Express advising gives last-minute scheduling help

Kara Haight

With the winter 2013 semester underway, classes and scheduling is on the mind of many Grand Valley State University students. To make the transition easier, GVSU’s Center for Health Sciences is setting up express advising sessions for students with course questions.

“It’s intended for GVSU students who have general advising and scheduling questions,” said Darlene Zwart, director of the GVSU College of Health Professions.

Zwart said Express Advising helps students get their questions answered at the start of the semester and without the usual wait.

“Many students have to wait three to four weeks to get onto our schedules so we typically offer Express Advising specifically for GVSU students during those times when we know that requests for academic advising appointments are going to be high,” Zwart said.

The student-focused session will be held in Kirkhof to accommodate as many students as possible.

Express Advising may be a new idea for some, but Zwart said the concept isn’t unique to CHS. At a similar session held in fall 2012, CHS held eight advising days where Zwart said advisers met with 214 students.

“In the past, we called it ‘walk-in advising’ but realized that students were coming into ‘walk-in advising’ expecting or needing a full advising appointment,” Zwart said.

The Express Advising offers briefer appointments to meet very specific advising needs.

“During Express Advising, we meet with a lot of CHP students and College of Liberal Arts and Science students,” Zwart said. “This latter group of students is typically looking into one of our CHP graduate programs or considering switching from a CLAS to CHP undergraduate major.”

But Zwart said students looking to acquire permission for secondary admission into a CHP program should make a full appointment with the advisers.

“We will work with any and all students who come through the Express Advising doors,” Zwart said. “If we know that students’ needs are greater than the 15 minutes available in Express Advising, we will arrange for them to meet with us in one of our 45 minute in-office academic advising appointments either at the Center for Health Sciences or in Allendale at our Connections Office.”

Zwart said that while the program’s goal is to serve as many students as possible, a full advising session is not the intent. Rather, the Express Advising program is meant to be a guide for students who may need more help with their schedules.

“We thought the use of ‘express’ would let students know that they can stop by to get some scheduling advice but to also set up a full appointment if they needed more time with an academic adviser,” she said.

Students who are planning to come into the advising sessions should be prepared with questions, said Brianne Perez, academic adviser at the College of Health Professions.

“One or two advisers (will be) working to answer their questions and get them off to a good start,” Perez said. “They may also find there is a wait to meet with an adviser as these are on a first-come, first-serve basis.”

Zwart said students coming into the sessions should also be familiar with myPath by either reviewing it before the session or bringing it with them.

The sessions will take place in Kirkhof 2243 during the first week of classes. Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m Jan. 7-10 and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. on Jan. 11.

For more information about express advising sessions or the College of Health Professions, visit

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