Managing your advisees

Important Dates:

  • Last day to drop (with a ‘W’) – full semester courses – October 26th
  • Undergraduate Registration begins –Winter IntercessionNov 8thSpring Nov 12th

Departments differ on how their students are assigned advisees. Some departments require that their advisees receive at least one one-on-one appointment prior to registration and others use large-group advising to get the job done. Regardless of how things are done, every faculty member meets with students to some degree individually. This week I would like discuss methods for arranging meeting times.

When I first started in the Department of Educational Studies I noticed many of my colleagues posted lists on their doors and had students physically sign up. Then Google Docs came along and many advisors migrated to online sign-up docs. At first we wondered if our students were sophisticated enough to figure out how to use a Google doc, but the first time I tried it I had no problems. It was convenient for students and if they needed to cancel or change their appointment they could go online and change the doc. Here’s my recipe:

1. Create a Google doc. In the doc create a 2 or 3 column table. The left column lists all the available time slots and dates. The right column is for student names.

2. Share the doc with your advisees. Copy a list of their emails from WINGS and then paste it in the email field when you click “share”. In the comment field give them instructions.

3. Sit back and watch the table fill up.

If you want more information provide more columns.

I encourage readers to share their successful methods for scheduling appointments in the comments section below.

My Planner 

Students have access to new WINGS services. My Planner allows students to plot out all courses needed, by term, for their whole career here at UW-L. Check out the tutorial to get a better idea of how it works and promote it with your students! Encourage them to map out all of their courses. This helps empower them and take the burden off of yourself, enabling you to have more meaningful discussions with your advisees.

Another useful tool students have is the Schedule Planner. This tool allows students to make a list of courses they want to register for  (import it from their shopping cart) and then give the computer some parameters – no early morning classes! – and then see all the possible variations of a schedule that are available. They can look at only open classes or include closed ones as well. This will save them plenty of time so that they can actually read for class!

With all this new enhanced productivity maybe we can get a raise and lower tuition!

Speaking of dreaming, another important aspect to advising students is stress management. We are in the middle of a long stretch of classes. Assignments and tests are rolling in and so you are up to your neck in grading. It is important to take a moment and relax. Turn out the lights, turn on the sound and put the video below on full-screen and change the quality to HD. Watch.

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One Response to Managing your advisees

  1. Ryan says:

    Thanks for sharing the great news about the new planning features in WINGS.

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