A Bit of Advice for Those Unhelpful Advisors

Dear Inquirer,


My experience with various counselors here at Diablo Valley College has been atrocious. I decided to go back to school at a later state in life and when I sought guidance from the counseling center here, I was very misled.


Having been out of high school for years, never knowing much about the “ins” and “outs” of college, I needed professional assistance that would send me down the proper path to success.


Most of counselors I have met with thus far have been extremely rushed and confusing. I had initially expressed my desire to attend a UC versus a CSU, and felt UC Berkeley was my number one choice. I understood the competitive nature of my goal and the challenges I would face, however, it was my goal.


The first counselor pretty much laughed in my face and completely discouraged me from pursuing my dream. She instead, showed me all the all the courses I would need to transfer to a CSU and quickly sent me on my way. I was a little confused, very discouraged, but most of all I felt hopeless.


I pushed the thought of Berkeley out of my mind and continued taking classes. I took classes both from the IGETC and the CSU requirements sheets, as I wasn’t quite sure of the future of my academic achievements.


As time went on I found out that I was, in fact, a strong student and my grades reflected it. I then met with another counselor to discuss my future and received a similar reaction to the possibility of transferring to UC Berkeley.


What was this pattern I was seeing from the counselors?


My dream of going to UC Berkeley had only intensified over time and I was determined to whatever it took to become a strong candidate for acceptance. I had already taken roughly five coursed that were not UC transferable, even though it was technically my decision to take these courses, I was irritated that I’d wasted a lot of precious time.


My point is this. Counselors, listen to the student’s goals. Coach them. Guide them. Send an extra 15 minutes of your time actually listening and evaluating whether or not an individual’s goals are realistic.


I’m a perfect example of a student overcoming misguidance. I’m currently enrolled at UC Berkeley right now, with a pending, competitive application for Fall ’09.



Natalie Costanzo

DVC student