Advising Support from UMAC
The most valuable advising resources are people - advisors and advising support staff who effectively communicate accurate, current information. ASU's Advising Edge Network brings those involved in the advising process together each term to update, refresh skills, and exchange ideas. The Advising Edge website provides a wealth of advising supports and timely reminders. In addition to the Advisors' Handbook, the Advisors' Notes (newsletter), Network agendas and reports, the Academic Calendars, and the Semester Conversion tables help keep participants up to date. Valuable reference information may also be found in the University catalogs, the current student handbook, and the faculty handbook. The Edge's Advisors’ Workshop series helps orient and update advisors and support staff. The student information system, BANNER, provides basic advising information with several exciting tools under development, such as the degree audit feature. The following basic advising support areas should be addressed by anyone involved in the advising system.
To help track a student’s progress toward their educational goals, an advising file should be maintained on each advisee. This file should be kept up to date with the most current information. Advisor’s factual notations on items discussed, plans developed, and decisions made during each contact should be included. This facilitates the advisor’s preparation for an advising session while charting the student’s progress. Such information is particularly crucial in departments where more than one advisor will likely have contact with a student. Such notations are also helpful as students change majors, concentrations, and programs, moving among advisors either within a department or between departments. An updated checksheet, appropriate to the student’s major(s), should be part of the student’s advising file. Although current on-line information about each student is available, a simplified paper record still serves a purpose in assisting the student. An Advisor may find a hard copy document useful for certain types of advising situations. Advisors and advising departments should periodically review their record keeping procedures, updating checksheets, and transferring advising records. Caution should be exercised in the handling of these materials as they contain confidential information.
Registration Schedule/Work Sheets
Schedule/Work sheets still play a role in the registration process. Schedule sheets indicate the student's name, ID number, admission code, class, residency, advising department, major/degree, any holds or special conditions and also provide a condensed area for indicating course selections. These sheets may be printed on BANNER (WREG100) and may be helpful to an advisor, particularly for an initial advising session. As schedule sheets contain confidential information, appropriate precautions should be taken in their handling.
Registration Work sheets are often more useful for a student in helping to organize information needed for ASTRO registration. Especially helpful are versions with daily time blocks which allow the student to plot out the actual schedule of selected classes. This gives a student the opportunity to see how the selected classes fit into a weekly schedule and to avoid scheduling conflicting classes. Once fully completed, the work sheet will also contain personal information (birthdate, identification number, etc.) that should be handled with care.
As with any forms, the student may be initially intimidated or confused about these sheets and may need orientation to what essentially becomes a list of classes selected by the student in consultation with an academic advisor. Either form works for registration purposes.
Communicating with Advisees
Communicating with advisees is a challenge which may often be helped by a little dash of the golden rule. If you were a student assigned to your advising department, would you know how to see an advisor or who your advisor was? Would you feel welcome?
Periodically “visit” your department to see how a prospective major might “see” it. It is often useful to check with new employees or students regarding what they might have found confusing or unclear about your area. Do you have a method for ensuring that everyone within the department is current on your procedures? Do you post key dates? Do you ask clarifying questions or screen on BANNER before answering? Do you orient new students to your department’s personnel and procedures? Do you encourage students to prepare for advising sessions? Do you make information on class offerings readily available? Open class lists are available on BANNER (WREG102), and posting an updated copy often saves valuable advising time. Do you make it a practice to share degree program changes and career opportunity information with your majors? Do you routinely call ahead before referring a student to another area to ensure accuracy and avoid “shuffling” the student?
Consider how you would like to be treated and act accordingly. Anything less diminishes you, your department and the university.