and this was just a joke
This attitude is real, folks. "I want to slog through 4 years of science just so I can go to med school and get really stressed and deal with people who are bleeding and I can't stand blood but I really want to help people" is something we more or less hear on a daily basis in my office.
Yesterday we had a good one: Student comes in because S. wants to drop creative writing. "I really don't like creative writing," S explains. "Then why did you register for the class?" we ask in surprise, though we really shouldn't be. "That was June; this is September." What???!!! So in 3 months the class is magically going to change from being a creative writing class?
The U has a new provost for academic affairs. Apparently he's gung-ho to overhaul the entire system. My unit's administration anticipates that central is going to centralize control and colleges/departments/units will no longer have as much autonomy. Part of what this means is that if a program can't justify its existence in central administration's big picture, that program will be axed. That simple. But what that means for advising units is extreme concentration on recruitment, enrollment management, and improving 4 year graduation rates. The problem is, though, my office in particular sees students coming in with unrealistic job expectations: the various health-care professions seem glamorous, or lucrative, or legitimately helping, but the students themselves are not prepared for the realities of the prerequisite courses and sometimes even the careers themselves. Sometimes they'll repeat math and/or chemistry 3 to 4 times because those are required courses, without a solid understanding of the fact that repeating the course even once diminishes their chances of getting in. Others get to the third or fourth year of their programs and are so miserable they don't even know why they're doing what they're doing.
Does anyone besides me see any particular challenges in these situations? ;-)