Was I wrong to confirm my college advisor's advice?

I’ll be starting my final semester at community college next week, and should be at a four-year university by the spring semester. Last week, my advisor told me that if I CLEP my English courses, then the university will acknowledge that I completed the English requirement, but give me zero credits for it. This would cause me to enter with 57 credits instead of 60, giving me sophomore standing instead of junior.

Now I’m being extremely careful with what goes on my transcript, so I called the university and confirmed that this is true about the English CLEP. They told me that it is true, but I can take another three-credit course to make up for the hole where English is (which the community college advisor did not tell me). She also said that if I want to transfer into the honors program, I should speak to my community college advisor and get an invite to the honors transfer luncheon where I get to meet my future department chairs. Finally, she gave me some scholarship information that I did not know about.

So I call the advisor back and tell her that the university did confirm what she told me and that I could take a different three-credit course to bring me up to 60 transferable credits. She got extremely huffy with me.

*Advisor: I’ve been doing this a long time. I don’t give out incorrect information.

Me: I just wanted to confirm with them since I wasn’t 100% sure about things. I didn’t think you give out incorrect information.

Advisor: Yes you did. Yes you did. Or else you wouldn’t have called them to confirm.*

At that point, I asked her about the transfer luncheon, but she quickly said she didn’t know anything about that and she needed to get back to work.

So, long story short, was I wrong to confirm my advisor’s advice with the university? If I hadn’t called, I wouldn’t have gotten some very necessary advice about getting into the honors program. However, the university told me that my advisor was probably the best one in the state, so maybe I did the wrong thing.

What do you think?

I think it was a really smart idea to confirm the info. My college ‘advisor’ experience was pretty bad-- jerking me around, giving me bad info, being generally aloof, etc. But even a well-meaning advisor can make mistakes. Trust but verify (just don’t tell her next time).

You did nothing wrong, your advisor is just being a baby. My faculty advisor gave me such horrible advice, I ended up failing all my classes because he had talked my into a far too rigorous schedule. I showed up at the Dean’s office crying, on the last day of classes. When they saw my schedule, they were shocked that someone actually told me to do that, and said that if I had seen them afterward, they never would have let me take all of those at once. I had to drop everything and change my major, got no units for that quarter and felt like a fool for listening to him.

Advisors can make poor choices too, no harm in double checking them, especially for your last semester.

Color me confused, but why is it even a problem? S/He’s an advisor who works for you, and you were trying to get the story straight. Ultimately, you alone are responsible for your education.

Why should you CLEP your English anyway? If the course credits transfer, let them transfer. CLEPs are there to provide documentation of skills developed outside of academia. Personally, I’d take the test only to obscure a bad grade.

I think you were extremely wise to double check the information. VunderBob is right - you are responsible for your education.

I’m having adviser problems myself right now - I can’t for the life of me get her to give me an answer about my next class. :frowning:

How pathetic. Your future is at stake and she’s pissed off you double-checked some information? There are plenty of advisors and academic staff who couldn’t care less about the students they see, or aren’t up on new policies and requirements. And sometimes you don’t know which kind you’ve got until you’re in your fourth year of a three-year program.

Most emphatically NO you were not wrong to confirm the advice! It’s your life, your future on the line. It is very wise to make sure that you’re not going to end up hurting yourself by doing something wrong in a situation like that. Your advisor should understand that you’re looking out for Number One and she shouldn’t have gotten so bent out of shape about it.

As a former freshman advisor, I say you were in the right. When I first started advising freshman, the training for freshman advisors was so poor that we all routinely gave out bad advice for the first semester or two until we independently learned the ropes. Advisors are not omniscient.

I think your adviser is an ass. She may have been doing this a long time, but it’s your life here.

Not at all wrong. In the working world, there will be many, many situations where you will need to check out the information that others give you because it will affect your work. “Well, so-and-so told me…” isn’t always an acceptable excuse when things go awry. You will be expected to verify information.

How to go about doing that and/or presenting it to the person whose information you are checking, however, are skills that everyone needs to learn. (And I’m not saying that you called the advisor and said, “So, I didn’t think you knew what you were talking about, so I called someone else…” I’m just saying that there may need to be some finessing, depending on the situation.)

A number of reasons.

One, I’m a math major. While I acknowledge that English is extremely important in my education, I would prefer to take math courses over English courses at any time.

Two, I scored perfect on the verbal part of the SAT’s back in the Stone Age. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to ace the CLEP.

And three, why should I spend a semester writing papers when I can knock out the CLEP with an essay or two? :smiley:

If she makes a mistake, what’s the penalty for her? If she makes a mistake, what’s the penalty for you?

Of course you should verify. If she were at all a professional, she would have told you to verify.

When an advisor is upset that you check on them, they’re usually not a top quality advisor. As in this case.

I wouldn’t have checked - but I was a dumb-ass when I was in college.

You did the right thing. It is never wrong to be sure. Had I been your adviser, I would have teased you about doubting me, but would not have been offended.

I didn’t get this in time for the edit, but some respondents have reported difficulties with his or her own college advisors. One of the reasons I checked up was because the advisors at my community college refused to give me any definitive advice for a long time. I’m not sure if it’s for legal reasons or what not, but their reluctance left me academically aimless until I took control and did the research myself.

Silly me. I was assuming you couid satisfy the English requirements completely at the JC level.

If you do have English required beyond the 2nd year, then go for it.

I’ve heard tons of horror stories from people who’ve transferred from community college to university and been told things that were misleading or flat wrong about their credits. Good on your for checking up on it, and I’d agree that only a crappy advisor would be upset that you did.

My response exactly—except I would have left off the words “I think.”

Academic advisors range from very knowledgeable to completely clueless, but in any case, no one knows everything, everyone makes mistakes, and it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion or confirmation on what they tell you. A good advisor would want you to check things out for yourself.

You are never wrong to confirm advice or other information.

Someone who tries to keep you from doing so, or gets upset for you for doing it either has something to hide or, it appears in this case, is just an ass.

She’s embarrassed at having failed you and is wondering about all the other people she may have fucked over. She should be happy you called it to her attention but I understand her initial embarrassment.

None of which is your problem; only you can look out for yourself.