Meetings during Fall ConnectionDemonstrating a good command of relevant information, running a well-organized meeting, and showing concern for the personal and academic well-being of your advisees is essential in order to gain the confidence and trust of parents.
Parents' Meeting (Thursday)
- You have only 45 minutes for this meeting.
- Introduce yourself, including your academic background and your role at the College
Explain your role as a First Year Advisor
Be sure to emphasize that you are part of a large group of support personnel to whom students and parents may turn for assistance, but that you specialize in helping students understand academic standards and requirements.
- Distribute Top Ten Things You Should Ask Your Student.
- Invite parents to stay in touch if there are matters which may affect their student's life in college. Make sure to provide them with your contact information.
- Remind parents that the ultimate responsibility for knowing and understanding the academic requirements of the college, and for success in fulfilling those requirements, rests entirely with the student. Remind them that it is imperative that students read and understand the College Catalog.
- Explain that you welcome parents to contact you with questions during the year, but that FYAs may not provide actual grades or other specific information about a student's academic performance without the written consent of the student.
- Take questions—for those you can’t answer, refer them to the appropriate office.
- Some advisors pass out a note card to the parents, and ask them to note down anything about their student that they are concerned about (shaky time management, has trouble meeting new people, etc…). You can then keep these cards in the students’ files and remember to ask your advisees how they are handling these potential pitfalls.
Advising Picnic (Friday)
- What is the purpose of the picnic? This is an informal gathering designed to help you and your peer mentor to get to know your group and to help the group become comfortable with you and each other. It is usually a good idea to do some ice-breaking exercises, play a game, etc. Some advisors like to take a group picture.
- What food can I serve? You can either use boxed lunches, which will be provided by food service, or you can spend up to $6.00 person for food.
- Where should I hold the picnic? This is up to you. Some advisors host the dinner at their home; others use campus locations, or nearby parks (Lincoln Park is popular).
- Here are some games you might play to get to know each other better:
1. Two truths and a lie. All participants should say their name and then tell three things about themselves, but one of them should be false. Group members will try to guess which one of the disclosures is a lie. After everyone who wants to guess has guessed, reveal which piece of information was the lie.
2. Wannabes. All group members take a turn to explain who (living/dead/real/fictional) they would choose to be if they had to become someone else. Each person can also tell the reason(s) for his/her choice, briefly.
3. Who am I? The leader writes the names of famous people, living or dead, on small pieces of paper, then tapes one name on the back of everyone in the group. Each person circulates around the room asking yes/no questions of other people to try and determine the name on his/her back. For example, a person might ask if they are living, if they are female, if they are an entertainer, etc. In so doing, each person should also introduce him/herself so that real names are learned.
4. Continuum. The leader creates a list of categories such as birthdays, number of siblings, number of musical instruments one plays, eye color, distance the person lives from the college in driving time, favorite color, etc. As the leader calls out the category, group participants line up on a continuum (for example, for birthdays the continuum is January through December, for number of siblings the continuum is zero to six, for eye color the leader can announce the continuum is blue to green to brown). After the students are lined up correctly, they can exchange names with the people on either side of them in the line before moving around according to the next announced category. This gets people moving and talking to each other.
5. Imagine. The leader can choose the category to be discussed. For example, the students can tell the group if they were a ride in an amusement park, what ride would they be and why? Or if they were a food, what would they be and why? Or if they were an appliance, or time period in history, or a song, or a season, or a color, or a book, or… If this is the first time the group is meeting, it might be a good idea to have the person first say his/her name and then his/her answer.
Group Meeting (Friday)
- You may want to hold this meeting at the meeting room that has been assigned to your group; however, if you would like to consider this group meeting simply an extension of the picnic lunch, this is of course fine. You can also decide how much time you want to devote to the group part of the afternoon, and how much to the individual meetings.
- Introduce yourself, including your academic background and your role at the College.
- Touch base about how the first day at Augustana went. Concerns? Immediate questions?
- Explain your role as a First Year Advisor.
- Be sure to emphasize that you are part of a large group of support personnel to whom students and may turn for assistance, but that you specialize in helping students understand academic standards and requirements.
- You might use some of the handouts in this manual, either as the basis of information you want to relay, or as actual handouts for students: Information for First Year Students and Role of the Student in the Advising Relationship on the previous pages are good starting points, as is Ten Ways College Differs from High School (in the appendix).
- Be sure that students know how to contact you.
- Have students sign up for an individual Friday afternoon meeting (and make sure they know where the meetings will be held).
Individual Meetings (Friday)
· This meeting will only be 10-15 minutes long! It is designed only as a way for the student to know where your office is and to check in on the student’s early adjustment to campus. If there are significant problems (with the class schedule, etc…), you may need to schedule a second meeting for Monday or Tuesday of the first week.
· Have student log onto WebAdvisor so that you can confirm that s/he is registered for appropriate classes (refer to pink information sheet in their advising folder). Be sure to ask about transfer or AP credits, and make sure the schedule will not duplicate credits that the students has already received.
· Inquire into how adjustment is going: ask about the new roommate(s), homesickness, etc…
· Get an initial sense of the students’ interests, potential majors, anxieties, strengths, etc… Be sure to jot some notes down to yourself about the meeting.