There is much that advisors can do to ensure that orientation advising goes smoothly. The DBCAFLS Dean’s Office compiles a list of student names, organized by intended major. This list is available at least one day before each orientation. Advisors should use this list to prepare for their advising sessions.
Important Information for Freshman Advising
The first thing to do is gather information about students intending to major in a program housed by your department. Prior to meeting with the students, advisors should become as informed as possible about the following:
There may be surprises in that students you were expecting to participate in orientation do not show or students you were not expecting do show. However, the small time investment required to gather basic information about students pays off in smoother advising sessions.
During the first advising session, the advisor should verify the accuracy of the above information. It is not uncommon for a student to indicate additional sources of college credit or financial aid that do not yet show up in the university’s ISIS system. In particular, the advisor should request the student’s advising file. This is given to the student during orientation and contains an “advising sheet” that provides ACT test scores along with course placement recommendations.
Plan for the Logistics of Scheduling and Enrollment
A given advisor may be responsible for more than two or three students during a given orientation session. Here are some suggestions to help the advising process go smoothly in these cases:
Follow-up advising when students return to campus
A good strategy is to arrange a follow-up visit with students once they arrive on campus to begin their studies. Such a visit typically provides a better atmosphere than orientation to learn about student concerns, interests, and goals. During this visit review the students course schedule and address resources that are available on campus to help them succeed. This is also a good opportunity to explain your advising philosophy and outline what you expect of the student and what the student should expect from you in the ongoing advising relationship.