Being a good advisor. Alison Consol led our department in some excellent training on how to advise our students. What does it take to be a “good” advisor, and how can you gauge “Good”, especially when it comes to our students. The truth is, my old system is paling next to the information we have now. Guess I’ll have to ramp up my game.
When working with our students, I’ll be employing the following system:
- Ask the students about their plan for the upcoming semester, including how many classes they are planning to take, and when they are planning to graduate.
- Remove their hold(s) for the upcoming semeter(s).
- Evaluate their program and determine if they need a “Graduation Plan” set up.
- Evaluate their program and determine if they have classes from a previous degree or classes which are credited but not within the program yet.
- Evaluate their program and make recommendations on certification options.
- Make recommendations on the upcoming semester based on the program evaluation and pre-reqs.
- Copy the current schedule options for the recommended classes, and email them to the student.
- Fill out any required paperwork, and counsel the student on any related issues.
The new system is complicated, and requires a fair amount of computer system work and website juggling. The negative to this system is that as teachers, we will have to be more aware of which courses are pigeonholed to a particular semester, a deeper knowledge of the pre-reqs required for each class, and the differences between our certificates and associates by year.
The positive upside to this is that this methodology can be used in an online setting just the same as it can be used in a seated session. The follow up email allows for a working, viable paper trail just in case something should ever turn sour or a student should get accusatory.
As I’m sure you understand, knowing these things will only make us stronger teachers and better advisors. Its always the positive IN the negative. This represents a real need for our students, and a real opportunity for us teachers to better serve them. Guess I’ll be stepping up my game.