Since a nursing student expressed dissatisfaction regarding nursing advising a month ago, two members of the Undergraduate Assembly have been trying to find out if the problem affects many more nursing students.
College freshman Nathaniel Rome, new student representative of the UA , was contacted by a freshman nursing student who was dissatisfied with his or her advisor’s inability to meet with the students, Rome said. Rome kept the student’s identity anonymous. For other nursing students, dissatisfaction may also stem from difficulties in matching a student interested in a particular nursing specialty with an advisor of that field, Rome said.
Since the issue was brought up, Rome and senior nursing student and UA representative Leah Quinn have met with Christina Costanzo Clark, assistant dean for Admissions and Academic Affairs at the School of Nursing. Clark has been “very receptive and open to working with us and seeing what we can do together,” Rome said.
However, without knowing either who the particular nursing student is, or which advisor prompted the student’s dissatisfaction, Clark said that she would be unable to directly address the problem and help the student switch advisors, if needed.
The School of Nursing has 95 undergraduate advising faculty members, Clark said. She cited unreleased data from the 2014 senior surveys and said that 72 percent of nursing graduates were satisfied with their advisor, as compared with 56 percent of Penn seniors overall. The trend has been consistent since at least 2010, Clark said.
Nursing advisors must meet with their advisees at least once a semester to sign-off on course registration. Students are assigned to advisors, but Clark’s office asks incoming freshmen about their specialty interests and tries to match them to advisors according to availability, Clark said. In addition, students are assigned to a peer advisor, who is an upperclassman in the Nursing School.
Logan MacLean, a 2014 Nursing and Wharton graduate, said that he had “an excellent experience” and is still in touch with his faculty advisor. MacLean said that he once spent an hour talking with his advisor when he initially came in to discuss courses.
“We were just talking about life, what I was interested in,” MacLean said.
New advisors must attend a training session in order to gain access to Advisor InTouch, Clark said. If an advisor is unable to attend the specific dates, then Clark and her colleagues will work with the advisor during one-on-one training.
“I let them know what students think of advising,” Clark said, “and I think they take that role very seriously and they really care about their advisees.”
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