Faculty & Staff - Typical Advisement Session
Start to Finish)
The majority of your advising
will take place during Program Planning although we encourage
students to meet with their Advisors throughout the year. Many
times students have questions but don't always know or think to
turn to their Faculty Advisor. A simple email checking in on
your advisee can spark a question that will help start open
communication between you and your advisee. Below we have
provided a few email templates to help you start your
conversations with your advisees.
Now, once you get the student in
the door, on the phone, or emailing you for a web advising
session the real fun begins. If possible you should start out
by retrieving the student's advising folder in
Student Services so that you have
important background information for your session.
From Start to Finish
1. Greet student -
begin with "How can I help you today?", shifting the
responsibility toward the student. Review the student's file so
that you may bring up something you previously discussed with
2. Set a time limit
up front - let the student know that you have 30 minutes to
review information (if there is a time limit) and that you would
be happy to set up another appointment if needed to follow up.
This way you will not catch the student off guard.
3. Discuss the issue
- ask the student why they are here to meet you. After
listening to the student, restate the problems or issues to make
sure your understanding is correct.
4. Question the
student - ask the student how important the issue is on a scale
of 1 to 10. This gives the student a concrete way to evaluate
and quantify their priorities. If they have a number of issues,
ask which they are most concerned about. This allows the
student and the advisor to focus on what is most immediate and
5. Refer to
GullNet: the student's academic requirements, course history
and transfer credit information may be found on GullNet. This
information is crucial in determining the student's academic
status and checking the information they have given to you.
6. Knowledge - if
you do not know the answer to an advising question, let the
student know. Write the question down and tell them that you
will get back to them the next day. Then stop by or email the
Advising Services Coordinator for this information. This allows
you to get the correct information to the student in a prompt
manner without sending them elsewhere (unless necessary).
7. Problems -
because we are a Gate admission school, there are times when you
as an advisor will need to discuss a problem with the student's
academic plan, i.e. they do not have the necessary Gate GPA to
be admitted to the professional program. Be honest with the
student and give them their options so that they can make an
informed decision. It is better to tell them of the issue now
versus them coming to the realization that they should look into
other majors later. If we can save them a semester, we
certainly want to.
I find it useful to
discuss their overall goal at this point and tell them several
options to get to their goal. Ask them what they are passionate
about or what fascinates them, focusing on their strengths and
interests. That way when they leave they know there is a light
at the end of the tunnel and they can start on a new plan. For
example, if the student is interested in working in human
resources, I might discuss with them the communications major
with a business administration minor. If they seem apathetic or
stuck, realize that taking the next step can often feel
overwhelming. Help them reframe the necessary action by asking
"What do you think will happen if you don't change anything?
What is the worst outcome if you do change? What is the best
outcome?" Help them break down their challenges into tasks that
are manageable. Suggest advantages and disadvantages, but
clearly state that the decision is theirs. In other words, put
the responsibility on the student to make an informed decision.
8. Document your
session: use the Advising session documentation form to write
down the items you discussed with the student and your
recommendations. Have the student sign the form and make them a
copy so that they can keep this information for future use. The
original should be dropped off in Student Services to be
included in the student's file.
9. Homework: if you
have given the student an action item, talk to them about when
it needs to be completed and if/when they should follow up with
10. End your
session: let the student know you were happy to help them and
provide resource information to them so that they may find
general information on their own in the future.
Let them know your preferred contact method as well.