and effectiveness of the surveys, Morrall said.

The structure of the surveys may be modeled after the existing student feedback surveys for teachers which are sent to students at the end of each semester, he said.

The survey format, the questions asked and how the responses will be used is still unclear and will be addressed by the research, he said.

The Student Affairs Committee is reaching out to universities in the state to see if something like this exists and how effective they are, Morrall said in a Sept. 11 committee meeting.

He said if the surveys are implemented, it could have a positive impact on students’ college experience by improving how they’re being advised.

“If we really give them the feedback, it’ll make the students feel more like they have a voice in what they want their advisers to do,“ Morrall said.

Political science adviser Kimberly Caraway said she thinks advising is one of the most important jobs on campus. She said all students see advisers, and most of them need a little guidance or encouragement through their collegiate journey.

“Not all students have, like, support systems,” she said. “We’re, kind of like, their guider through the college experience.”

Caraway said she welcomes the possibility of hearing constructive criticism from the students she advises.

She said the Political Science Department has offered student feedback surveys for advisers for some time now. The surveys are sent as a hyperlink in a follow-up email after each appointment. In the email, Caraway includes more information on the topics that she and the student talked about, she said.

The personable aspect of each email affects response rates positively, Caraway said. The surveys are anonymously sent to Rebecca Deen, Political Science Department chairperson.

Deen said the number of responses she gets varies depending on the time of year. The beginning of every semester is peak advising time, so more surveys are submitted, she said.

She said since she is unaware of how many surveys are given out, she is unable to calculate the response rates.

Nursing junior Stephanie Suarez  said she doesn’t often respond to the feedback surveys for teachers. She said if the surveys for advisers were emailed to her with information pertaining to what they talked about, she would be more inclined to respond to them.

Nursing students see their adviser when they get into the nursing program and set their schedules for the entirety of the program, Suarez said. Essentially, some nursing students see their adviser once or twice over the course of a couple years. Because of this, Suarez said the resolution probably won’t affect her that much.

The resolution process is sometimes lengthy, and implementation could take some time, Mallory said. She understands she might not see the effect of this resolution because she graduates this semester, she said.

“This is not about my experience,” Mallory said. “This is for future generations.”

@HeitmeierDalton

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

Dalton Heitmeier is the 86th Texas Legislature beat reporter.

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