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Salisbury University BW
A Maryland University of National Distinction
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Perdue Advising
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Faculty & Staff - Typical Advisement Session

(From 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 the student.

  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 relevant.

  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 you.

  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.

Greeting 1

Greeting 2

Greeting 3

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Salisbury University 1101 Camden Avenue Salisbury, MD 21801 410-543-6000

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