With the many degrees, certificates and transfer options that Fullerton College students take part in; counselors are not fully equipped to advise on each subject. As a result, Fullerton College students are often confused when specifics are left unanswered.
“Every counselor is different, my classes have been rearranged and my schedule is messed up,” said Elyssa Rodriguez, an FC student.
The Fullerton College Counseling Center consists of various counselors, with differing opinions and information on class requirements.
It can be difficult for counselors coming from different community colleges to advise on every specific program at FC when they are not fully known.
Education plans are created to help students plan and know how many units and which classes to take for the upcoming semesters. However, do these counselors give the correct advice?
What if the counseling system changed?
A proposed change is for division-specific counselors. The counselors would be trained to advise on a specific subject of learning. This would be more effective for students needing guidance. Not only would this reduce confusion among students, but also enhance the appointment and wait times.
“The number one complaint from my students is that they can’t get an appointment fast enough; most of the time they have one question and have to wait hours or days,” said Renee Moulton, an FC English professor.
Appointments made with counselors can be for a couple of days or even be up to several weeks later, if booked in advance. Walk-in appointments are optional, but the wait time can be very lengthy. During registration periods, the wait time can be up to four hours long. As a result, appointments are no longer available until early next year.
It is stressful for students to wait when important questions that could decide their academic future are needing to be answered. Appointments seem fair with the multitude of Hornet students, but why prolong a simple question?
Fullerton College needs a better system of communication between students and counselors.
The library is equipped with an online messaging system where students and librarians can chat and ask questions. A helpful invention like this can improve the counseling system and diminish uncertainty for students.
An online FAQ page or even a direct hotline to speak with a counselor are great examples of what Fullerton College needs.
These services are especially needed during registration season, due to the overwhelming wait time. To speak with a counselor, students are currently being forced to walk-in.
“The counselors are impersonal, they try to get people out quickly,” said Shirley Bermego, an FC student.
Registration season is busy, but it does not have to be stressful or time-pinching. With new upgrades, counselors can be more beneficial to students by providing specific advice for each Hornet.
The focus of Fullerton College needs to be on improving broken systems like the counseling center, to ensure students have a clear academic pathway.