Tag: Scheduling

Academic Advising Woes

Academic Advising Woes

Because of my status as an honors student, I’ve very rarely run into any problems signing up for classes each semester. Honors students have priority registration, so nothing has filled up before I’ve gone for it. Plus, I’m pretty cognizant of what I need to take thanks to our graduation requirements being readily available through a Titan Degree Audit in the CSUF portal.

So of course it just so happens that the one semester I’m interested in sitting down with an advisor, I’m having trouble pulling it all together.

I’ve been up to the Communications department advising office a number of times over the last week, trying to sit down with an academic advisor and with the internship advisor. All the times I’ve gone, I missed the walk-in window for the prior and have found the latter out of her office.

The frustrating thing to me is that the scheduling conflicts are honestly a major inconvenience surrounding a minor concern. I don’t actually have very extensive questions to ask either person, because like I said I’ve been able to work out most everything on my own. I know the classes I need and want to take, and I’m very prepared to sign up for all of them.

I mainly just want brief explanations on a couple of issues I’ve been mulling over.

For instance, I want to ask the internship advisor whether my previous experience working with Gladeo can count toward the credits I need. It’s a long-standing internship I had in a Communications field that resulted in a proper job, so that seems like a perfect candidate.

Then the only real question I have for an academic advisor is whether a class I’m interested in taking, and likely will take no matter what, can count toward a collateral credit on my Degree Audit.

Even if it doesn’t that won’t change my desire to take the class. I’m likely going to have an extra semester of courses anyway, so I can fill in those gaps on the backend if necessary.

I suppose I’m just finally experiencing the pains of being at a highly impacted University, the kind of pains I’ve been able to gleefully avoid up until now because of my priority status. I just wish that the pain wasn’t over something which would likely be a five-minute conversation at most.

The Psych department’s advising office seemed to have it right. The other day I walked up there and was able to catch an advisor for a two-minute long chat about a concern I had. I didn’t need the appointment necessarily because it was an in-and-out deal, and I really appreciate the availability.

But for Comm, going online to try to schedule an appointment reveals that there seems to only be one advisor available for all the junior and senior students who need them. Other advisors, focused on freshman and sophomore students, have plenty of availabilities over the next week; but the upper division one does not.

I wouldn’t even be wracking my head this much about all of my concerns if my registration weren’t scheduled for next Friday, Oct. 26. But because it is I’m kind of running out of time to pitch these short questions out.

If I have a wider point for this blog post, it’s just to vent and internally wish that a University like CSUF hires more advisors. Even this minor exposure to the problem has seriously opened my eyes to how much of a ridiculous, frustrating problem it is.

But that’s seriously the definition of wishful thinking, and I understand that.

Consider this just another opportunity for me to vent about my concerns, as the annoyance was a somewhat sour bookend to an overall great week.

It’s honestly never a good time when I need to face the reality of commuting to campus for an 8:00 a.m. potential walk-in appointment. Just for a quick in-and-out question.

Starting to Schedule

After a brief (sort of) respite yesterday, I’m here to deliver on what I promised: A blog post about my planned class schedule for the fall 2018 semester.

Because… People care about that, right?

Sure. Why not.

Because I’m a part of the Honors Program at CSUF, I get priority registration when it comes to scheduling my courses. While I’ve loved a lot of the honors classes I’ve taken, this is honestly the main reason I’m endlessly grateful that I joined the program.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to get all the classes I want if I wasn’t able to cut in line, as it were.

My friends that go to other CSU schools ironically tell me that my ‘priority’ registration is still months later than when they register for classes, since they do it in the middle of the semester rather than during the summer. But that’s another story.

More of a funny aside right now, if anything.

When scheduling myself out for this upcoming semester, I also found I had less to worry about because I’m officially done with all of my general education requirements.

Insert confetti pop here.

As sarcastic as that text-audio joke might sound, I am actually really happy about that. As a result, I was able to only schedule major, minor and honors courses — the stuff that I’m in college to actually learn.

I may not have been able to schedule any Honors Project-related courses because I’m still working on my proposal, but again. Different story, different time.

Besides, I scheduled one that I’ve been quite interested in taking for a long time instead.

It’s about now that I hear all the bored audience members out there ask that I quit the dumb set-up and get to what I’m actually taking.

So I’ll do just that:

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 9.08.28 AM
Simple and Clean

Ta da! Isn’t that just a nice and balanced 15 unit spread?

Before I break down what I took and why, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to the Titan Scheduler application that CSUF provides to work out class schedules. It’s actually a really useful way to pick out classes, add breaks and see just how many overall options become available to lay out as a result.

But no, that isn’t any sort of ‘go check this out’ shout out. Because it’s only available to CSUF students, and would likely only be useful for them even if it was more widely available.

So that said, let’s get into classes.

As usual I scheduled out an extra break day on Friday, a force of habit from having Titan shifts on Sundays, and I managed to get every class started at 1 p.m.

Hopefully that will give me more morning time to do things I should have been doing a long time ago. Like go to the gym. Because I need to.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, that day of class starts with Psych 302: Learning and Memory.

Now that I’ve officially finished the math-heavy portion of my Psychology minoring experience by getting through statistics and research methods, I can finally break into the fun stuff that I joined the department to learn more about.

All of the crazy and weird things our human brains do.

Seriously, I’m not sure I’ve ever had more fun learning than I had back in AP Psych with Mrs. Mata in high school or in Abnormal Psych at El Camino a few summers back, when everything was all about getting my mind blown thinking about the fact that I can think about how certain collections of lines look, interpret those lines into sounds and interpret those sounds into words with esoteric meanings.

Have fun thinking about that for a while.

The concepts behind how we learn have always been a big one for me, so Learning and Memory seemed like a perfect choice, but even that isn’t quite as exciting to me as my Tuesday/Thursday starter: Sensation and Perception.

I’m hoping those are going to be as fun as I imagine going in.

Following Monday’s journey into the mind, I’m going to be taking (what I hope is) an equally mind-bending class: Evolution and Creation.

I love the idea of this class not just because the idea of examining the dichotomy between those two lines of thought excites me. It’s also a smaller, intimate honors course (with 18 students max) that’s being taught by a professor I’ve had before and like.

As I said, it’s a class I’ve actually thought about picking up every year for a while, I’ve just never had a schedule open enough to do it until now.

Beyond that, I’m also taking what I’m considering the gauntlet of Communications courses. Visual Communications and Mass Media Ethics.

Both once-a-week three-hour courses, both taught by Comm professors I don’t think I’ve met before.

While that’s somewhat daunting, I did the exact same kind of thing last semester with two three-hour courses later in the day, and I wound up really liking both of them. These two not only fulfill some of the few requirements I still need for my major degree, but they also seem like they’ll help with things I should learn more about.

Namely, how to best apply things that aren’t strictly print and how to handle potentially unethical things over the internet. Probably very useful skills all things being equal!

Plus they help me delay the inevitable struggle that will be Communications Law. Reportedly the hardest course in the major, despite being a fascinating romp into the world of laws via the journalism department head.

And with that, you now have my thoughts about the classes I’m officially registered for in the fall 2018 semester. Perhaps once the semester is over I’ll come back to this and see how well my expectations matched up with reality.

If you have any big plans being worked out for the near future, let me know in the comments!