5 Reasons You’ll Love Collaborating With Your Academic Advisor

calendar, planning sheet, and glasses on desk

Starting a new degree program is no easy feat. There are so many decisions to navigate; it can feel overwhelming. We wanted to create the exact opposite experience for our students. When you sign up for a master’s through AOEU, you’ll be assigned your own academic advisor!

Your advisor is your point of contact throughout your degree. They can help you determine a timeline, provide course recommendations, and revise your degree plan if necessary.

In other words, they’re more than just a planner. Your academic advisor is a true collaborator you can work with throughout your master’s degree journey. With flexibility and choice as major benefits of the degree program, you can work with your advisor to maximize how they’ll impact your master’s degree experience.

Let’s explore 5 reasons you’ll love collaborating with your academic advisor.

calendar, planning sheet, and glasses on desk

1. They are art teachers, too.

If there’s one thing art teachers know, it’s that teaching art can feel a little lonely. An opportunity to “talk shop” with other art educators is something you’re probably longing for. Being able to talk about specific media or curriculum development, or even to swap horror stories of paint water spills, is a luxury many art teachers don’t have.

Now, imagine planning your personalized degree in art education right alongside another art teacher. You automatically have common ground and can explore the various options of AOEU’s degree with someone who understands exactly what you do. Your advisor will be able to give sound recommendations, speak from experience, and shoot the breeze about all things art ed. Refreshing, right?

2. They know all about elective courses.

When it comes to choosing your elective courses, there are a lot of options. In fact, AOEU currently offers 16 different elective courses, and we’re always working to develop and release new offerings. Since academic advisors are well-versed in each of these, they can help you determine the 15 credits that will be the greatest benefit to you. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for art teachers, and your degree should reflect that.

For example, an elementary art teacher has different goals than someone who teaches middle school. A traveling art teacher working from a cart will have different goals than a teaching artist who facilitates upper-level studio art. Some art teachers are primed to integrate technology in the art room, while others prefer to avoid it. Shouldn’t your degree fit your professional goals? We think so, too.

AOEU planning tools

3. They look at the big picture.

As you design your perfect degree plan, the big picture is just as important as the details. In addition to helping you choose specific elective courses, academic advisors are trained to help you plan for the long haul. Here are three important aspects your academic advisor can help you plan.

Determine Your Ideal Timeline

One of the most practical parts of the Master of Arts in Art Education is the ability to customize your timeline. When you enroll, you have up to five years to complete your degree. Hoping to complete it sooner? That’s fine, too. You can work at whatever pace works best for you. You’ll want to collaborate with your advisor to determine the best timeline to meet your professional goals without sacrificing your personal and family life.

Click below to download a sample timeline. 


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Schedule Your Courses

Once you select your ideal timeline, you can work with your advisor to determine how each course fits into your larger plan. All AOEU courses are eight weeks in length and run almost every month. Would you prefer to have time off around the holidays? Plan to take a break in November and December. Do you have more time in the summer? Double up on your coursework to make the most of your summer break. Your advisor can help you plan your degree in full.

You can download a program planning tool to get started below.

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Get the Information You Need

In a university setting, there are a lot of people and departments involved in making your degree program a success. That’s great, until you need specific information and you’re not quite sure where to get it. Your advisor is your point of contact, so they can help you get in touch with the right people in the right department so you can get your questions answered quickly.

4. They understand AOEU courses and academic requirements.

While the big picture planning is important, your academic advisor is also dedicated to helping you succeed in your individual courses. In fact, they’re also AOEU faculty members. This means they are experienced in the course setup, layout, and requirements. They have an arsenal of supports and strategies to help you with time management, making the most of your learning, and how to study for your proctored events.

As you progress through your degree, your advisor can help you navigate the various resources provided in the Student Handbook, AOEU’s Library Services, and give recommendations for supplemental learning. All AOEU students have complimentary access to Art Ed PRO, so you can look to your advisor for additional Learning Pack recommendations.

Thank you note from advisor

5. They’ll keep you on track.

The flexibility of AOEU’s master’s degree makes it a great fit for the working professional. But, without specific deadlines, it can be tricky to stay the course. Academic advisors are focused on keeping you aligned with the goals you set at the beginning of the program. If you haven’t registered for the courses you originally planned, they’ll be happy to give you a gentle reminder to get registered.

On the flip side of the coin, academic advisors know that life can sometimes throw you a curve ball. Plans change, and a flexible degree program takes that into account. If your timeline changes for whatever reason, your academic advisor can help you regroup and revise your degree plan.

Your academic advisor has your back. They’ll support you through the thick and thin of your degree. Whether you have questions about the week-to-week requirements of each individual course or need to rework your whole degree timeline, your advisor is available to collaborate with you to ensure your academic success. Whether you’re an independent learner who needs very little support or a student who likes more interaction, all AOEU program students can benefit from a collaborative partnership with their academic advisor.

What questions do you have for AOEU’s academic advisors?

What interests you most about a flexible program?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Shannon Lauffer

Shannon Lauffer is AOEU’s Dean of Enrollment Services and a former art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers learn more, earn more, and believe in themselves.

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