How an academic advisor can be a future student’s best friend

October 22, 2020 | Campus Life
Finding the right postsecondary fit is a process – one that MacEwan University’s new Academic Advising Centre is hoping to make easier with its one-stop-shop advising model for future students. Anyone considering becoming a student at Edmonton’s downtown university should check in here first, says Karen Ravagnolo, the centre’s manager, and here are five reasons why.

1. Advisors can help future students feel like insiders

University is a whole different world. Whether students need a hand navigating processes, understanding the language or getting a feel for what it's like to be a university student, academic advisors can help, says Ravagnolo.

“Prospective and first-year students are already navigating different processes and taking in a lot of information. Our job is to help walk them through things to make the experience easier.”

2. Advisors can help save time and frustration

Is it realistic to take five courses a semester and work a part-time job? Have I included the right information in my application? My friend says courses I take in spring and summer don’t count toward my GPA – is that true?

Academic advisors’ specialty is gathering the info they need to answer every possible question that comes their way – they’re generalists who know just enough about a whole lot. “We are connected to all of the university's service areas, the registrar’s office, and advisors for specific programs in every faculty and school, so we can share a really good overall picture of how the university works,” says Ravagnolo. 


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3. Advisors can help students make make good choices

Friends and family might know a lot about their own university experience, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best advisors.

“People in our support network may have the best intentions, but they don’t always have the best information,” says Ravagnolo. “Students and future students are responsible for making their own choices, of course, but advisors know how to get the most up-to-date information to inform those choices.”

4. They are future students’ biggest cheerleaders

“We’re rooting for every student we talk to,” says Ravagnolo. “We want to provide a positive experience and we want every person we talk to choose to come to MacEwan.”

And that sentiment doesn’t change if a student’s application isn’t accepted. “If someone isn’t admissible, we hope they’ll come and talk to an academic advisor. We can help them create a plan to figure out what they can do to be successful during the next admission window.”

5. They’re in it for the long haul

“We’re a place where all students looking for academic advice can come for help,” says Ravagnolo. “Yes, we focus on providing information for people who are thinking of coming to MacEwan and helping brand new students get oriented to the university, but we can also answer questions and help connect current students with the advisors in their faculties, who know all the ins and outs of every single one of the university’s programs.”

Academic advisors in MacEwan University’s Advising Centre are standing by to answer questions by email, online chat, phone or video call. Visit for more information.


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Applications are now open for Fall 2021 study.


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