Academic Advising Committee
Minutes of a Meeting
5 November 2019, 11am

In attendance:  Rosa Tapia, Beth De Stasio, Monita Mohammadian Gray, Curt Lauderdale, Angi Long, Andrew Mast, Pete Gilbert

Rosa sent out the agenda before the meeting:
1. Continue conversation about registration periods (interruptions, holds, etc.) and an advising structure for transfer students.

We agreed that leaving the initial registration open for transfer students was a good plan, but there are issues with leaving registration open all the time for everyone. Specifically, balancing the convenience of registration being available with the necessity of faculty advising.

Options include:
i) Leave the registration schedule as is.
ii) Leave registration open but only for transfer students.
iii) Leave registration open all the time for everyone but work on managing advising expectations.

After extended discussion, we recommend leaving registration open for transfer students.

We discussed reminding advisors to remind their advisees that registration will remain open until Thursday, November 21. Students should check their winter and spring schedules and make any necessary changes before then. Rosa will draft an email to go to advisors and send it to Angi who will send it along.

2. Pick up the conversation about the Moodle page for advisors: Missing content? Release date?

Our assignment is to review the Moodle site and add content that needs to be added or make suggestions about making the site better and more useful. We’re thinking that the “release date” will be in January, as early as we can manage.

3. FCG wants to talk about advising assignments. What recommendations do we want to include in this update?

Our question is what our friends on Governance want to know. Is this a faculty workload issue? An equity issue? Both? Neither?

Currently, advising assignments are made by Rosa based on a student’s interests, taking into consideration what she can divine about the student’s experiences and motivation and matching that with the appropriate faculty advisor. This is a difficult and time-consuming process that doesn’t always work as planned.

Discussion topics:
• Can we/should we have required advisor training? What would that look like?
• Could we offer a menu of training options from which faculty could choose depending on their experience and needs?
• What if we do training as webinars? There’d be a lot of up-front work but it’d be more flexible down the road.
• Should faculty job applications include a request for something like an “advising statement” or “advising philosophy”?
• How will all this fit in with the work of the Mellon RTP group?
• Technology (e.g., the new registration portal, DegreeWorks, etc.) may help with this but – surprise! -- won’t solve all our problems.
• We should work on ways to signal to students what they can realistically expect from advisors. Where would that information go? Handbooks? The Change of Advisor form?
• Is there a role here for a (small) cadre of professional advisors who would work with undecided students?
• Should faculty with more advising work have less committee work (and vice versa)?

4. Admissions would like us to start advising incoming students in spring. Is this feasible?

We ran out of time before getting to this issue. Alas.

We’ll meet again next week (Tuesday 12 November at 11am in MH 306) for more Fun with Advising.