Advising Advice?

Sep 21 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

This year I was assigned a group of advisees. They are primarily sophomores and all majors in the degree program I am most closely associated with (I have ties to multiple degrees and departments). On Friday I started getting the first meeting requests and I have one this afternoon with a student who is double majoring and has heavy athletic commitments. My question is, who is going to have learned more by the end of this meeting?

My guess is that it will be me. I know nothing about the student's other major and little about how the student's athletic schedule is going to impact their future class selection. Quite frankly, even after being here a year, I still don't know a whole lot about the undergraduate curriculum. I am familiar with the requirements and know where to get the information I need, but I certainly don't have access to any more information than the students. It'll be interesting to see how much these kids have looked into the path they want to take or whether some just want to be told what classes they need.

The way our advising is set up, these students will be my advisees for the rest of the time they are here and majors in our degree program. I think this will be good, because I will have a chance to get to know them a little bit and not have to have them explain their whole history every time they come in my office. I am thinking of starting a file on each so that I can look it up easily before the next time I meet with each student. Other than some personal information, classes taken and those to be taken, what would people suggest including in an advisee's file?

3 responses so far

  • tideliar says:

    If your uni has a student database, print out a picture of them for the file. My ex-mentor did that, said it helped remember them between meetings.Take notes on their hobbys & private life (obviously not voyeauring) to help understand them. Also, what they want to do after college, to see if that shifts dring their time and to help guide their course load.

  • madscientist says:

    I was put in exactly the same situation a few years ago (and continue with it today). What I have started to do is actually make out a form that shows what classes are required for all of the years that they are in school, and put check marks next to them (or in excel, a running total of their credit hours) as they complete them and plan for the next semester. Many students are capable of doing this them selves, but many don't appear to be. If you keep this separate from the personal information, then you can send this document to them after each meeting (or print it out), so that everyone feels like something was accomplished.I also feel like a good thing to have at your finger tips is a list of jobs that they may qualify for when they finish their degree. Many, many student ask about this type of information. You need to have lists for stopping after a BS, MS and PhD.Our first advisers meeting is tomorrow morning at 8:30! Yeah! God, I hate advising. I feel like a monkey equipped with the proper spreadsheets could do the job. But, maybe that is why I am the adviser. Hmmmm. I never considered that...

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I still don't know much more about the undergrad curriculum than what's available online. But I think my advisees actually appreciate that I have some experience I can bring to bear---I was an undergrad once, and I still have some vague memories about what that was like. Although I had significantly fewer constraints on my time thanks to coming in with a bunch of AP credit.

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