Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Why is your department's style of advising beneficial to students?

Monday, October 1, 2012
Kathie Miller is a professor in the social work department. Submitted photo

I believe that one-on-one advising is critical to the education of social work students for several reasons.

First of all, this profession based on the creation of relationships and individual contact with students through advising really helps both the students and the advisors to assess and discuss professional relationship skills.

Second, the Council on Social Work Education requires that students exhibit competency in multiple areas of practice. Because of this requirement, our department has developed several standardized assignments across the curriculum in order for students and faculty to monitor student progress. The advising sessions are a perfect time to review these assignments and discuss individually with the students their progress toward competency.

Third, social work is a profession of diversity and social skills. The individual advising sessions give the advisor a chance to discuss these issues personally with the student as the student considers her/his "fit" with the profession and the area of practice she/he might pursue.

Fourth, individual advising sessions seem to give the student a chance to build rapport with a faculty member that seems to be beneficial if the student has questions or concerns that he/she would like to pursue, whether those questions/concerns are directly related to advising or not.

Finally, having on-going individual advising sessions with the students facilitates being able to write letters of reference for the students as they pursue employment or graduate school after graduation from Southeast. Thus, while student advising is a time-consuming task, I believe it is very beneficial to the students in the Social Work Program and I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in this process.