A group of new graduates wear maroon caps and gowns while holding their ASU diplomas.

Advising Advice from Cronkite Academic Success Coordinator Brad Longwell

Friday, Sept. 3


The advising team at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is ready to help guide both new and returning students through their multi-year experience.

Cronkite’s Academic Success Advising Coordinator Brad Longwell has been helping students  navigate everything from first semester courses to graduation for the past 13 years. Before that, he served as an adviser for four years at the University of Phoenix.

With the fall semester upon us, we asked Longwell to explain the advising process to incoming and returning students.

Q: How do advisers help students?

A: Certainly the predominant mission is to help them navigate the program — making sure they have the correct classes to get through the program efficiently and making sure they’re not taking classes they don’t need. Second, we help them determine which path they want to take. Are they more interested in investigative journalism, in writing versus broadcast, those kinds of things. Last, advisers are great resources for things outside of advising. We can also provide guidance on how to contact financial services, housing needs and options, where to find the bookstore, all those kinds of things.

Q: What does a typical advising appointment look like?

A: Typically it’s a 30-minute appointment either through phone, Zoom or in-person. If a student is already enrolled in classes, we start by checking on how they’re doing. Then we move into whatever their questions are, which often include what classes they might want to take in the upcoming semester. The conversation helps us determine the student’s needs and how to address them.

Q: How often should students meet with an adviser?

A: Ideally, once a semester but at least once a year. ASU does provide a couple of tools —  graduation audits and major maps — that can also assist students. But we think they should seek advice at least once a year to make sure they are staying on track.

Q: Why is it important to meet with advisers with some regularity?

A: It can sometimes be a little confusing exactly what the requirements are and the order of those requirements for each program. Advisers are great about helping students determine what is next. That’s probably the biggest thing — making sure they stay on track each semester or each year to get to their goal so they graduate in the traditional four years or, in the case of transfer students, as quickly as possible.

Q: How can students schedule an appointment with the advising team?

A: They can either call 602.496.5055 or stop by the advising office, where Da’Vonna Shannon, our Student Services specialist, will help set up an appointment with one of these members of the academic success advising team: Nicole Brown, Haley Horton, Claudia Ramirez, Dave Vega or me. 

We also have an online advising scheduling system and students are welcome to use that. The link to that should appear on their MyASU. 

One piece of advice is to schedule early! It’s not uncommon for the advising team to be fully booked two weeks out during certain times of the semester. So schedule early to avoid those crunch times.

Q: Is there a difference in the advising process for immersion students and ASU Online students?

A: Not really. We have relatively few in-person appointments with online students, although that can happen. Generally, it’s the same process and the same kinds of information.

Q: Are there any major differences for graduate students in advising?

A: Certainly the programs are different and therefore the path is different, but the advising experience is very much the same. Kathren Sammis, graduate support coordinator, is the adviser for grad students.

Q: What advice do you have for students who are new to the Cronkite School?

A: See your adviser often, but also get involved with the Cronkite School outside of classes as quickly as possible, whether through clubs, student media, connecting with instructors, whatever path you want. You will get a lot of information to help you determine what is important to you by talking with others.

More information about advising, major maps, housing and financial aid info can be found at https://cronkite.asu.edu/advising/

Nicholas Hodell