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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Academics & Research

Valenti down to one academic adviser


valenti one advisor

The Jack J. Valenti School of Communications is currently managing with only one academic adviser. | James Mueller/The Cougar

The Jack J. Valenti School of Communication is currently down to a single academic adviser, catering to all students enrolled in communications majors or pursuing minors in the field.

Trever Thomas is currently working with close to 1,700 students on her own, providing them with degree progress reports, recommended courses and assisting them with enrollment and graduation. Before this year, she had two other advisers on her team, and would advise only about 300 students.

“I am taking it one day at a time,” Thomas said. “This is manageable, but I will feel the pinch when we head towards peak season, that is when registration begins in April, followed by commencement in May, which is also when orientation begins. Additionally, there is also a lot of college reporting done during this period.” 

Trever Thomas is the only adviser serving almost 1,700 students at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communications. | Courtesy of Trever Thomas

Having one adviser insinuates reduced advising time slots, however, Thomas started letting students know in January that the department had just one adviser and that she was doing the best she could to cater to all students. 

Despite additional responsibilities, Thomas has remained very optimistic and thinks of advising as an art, looking  forward to assisting all students. While a number of students have taken the opportunity to complete their advising early, many are still not taken advantage of it.

“Ms. Thomas has been encouraging us to schedule advising appointments since January,” said strategic communications junior Francis Lopez. “Her mass emails are very thorough and simple to read. Most of my questions were answered in her emails. She is also super responsive, she genuinely wants to help you out.”

She has walk-in advising available in person and online every Wednesday and encourages all students to receive advising as soon as possible,  in addition to the advising slots on her Navigate page.

“I attended one of her drop-in sessions on Teams,” said journalism sophomore B’Elanna Jackson. “It was simple and convenient, she knew exactly how to help me. It was good one on one time. I feel she should not be doing this by herself. It is disregarding her feelings, this must be so stressful for her. She is human too, and can have personal things to tend to as well. The department must get more people to assist her.”

Thomas said things do look hopeful and the department hopes to have at least one new adviser by the end of the month, and also aims to have two more advisers by the end of the semester.

“Hang in there, as we go through these staffing changes,” Thomas said. “(We will) continue to be adaptable and flexible.”

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