The advisory program at Milken has undergone many changes throughout its history, but it has always been considered one of the most significant components of the Milken experience by the administration and faculty.
However, very little is actually known about the current standard advisory format. Over the past few years, advisory has undergone many changes. What began as a distinctly informal, homeroom-style check-in service morphed into a more formalized and official program. This included the implementation of a curriculum program that was utilized up until this year.
In its previous iterations, advisory had been criticized throughout the school, especially for focusing on a curriculum that was boring and unnecessary while adding little to the Milken student experience.
Now, under the direction of Dr. Roger Fuller, upper school principal, and Ms. Stacey Neal, math teacher, advisory has evolved once again. This year the program has a new focus that gives the power and freedom to the advisor, leaving it up to him or her to decide how their advisory should be run.
“Advisory is about creating long-lasting relationships with your advisor,” Fuller said. “Each advisory recognizes the responsibilities they have, and it is up to them to break down the barrier between student and advisor.”
In contrast with previous forms of the program, this year each advisory is unique to itself in how it operates, with some advisories dedicating themselves to certain projects and goals and others taking a much less serious approach.
For example, Ms. Monica Daranyi’s advisory formed a relationship between her with the residents of CLCI, a residential community for mentally disabled adults.
“We are currently communicating with the residents through ‘pen pals’ and hope to raise funds for their community,” Daranyi said.
Even though this year’s restructured advisory format is less uniform yet more serious, a balance will still exist where advisories are able to hang out and enjoy some downtime. The objective of advisory is not to standardize the program, but to allow each advisory to bond as a group and create long-lasting memories.
“The best advisory is one that doesn’t need a pre-scripted curriculum,” Fuller said. “Advisory should create a significant learning experience with an adult about a topic people care about.”