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Importance of Academic Advising for Chinese Students

How can advising help?

Good advising services is crucial to the long-term success of community colleges and universities. Advisors serve as the link between the institution and its students. Likewise, the capacity of institutions to provide quality education depends heavily on the success and achievement of the students. Their main role is to guide students, who are likely to leave college, at some extent and make them academically prepared for the future.

What the literatures say

Studies about student retention stress on the importance of first- and second-year advising. At the same time, advisors play a critical role in assisting international students adapt to the foreign environment and culture, understand school policies, clarify expectations, and interpret community college education. To do this, advisors must reduce initial confusion that international students usually have, and by doing so, they could strengthen the students’ bond with the institution and enhance understanding on matters related to higher education experience.

Academics and social – two important focus of advising for Chinese students

Freshmen and sophomore students feel pressure by the changes around them. This is a reality for Chinese students who feel overwhelmed coping up with so many experiences in an unfamiliar environment. For instance, the pressure they felt back with China’s competitive education system is now changed by the rigorous and under-prepared community college life. Therefore, the focus of academic advising should be in terms of social and academic aspects of college education.

Academics – Chinese students feel competent in Math classes, but sometimes do poorly in English classes. Advisors need to focus on English literacy and ask students where they feel pressured and academically challenged. Community colleges offer tutoring services that can help Chinese students understand which areas they need to focus on, and this can be done with assistance from academic advisors.

Social – Chinese students lack motivation to study especially that they live far away from home. Most of them tend to stick in their own Chinese community. Academic advisors should make Chinese students comfortable in this new environment to make them feel welcome and motivated. Community college life usually have many vacant hours, and this is a perfect time to socialize with students outside of their little circle. This is a great way to know more about the American culture and how it feels like to be independent doing chores like cleaning dorms, cooking and filing out school documents.

The success of students does not rely only on good academic preparation. It is their journey towards college life that shapes them to become good students and make them excel in a US community college. Motivation and attitude are powerful factors of student success and these can be achieved with the help of academic advisors.

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