568 Challenges and Opportunities in Academic Advisement for Non-traditional Horticulture Students

in HortScience

The average undergraduate horticulture major at the Univ. of Florida Academic Program at Fort Lauderdale is 38 years old. The older, non-traditional student population is quite diverse, but many individuals are motivated by a desire to change careers, and many of them have taken extensive academic course work at other institutions prior to applying for admission to the Univ. of Florida. Academic advisement of this type of student presents a substantial challenge because of the uncertainty of content and vigor of prior academic preparation. To help meet this challenge, we have developed several academic advisement checklists that indicate numbers and titles of critical preprofessional and general education courses from the academic institutions that have been most frequently attended by the highest numbers of the incoming non-traditional students. These checklists have been cross-referenced between the catalogs of the various academic institutions and the Univ. of Florida catalog. We use these documents to evaluate the academic preparation of incoming transfer students and to assist them in making correct course selections to remedy any academic deficiencies that could negatively influence their success in upper division horticulture course work.

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