During the priority registration windows, students flock to our offices in pursuit of the perfect schedule. How can we make this hectic process run more smoothly? Here are some helpful hints from colleagues:
- Put a sign-up sheet on your door to control the flow of traffic.
- Ask your advisees to bring with them a copy of their Degree Evaluation and do a preliminary list of course selections before they meet with you.
- Plan to schedule some late afternoon or early evening hours to accommodate evening students; if necessary, advise via e-mail or telephone.
- Set up a table in the lobby of your building , with posted hours of advisor availability.
- For advisors with large numbers of advisees:
consider running group sessions during common hours.
- Discuss academic issues, career counseling, educational goals, and personal growth counseling issues with your advisee.
- Keep records relating to each student's progress toward graduation by posting to the "My Advisor Notes" link
- Serve as a resource for information/advice needed by students (e.g. financial aid, tutoring, counseling center, health center, academic policies/procedures, etc.).
- Maintain advising skills by attending university-sponsored advisor training sessions, etc.
The Deans, Associate Deans, the Department Chairs and the Faculty Advisors all have access to student Alternate PINs through the Banner system.
Q's & A's
Q. Some of my advisees are in teacher certification programs. Who answers their questions about education courses?
A. All students who have been accepted into teacher certification programs have assigned faculty advisors in these areas. When you see your advisee list, the certification program advisor's name will appear on it, along with your name. Note: The certification program advisors, as well as the academic major advisors, receive their advisees' Alternate PIN, i.e., the same Alternate PIN number is issued by both advisors. This enables those students who are taking primarily education courses (usually student teachers and practicum package students) to obtain their Alternate PIN numbers from the advisor with whom they have the closest connection.
Since many of these students have virtually completed their academic majors, and since honing their teaching skills is uppermost in their minds, it makes sense for them to have this option.
Q. Am I permitted to release a copy of the degree audit to my advisee?
A. Yes! Please feel free to give your advisees copies of their degree audits. In the "olden" days, when only transcripts were available, it was not advisable to give them out, for fear of tampering, but this does not apply to degree audits, since the format is totally different from that of a transcript. Students can easily access their degree audit through their WP Connect account.
Q. Does the "total credits" column on the degree audit include Basic Skills courses?
A. Yes. Students must subtract their basic skills credits from the total credits listed on the degree audit, since these credits count as credits earned, but not earned towards fulfilling degree requirements. Helpful Hint: Check to see if a student has a HOLD on their account.
Q. What procedures must students follow to enter a closed course, or to enroll in a course for which they do not have the prerequisites?
A. For both cases, students must obtain the permission of the department chair. Only a department chair is authorized to issue such permission, and it is to be used only for exceptional circumstances. In the case of the closed course, the chair enters a code on the SIS system which "opens" the course. This is called a "permit." The student must then go into the systm and register for the course.
1. After you have assisted your advisees with course selection, you should enter their choices on the "My Advisor Notes" link on the system. This provides you with an easily accessible record of your recommendations in case you need to refer to it at a later date.
2. Transfer students frequently have questions about credit and course equivalencies on their transfer credit evaluations. It's sometimes best in these cases to go directly to the source - the transfer credit evaluator in the Undergraduate Admissions Office.
Advisor's Tool Kit
When conducting advising sessions, it's helpful to have the following materials on hand:
- University Catalog
- Current booklet for information on pass/fail deadlines, repeat course policies, filing for leave of absence, final exam schedule, general education and non-western course listings, as well as semester course offerings
- Student Handbook - referral guide (last few pages)
- Faculty Advisor Resource Manual
- Departmental Curriculum Control Sheets
- Student's most recent Degree Audit
- Anecdotal record forms
- Supply of Academic Plan Forms for students on probation
- One-page guide on how to project a student's GPA