Three VIU students walk on a grassy hill at the Nanaimo Campus.

Top 6 reasons you should talk to a VIU educational advisor

January 27, 2022
Author: Rachel Stern

Get the support you need on your learning journey

“Educational advisors are like having a compass that helps you navigate all the unknowns of university,” says VIU Educational Advisor Michael Kuntz.

“We’re going to be your best cheerleader and advocate. When you need a pep talk, we’re going to be there for you. It’s really important to build support around yourself, especially for first-generation learners whose family members may not be able to help with academic vocabulary and processes,” says Michael. “We can also give extra tips and information about course loads, electives and finding support on campus.”

What is an educational advisor? They’re professionals who want to help you succeed. Educational advisors can help you explore different majors, minors and program options. They can also help you navigate academic requirements, develop an educational plan, learn about opportunities and resources at university and suggest courses based on your interests.

Here are 6 reasons you should connect with an educational advisor at VIU.

Learn about supports and courses that can help you succeed.

You’re not alone on your learning journey. If you’re struggling, make an appointment with an educational advisor. They can help you navigate and connect you to support services on campus. You can also learn about Foundations for Success courses, which are elective courses designed to promote success in university-level studies.

“They’re meant to help high school students bridge to university courses. They’re really practical courses that offer good study strategies, time management, note-taking strategies and other skills that are really helpful for all the other university courses,” says Michael.

Get answers to your academic questions.

Are you undecided or thinking about changing your program? Are you unsure about what classes to take next semester? Are you juggling school, family, and work and need help creating a course schedule that works for you? These are all questions you can bring to an educational advisor.

“If we don’t have the answers then we know someone on campus that can provide them and can redirect you to them,” says Michael.

Educational advisors can help you develop your educational goals and help with timetabling and registration. They can also help identify obstacles and challenges to meeting your goals and help you make plans to overcome these barriers.

Learn about new courses offered or courses with open seats.

Educational advisors have the inside scoop on all the new courses being offered each semester at the university as program chairs and instructors alert them about new offerings. 

If you are registering for classes and find that some of the electives you want to take are full or have a waitlist you can connect with an advisor to see if there are any alternative electives with open seats that will work with your education plan. 

Get an expert perspective about your educational pathway.

Educational advisors can look at your student record and make connections to help you improve your learning journey. For example, if a student is completing a major in History but has completed several English classes as electives, an educational advisor might ask if the student has considered a minor in English. The education advisor can help group those courses into a minor for them or at least give them the option to do so.

They can also advise you about course combinations that might complement your particular program or degree.

“For example, if somebody is in the Bachelor of Education program and they want to teach in Canada, or particularly BC, we would suggest that they take some Indigenous courses so they have that knowledge,” says Michael.

Learn more about program combinations.

Did you know you can take a major, a major and a minor or a double minor? Learn about the possibilities by booking an appointment at the Advising Centre.

Make sure you’re on track to graduate.

Educational advisors can help you navigate your student record to identify gaps. Are there any additional credits you need to graduate? Check with an advisor so you don’t have to attend an additional semester just to take one or two courses to graduate. They can also save you the heartache and financial consequences of taking too many electives that might not count towards your degree.

VIU Educational Advisor Michael Kuntz stands in front of a beautiful clear blue skyline.

Michael Kuntz, a VIU Educational Advisor, uses his extensive clinical social work skills to connect with students to allow them to follow their academic dreams. Get in touch with Michael and other VIU advisors by emailing

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