advisors to first-year college students have unique opportunities to work with
students who are new to college life.
Perhaps the most important part of your role as an advisor is providing
an atmosphere of trust, which becomes the foundation for a variety of
meaningful conversations for the advisor-advisee relationship in the future.
all experienced faculty advisors stress the importance of finding effective
ways to interact individually with
their advisees. Teaching and advising
are interrelated and often enhance one another.
The combined role of the First-Year Seminar professor/advisor, which
serves to develop closer, stronger relationships between students and faculty
during the first year of college, is a key element to a student’s successful
transition to college life.
- By the end of June,
First-Year Seminar assignments will have been made and you will receive a
list of your students’ names and Dickinson email addresses.
- At this point a
general welcome to your seminar and a short introduction of yourself is
appropriate, if you wish. You will
not begin advising your seminar until they arrive on campus because:
- A team of Summer
Advisors consisting of faculty and class deans will be providing direct
phone and/or email advising to students during the week of July 9 - 13. Students will then select courses the
following week from July 16 - 23.
It is expected that all entering students will have a conversation
and receive their Alternate PIN from a member of the summer advising
group working during the Advising/Course Selection period in July.
- The advising
conversations that Summer Advisors have with entering new students focus
on continuing/starting a foreign language, requesting an appropriate
lab-science course, and exploring a potential major or area of academic
interest. Please note the above
three categories of courses are encouraged for entering students in an
effort to create a balanced schedule, and to enable them to complete the
foreign language and lab-science requirements by the end of their
- Schedule Adjustment
Period – August 9 – August 27:
Students who request additional assistance will communicate with
Summer Advisors during Schedule Adjustment Period. The new First-Year Students will arrive
on campus on Wednesday, August 22 for orientation. Your first meeting with them will be on
Thursday morning, August 23.
- Please note: No paper
advising files will be sent to advisors.
Advisors have access to academic information for each of their
advisees through CLIQ (accessed directly through your Gateway portal).
When you first meet your FY
Seminar students – Thursday, August 23rd, 9 a.m.
- Based on faculty
input, your first meeting with
your FYS students will actually be a regular class session on Thursday
morning August 23rd at 9 a.m.
This will be an opportunity to hand out your FYS syllabus and
conduct your first class session.
We encourage you to give your students an assignment to prepare for
the second class, scheduled for Saturday, August 25th.
Your first advising
session with your FYS students – Friday, August 24th, 9 a.m.
· Please start with a group
advising session to discuss basic issues related to schedule adjustment for
fall and, in particular, your relationship as advisor-advisee.
We Strongly encourage you to use an advising syllabus (see recommended sample) to open the conversations about the advisor-advisee relationship with your advisees.
Advisors have found
it useful to ask their advisees to fill out “Starting your college career
at Dickinson College” and bring it with them to their advising
appointment later that day.
We also ask that you
invite your advisees to set up brief individual sessions with you on that
Friday. This would be a time to review
the courses your advisee is enrolled in this semester. Check to make sure all courses on their
schedule are appropriate for first-year students (Registrar’s website).
- Consider using Moodle
for general announcements and getting basic information regarding
deadlines to your students.
- Consider scheduling
group advising at key points in the semester:
- To check in with
students (late September) about their experiences in the other classes
and at Dickinson generally.
- Before course
request for Spring Semester
- Begin to stress the
importance and value of using the Program Evaluation (degree audit)
function with your advisees. This
evaluation provides important information regarding how the student’s AP
credits and current courses meet individual degree requirements. By using this evaluation tool early in
their college years, students can begin to be responsible for monitoring
their own academic progress.
During the first week of
classes – August 27th – August 31st
- Check by Wednesday to
make sure all of your advisees have four courses for the term and that
they understand that this is the only week for Add/Drop for Fall
- Consider offering a
group advising session for students who want to talk about Add/Drop
During the third week of
classes-- Early Alerts for first-year students
- During the third week
of classes (September 10 - 14) Shalom Staub will contact all faculty to
identify any FY students about whom there are concerns. The three general
areas for evaluation are: a) graded work; b) participation in class; and
c) class attendance. At the same
time, this is an important time to take stock of these issues within your
own FY Seminar. Shalom will forward
the names of any students who are in your seminar that were identified by
- Your follow-up with
advisees during these early weeks is important and can often help students
address academic and/or social adjustment issues and concerns.
October is advising month
- Schedule individual
appointments with your advisees to review how things are going, and to
discuss course selection for Spring 2013. Ask students to select at least
6 Spring 2013 courses to discuss with you.
- Ask your advisees to
bring their most recent Program Evaluation (degree audits) with them each
semester prior to Course Request Period.
- At the end of your
advising session, give the Alternate PIN, which you can find in the CLIQ
program listing your advisees. (Please
remember -- sending Alternate PINs by email without an advising
conversation undermines good advising.)
- If any of your
advisees receive “U” grades, ask them to make an appointment with you to
discuss their strategies for improving their performance. They should also meet with the faculty
member/s who assigned the “U” grade(s).
· It may be necessary for a
student to consider using a course withdrawal to salvage his/her semester. (Remember, students have only 2 discretionary
course withdrawals to use and must petition the Academic Standards Committee
for any additional ones. The last date
for a withdrawal from a fall term course is Wednesday, October 31st).
- Let your advisees
know that you will be meeting with them in the spring to discuss their
academic goals, and course selections for fall of 2013.
- You will be invited
to send the Advising Office the names of two or three students in your
seminar who are particularly articulate (orally and/or written),
academically talented, and/or think beyond the obvious. These identified first-year students
will be invited during the spring term to consider preparing and planning
applications for post-graduate scholarships and fellowships that may be
appropriate for them.
December Seminar Wrap-up
· Many advisors find it
useful to take a few minutes to write more extensive notes for their files
about each of their first-year advisees.
Most likely you will be asked to write a recommendation for your
advisees who will be applying for Global Education/Study Abroad and details
about each will come in handy next year.
- Welcome your advisees
back to campus for the spring term and invite them to make an appointment
with you to discuss their evolving academic interests and goals. (Words of wisdom from an experienced
advisor. With one semester of
college under their belt, they have been home to discuss their college
experiences with their family and friends during the holiday break. They often return with more realistic
expectations and different interests for their second semester of
college. Although they may still
consider making course registration changes for their second semester of
college, February is a prime time for thinking very broadly with them
about their future – academically and personally.)
- The February and
March advising appointments should be more than course planning for fall
2013 and giving out alternate PIN numbers to your advisees. As an advisor, this is one of your best
opportunities to talk about academic goals, potential majors, summer jobs
and internships in career fields that interest them, their plans for
going abroad, and what is generally important to your advisees.
- Study abroad: Dickinson’s Center
for Global Study and Engagement has asked advisors of undeclared students
to engage our advisees in substantive conversations about study
abroad. We want to encourage
students to think of study abroad beyond “the destination.” We want students to start thinking, early in their Dickinson career
about such questions as:
- How does study abroad fit into their overall
Language study/competency often drives study abroad choices, but
increasingly, students studying a given language have multiple options for
study abroad settings. Engage students
in conversation about their academic interests beyond the language study to
help them explore options beyond the most popular destinations.
- What investigations,
questions, and goals might they formulate in advance of study abroad to
help enable them to get the maximum benefit from the experience and help enable them to recognize the value of special opportunities that may present themselves while they are abroad?
- In what ways might explorations of their academic interests allow them to engage with and learn from different segments of the host society?
- Remember the
continuing importance of reviewing each advisee’s Program Evaluation in
your advising conversations and prior to giving the Alternate PIN.
- Course Request Period
for fall 2013 courses will be March 25 – 27, 2013
- You will be notified
when the system opens up for Schedule Adjustment Period. At this point your advisees will be able
to see what courses they are registered for during fall 2013. They should be encouraged to check and
add available courses to fill out their schedule of four classes. Remind them that any changes or
additions at this time will be “live” and immediate.