This Week's Message
I am beginning now my first full year as the Director of Advising, and so spend much of my time trying simply to master the basic processes of the advising program. But we do have some new wrinkles for this coming year. Together with the office of Student Services and the Reading/ Writing Center, for instance, we have been making a more concerted effort to identify as early as possible first-year students who are struggling. Our hope is that we will be able to connect these students with our available support services, and foster the success of these students even as we improve our retention rate. I have contacted many of you in this regard, but if you have a first- year student who seems to be having significant difficulty in your class, please drop me a short note and describe the situation.
The program is also trying to provide more training support for new and experienced advisors. In support of this goal, the advising program will be holding two training sessions for advisors in the next couple weeks. The first, on Wednesday, September 23 at 4 pm, is aimed at new faculty and advisors, and will provide an explanation of the basic tools of the advisor, such as AGES requirements and Webadvisor. The second, on Monday, September 28 at 4 p.m., is intended for a larger audience: it will provide a review of pertinent (but sometimes obscure) academic policies, and allow advisors to share strategies for helping students plan their course schedules.
Finally, we're trying to look forward. What should our advising program, both for first-year students and for majors, look like in the coming years? What are the aims of the advising program? Are there weaknesses in our program that we need to address, or innovations that might improve how we advise students? These questions are important to many of you, and perhaps in the course of the year we can begin to make some plans about the future of our advising program. If you have some thoughts or concerns about the advising program, please drop me an email, or we can arrange a meeting and talk.
Good luck with your upcoming advisee conferences!