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Welcome to Adviser Orientation “…good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a college experience.” (Light, 2001)

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to Adviser Orientation “…good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a college experience.” (Light, 2001)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to Adviser Orientation “…good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a college experience.” (Light, 2001)

2 Agenda for Today Introductions & Sign In Welcome Freshman Class Profile & Freshmen COFHE Survey Overview of Advising Materials, Online Tools and Resources Case Study Discussion Break – 10:45-11am Peer Panel – Academic Honesty Break/Lunch Student Panel: “When I Was a Freshman I Wish I Knew…” Study Abroad Updates Orientation Week Advising and Beginning of Semester Campus Resources and CARE

3 Welcome and Introductions  “The quality of academic advising is the single most powerful predictor of satisfaction with the campus environment for students at four-year schools.” (National Survey of Student Engagement, 2005)

4 Demographic Profile of Class of 2017 Approximately 1330 students  Male / Female Ratio 50/50%  In-State / Out-of-State Ratio 34/66%  Early Decision Enrollees 21%  URM 16%  International (with visas) 20%

5 Academic Interests of Class of 2017 Engineering 25% Humanities 7% Natural/physical sciences13% Natural/biological sciences23% Social Sciences24% Interdisciplinary 0.4% Undecided 7%

6 Post-Freshman Year Survey 2013: Findings for Pre-Major Advisers

7 Selection of major  While the great majority of our freshmen declared an intended major on their college application, many incoming freshmen have uncertainties about their academic plans:  In the pre-freshman year survey (August 2012), 40% of students reported being somewhat/slightly/or not confident in their choice of major.  In the post freshman year survey, 30% reported feeling somewhat confident/slightly confident, or not confident in their major choice.  In the post-freshman year survey (May 2013),40% of freshmen reported changing their minds about their majors during their freshman year.

8 Student reasons for switching majors:  Took courses/ other experiences that changed interest to another major (66%)  Courses in major of interest were not interesting (56%)  Talked with faculty in other majors that changed student’s mind (35%)  Poor grades in major of interest (32%)

9 Pre-major adviser activities with students ACADEMIC PLANNING ACTIVITY % STUDENTS WHO REPORTED WORKING ON ACTIVITY WITH ADVISER Choose first year courses.64% Make an overall academic plan.53% Find other UR people to answer my questions when he/ she could not.50% Choose classes to help me to decide on a major35% Choose a major using his/ her knowledge of the major(s) I was considering31% Explore opportunities outside the classroom (e.g., internships, Take Five, study abroad, undergraduate research).29% Find other UR resources (counseling, learning assistance, financial, writing etc.) when I needed them28% Choose a cluster27% Find academic resources for tutoring when I needed help22%

10 What the Class of 2016 said about their advising experiences: My adviser did his best and was very caring. I wished I had reached out to him more. But he was not really the most knowledgeable [about my intended major] Have a second one-on-one meeting mid-first semester because freshmen tend to change their minds about their plans so drastically in the first couple of months. I would add a counseling aspect. Especially for incoming freshmen, adding a focus on other academic resources might prove helpful. Emphasize that students should take classes they are interested in, not necessarily ones they feel they should take. Freshman students would benefit significantly from meeting with career counselors in addition to pre-major or major advisers. Often times we seem to ask ourselves the wrong questions when deciding on a major or path of study. My adviser, although nice and helpful as could be, [was from the social sciences] and didn’t know much about the biological sciences

11 What the Class of 2016 said about their advising experiences: I think it would be helpful if the adviser would check in once or twice during the semester and ask if we are running into any problems… He seemed very prepared to help freshmen, but I didn’t really need any help. And his field of study wasn’t anywhere near close to mine. But overall he was a really nice guy and I liked talking with him! Recommend that students take at least one course in their second choice major so that students have solid information on another major. I would like to learn more about research projects in the majors that interest me Since my adviser was not familiar with my intended major, it would have been helpful to connect with a faculty member who could help me I am interested in having practical experiences related to my major.

12 What we’ve learned from these data: The most frequent response we heard to the question “How Would You Improve the Pre-Major Advising Process?” was “My adviser doesn’t know much about my intended major.” Few of us are experts about every undergraduate program! It is much more helpful to connect students with the people and resources that will be helpful to them than to say “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.” Pre-Major advisers have a variety of resources available including: – Faculty and administrators in academic programs and departments – Peer advisers in many academic programs – Department websites – Undergraduate councils – Office of Undergraduate Research – College Center for Advising Services – Class Deans – Health Professions Advisers in Lattimore 312 – Your Advising Circle Liaison Note: 35% of students met 1 or 2 times with advisers; 51% met 3 or 4 times during the first year

13 The Adviser’s Toolbox “Challenging and supporting students through their transitions as they pursue academic success is the nature of the work all advisors do.”

14 Online Tools and Resources Advising binder materials Pre-major advising website: CCAS: Adviser’s Handbook Pre-health advising Forms Academic Departments: Peer Advising: Registrar:

15 Case Study Discussion One of your freshman advisees, Zoey, is intent on majoring in Business, but she also wants to apply to medical school and would like to complete pre-med requirements. In addition, she understands the value of study abroad and would really like to ensure that she has the opportunity to do so. Zoey is a planner and is eager to make sure that she will be able to fit all of this into her four years as a UR undergraduate student and she would like you to help her figure out if her plans are feasible. She does not have any AP, IB or transfer credit. How might you help her? What resources do the two of you need to answer her questions? What is your role in helping her plan out her four years at UR?

16 Considerations…  By approaching advising as a teaching and learning activity, it is helpful to ask: What do we want Zoey to learn from this process?  As an adviser, you are not responsible for giving Zoey a plan (much as she may want you to do that for her!)  However, we hope that you will want to help Zoey figure out how to create a preliminary plan for her four years, identify questions that need to be answered, and connect her to resources to help further her decision making.  Many advisers like to give “homework” to their advisees which can be completed prior to your next meeting. Homework may include web research and visits to other offices.

17 Considerations…  Zoey’s plan should be re-evaluated each semester to be sure that it continues to meet her academic goals  Zoey will want to discuss her pre-med plans with a health professions adviser to be sure that her preparation meets the needed pre-requisite courses and fits an appropriate timetable  Zoey will want to consider whether her study abroad semester will be used to complete coursework for her major or her cluster in the humanities  What other “homework” might you assign to Zoey?

18 Tools  8 semester planning sheet:  Department web pages:  Authorized signature list: html html  Center for Study Abroad:  Freshman Academic Handbook (for pre-med requirements) and health professions advising program:  Cluster search engine: html html


20 Peer Panel on Academic Honesty “Every advising contact is a precious opportunity for meaningful interaction.” (Gordon et al., 2008)


22 Student Panel: When I Was a Freshman I Wish I Knew… “ Academic advising at its very best is a supportive and interactive relationship between students and their advisors.” (Gordon & Habley, 2000)

23 Study Abroad Updates  Jackie Levine – Director for the Center for Study Abroad and Interdepartmental Programs

24 Pre-Major Advising in Arts, Sciences and Engineering Over 140 pre-major advisers All new freshmen and all new freshman and sophomore transfers assigned a pre-major adviser Most freshmen assigned to adviser on the basis of where they live on campus Engineering freshmen/transfers have engineering faculty advisers

25 Orientation Week Schedule for First-Year & Transfer Advisers  Wednesday, August 28: Group advising meeting with advisees (your meeting location will be provided to you)*  Students who wish to move into or out of engineering should attend the special session on Wednesday (Lattimore Hall – see schedule)  Lunch with advisees following Group Meetings  Individual advising meetings on Wednesday, Thursday afternoon and Friday in preparation for beginning of registration on Friday afternoon, August 30

26 Preparation for your group advising meeting on Wednesday, August 28 New and learning advisers: All of the information you need will be in your folder/binder. Be sure to review the introductory pages in the FAH. Review advisees’ records in e-file Send advisees a welcome email on 8/26 or 8/27 Beginning Friday, August 23rd come to Lattimore 312 for your folder/binder Review Course Planning, Placement and Recommendation (CPPR) forms (freshmen) Set aside time for individual advising appointments on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday afternoon and Friday

27 Your advisees will appear in Adviser Access the week of August 19 th (note: once this information is uploaded, students have access to it and may contact you about their academic plans)Adviser Access Students in the Class of 2016 and 2017 will have advisor holds. They are unable to register or drop/add courses until you log into Access and lift the hold **Tip** New Advisers can request an email distribution list for their advisees

28 Group Meeting Agenda Refer to the Sample Agenda in your Binder/Folder for specific details Welcome and general introductions Introduce yourself and talk a little about your interests, your role on campus, and what the goals of academic advising are Have students introduce themselves Explain to students the best way to reach you during Orientation and once the semester begins **Tip**Some advisers like to create a hand out for their group meeting to give to their advisees

29 Group Meeting Agenda Emphasize importance of attending various Q&A Sessions and the Academic Open House on Friday Review Academic Honesty Policy and “Talking Points” Handout (new last year!) and distribute 2 copies to each student--one copy should be returned to you Distribute one copy of CPPR form to each student. These forms provide placement information based on students’ AP scores and other test scores as available to CCAS Check Advisor Access to see if student registered in advance for selected courses (BIO, CHM, MTH, WRT 105/105E, EAS)


31 Group Meeting Agenda Students who pre-registered can begin making changes to their schedules once Friday registration begins Students who did not pre-register for any courses should be encouraged to review the instructions for online registration BEFORE Friday at the Registrar’s website.Registrar’s Encourage students to bring with them to their individual meetings a list of 5-7 potential courses (remind them to check for pre-requisites and time conflicts and to use their FAHs and the online course schedule) Let Marcy, Sean, or Kate Mckenna (transfers) know if you have any “no shows”

32 Group Meeting Agenda Explain to students that they will have an “advisor hold” on their accounts that you will lift prior to Friday Review schedule for Friday registration with students: Transfers begin at 12:00 pm; Freshmen DOB 1/1- 4/30 begin at 3:30pm; DOB 5/1 - 8/31 begin at 4:30pm and DOB 9/1 - 12/31 begin at 5:30pm Assistance will be available on Friday afternoon in Lattimore Hall if students have questions/difficulties Once registration opens, students may add and drop online through September 16. Paper drop/add forms will be used beginning September 17.

33 Individual Meetings during Orientation Week Review the information in your folder/binder Most pre-major advisers will meet with students in their offices with a computer handy. Check with students to be sure they have looked for time conflicts, and are familiar with course pre-requisites, if applicable Talk about the plan in the context of the information on the CPPR Form. Does student expect to receive transfer credit for college courses they have already completed? Is there any pending AP, IB, A-level or transfer credit? Is there a good balance among disciplines and departments?

34 General policy regarding “overloads” First-semester students may register for as many as four full-credit courses and three additional credits (i.e., applied music, dance classes). The on-line registration system caps freshman registration at 19 credits. Additional credits must be added using a drop/add form. Encourage freshmen to register for reasonable plan in their first semester. Beginning in their second semester (spring 2014), they may petition to register for an overload if they earned a 3.0 or better this fall semester and have no missing or incomplete grades. Policies for transfer students are not as “strict” though it is best to encourage transfers to register for four courses in their first semester at UR unless their previous college record is very strong

35 Pre-Health/Pre-Med students You may have a strong student who wants to take BIO, CHM and MTH and another course. That is OK. There are other pre-med paths (see your binder/folder) Students who are less sure of their abilities (or advisers who have possible concerns about preparation) should encourage students to take two science courses in their first semester. It is far better for students to start conservatively and build on that plan than to do poorly in their first semester and try to make this work up in later semesters.

36 Pre-Health/Pre-Med students Encourage your pre-health students to attend the “Pre-Med Q&A” during Orientation Point out the Health Professions Handbook available online at the CCAS website Encourage interested students to sign up for the Health Professions listserv (send an email to The Health Professions team offers a number of helpful seminars during the academic year. Encourage your advisees to check the schedule on the CCAS website

37 WRT 105/105E Overview The one “requirement” for all students is the primary writing requirement. Typically it is satisfied by passing WRT 105/WRT 105E with a grade of “C” or better Most students will complete the requirement by taking WRT 105 in the fall or spring semester No student may “waive” the primary writing requirement Transfer students who have successfully completed a composition course with a grade of “B” or better at another college may petition to determine whether their course can be used to fulfill the primary writing requirement

38 WRT 105/105E Information Many students have already pre-registered for WRT 105/WRT 105E and most other students should now plan to take it in the spring. The Writing, Speaking and Argument Program (formerly CWP) no longer manages wait lists for WRT 105/WRT 105E during the first two weeks of the semester Students who wish to try and register for a writing class should check the online schedule; they should not contact instructors directly to add a class

39 Advising Goals for Orientation Week & Start of Semester Begin to get to know your advisees, their goals and interests Help your advisees choose alternate courses in the event their plans have to change during Friday’s registration Encourage your advisees to take advantage of the many resources and Q&A sessions available during Orientation Goal is successful registration on Friday, August 30 Once classes begin, encourage your advisees to attend additional courses they may be interested in Check in with your advisees by September 6

40 Advising Goals for Orientation Week & Start of Semester Encourage your advisees to attend the Student Activities Fair at the start of the semester Remind students that you want to know how they are doing and that you will check in with them periodically during the semester Email students as key deadlines approach: September 30 th is the last day to add or drop/delete courses from the fall schedule

41 Questions?

42 Pre-Major Adviser Support/Resources 6 Adviser Development Workshops Advising Circles connect pre-major advisers with CCAS professional advisers Freshman Fellow Contact List for res hall programs Funding for adviser-advisee programs, meals with advisees, adviser compensation Pre-Major Advising WebsiteWebsite Regular Emails from Class Deans

43 Pre-Major Adviser Support/Resources Dean of Freshmen and Dean of Sophomores CARE report systemCARE University Counseling Center Please let someone know if you are concerned about an advisee who is not responsive or seems disengaged

44 A note about mentoring Interactions with faculty significant predictor of sophomores’ academic performance Graunke and Woosley, An Exploration of the Factors that Affect the Academic Performance of Sophomores

45 Adviser Reading List  Light, R. (2001) Making the most of college: Students speak their minds  National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)NACADA  Gordon, V. N., Habley, W. R., & Grites, T.J. (2008). Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook (2 nd ed.).  The Mentor: An Online Advising Journal The Mentor

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