Your junior advisees have chosen to work with you because of their enthusiasm for your field—and quite often because you and they have developed a good rapport. Many juniors will study off-campus at some point during the year - an exciting prospect to which they have likely been looking forward since the moment they chose to attend Dickinson. Students who remain on campus will also enjoy expanded opportunities, though some may also feel “left behind.” Regardless of geographic location, you may want to remind your advisees of the importance of summer internships and direct them to the Career Center for guidance. Likewise, students who are planning to go on to graduate study may want to explore opportunities for research. The world beyond the limestone walls is beckoning, and many advisors find it timely to encourage students to think broadly about personal goals, professional aspirations, and civic priorities. What meaning are your advisees discovering in their experience at Dickinson? What insights have they gained about themselves? What’s next for them?
For Juniors in Study Abroad programs
Advisors generally hear very little from their advisees who study abroad during their junior year. If a student is enrolled in a Dickinson program, the program director will serve as the advisor for most situations. Never hesitate to send greetings and best wishes to your students abroad – they generally appreciate hearing from the Dickinson campus. After your advisees return, they often need to be reminded to complete the “Enrollment in Another Institution” form to request that appropriate courses be transferred to Dickinson. Back on campus, some students will make a seamless transition, but others may struggle. For both groups, the Center for Global Study & Engagement staff will serve as an important resource. You may find it beneficial to encourage your students to take advantage of the Global Ed programs designed for returning students.
For Juniors who remain on campus
These juniors have different opportunities than those who go abroad. Many will be able to move into positions of leadership in campus initiatives and organizations. Depending on your field, you may want to encourage your advisees to take advantage of opportunities like internships and off-campus programs (e.g. CPC exchange programs in the consortium, Washington, D.C.).
- Welcome your advisees back. If your department has special meetings with majors, make sure that your advisees know about it and feel welcome – connecting with peers is an important academic and social experience for recently declared majors.
- Encourage juniors to consider the leadership opportunities that are available to them in campus activities, within your academic department, and in clubs or student groups related to your academic discipline.
- October is advising month and, although juniors no longer need to have an Alternate PIN for Course Request Period, you should encourage them to sit down with you to discuss whether they are meeting their degree requirements and how to plan the remaining courses for their major.
- If they haven’t printed off a “degree evaluation” since last semester, ask them to bring that document to their appointment.
- Remember to review progress both in the major AND in fulfilling other requirements – particularly the completion of requisite language courses, lab sciences, and PE classes.
- If any of your advisees have received a “U” grade at Roll Call, ask them to come see you to discuss strategies for improving their performance. They should also meet with the professor who assigned the “U” grade. It is especially important to remind students whose GPAs are between 2.0 – 2.4 that they must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 to remain in good academic standing.
November / Early December
- Let your advisees know that you are available to answer questions or to discuss course options during Schedule Adjustment Period.
Late February / Early March
- March is advising month, and your advisees should print off another “degree evaluation” so they have the most complete and up-to-date information before requesting courses for their senior year.
If appropriate, advisees who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 should be encouraged to explore graduate fellowships and awards listed on the Advising web site for scholarship programs appropriate for their interest and background.
- If your advisee will not have at least 24 credits by the end of this term, suggest that they consider taking one or more summer school courses – either at Dickinson or at another institution. Remind your advisee to fill out the Enrollment at Another Institution form (from Registrar’s web site) and get the appropriate signatures before taking classes at another institution to ensure that the course work will transfer back (only grades of C or above will receive Dickinson credit).
- Your role as an advisor in the major also includes helping students think through the opportunities ahead of them. When appropriate, encourage students to consider graduate school and start thinking about taking the GRE exams. Please remember that you don't need to secure a fulfilling and remunerative livelihood for your advisees on your own! On the contrary, a caring referral to the Career Center or the advising office in Biddle House will give your students access to teams of specialists to help with next steps. If you'd like the staff in Biddle to keep you apprised, just let us know!