Tips for Surviving Advising Season
ADAPTED FROM A POST BY JASON B. JONES
See the full blog post.
Some strategies for efficient advising:
• Use a digital sign-up sheet that pushes appointments to the calendar you use regularly to help be prepared and to contact students about sudden changes to your schedule. Last week on the UML advising listserv, Jesse Heines, Fred Martin and Bridget Marshall all mentioned using Google Calendar for this.
• Remind students to be prepared for advising! (The digital sign up sheet can help make this easy.) Students need to have *some* idea of the courses available, and what they might like to take–and what will work with their schedule. Some UML students might not yet have seen the new class schedule lookup tool (visit uml.edu/registrar and click on “class schedule”) so you might want to bring it to their attention.
• Have a departmental conversation about advising workloads. Advising loads become imbalanced over time as students drift to work with faculty other than their officially noted advisors. Discuss the “real” advising load and the “assigned” advising load; if imbalance between faculty is unavoidable, make it part of a broader discussion of department work.
• Keep a list of of emergency advising numbers handy. This will save precious advising time that would be lost searching the website for numbers and contact information. The Centers for Learning has assembled a list of some handy UML advising contact info (the most recent version is attached here) and Student Affairs has circulated the very handy “Red Folder” with information for helping students in distress or who need help outside academics. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t have a copy!
• Make notes after advising appointments. The more you can remember about their interests, constraints, and so forth, the better the experience will be for you both. Important, formal notes about paperwork needing to be filed, etc., can be kept in the Advisor Center in SiS.
UMASS LOWELL BONUS TIP:
• Take advantage of your colleagues’ expertise! Use UML’s Advising Affinity Group Listserv (AdvAffinityGroup@listserv.uml.edu) to tune in to the campus-wide conversation about advising. Discuss academic advising policies and procedures, ask questions of content experts, and share advising strategies and best practices! E-mail Sharon_Freeman@uml.edu to subscribe!