02. Teaching

Advisement Reflection

2019-20 & Fall 2020

 

An overview of goals, availability, mentoring provided, methods used to assess advising effectiveness, and outcomes.

Goals

Advising is the active relationship between a student and me, the adviser. My goal is to make sure that it is a shared responsibility to develop a clear four-year educational plan, incorporating personal, social, academic, and career factors. My goal, also, is to focus on helping students identify their life goals, acquire skills and attitudes that promote intellectual growth, and become academically successful while fulfilling their major or minor in dance.

Availability

Throughout the school-year, I advise students on an as-needed basis. I target a condensed appointment session twice a year with my advisees approximately 3-4 weeks before early registration. In the past, I always had an 'open door' policy throughout the year, and during advising season, I posted sign-up sheets on my office door. During COVID times, however, students and I have met on Zoom, and sessions were set up through an online appointment book. Students would go to my virtual calendar and book a time. Once they clicked submit, a Zoom session was automatically set up, followed by confirmation and reminder emails. This method resulted in a 98% student show-up rate, and I plan to use it from now on. It has been like having my very own, extremely effective secretary.

Mentoring

When mentoring students, I try to develop practices that support student success by creating an atmosphere of support and providing quality up-to-date information to students. I assist students in decision making and independent thinking as they explore personal, academic, and career goals. I lead them througha developmental guide of exploring life goals, values, abilities, interests, limitations as well as an exploration of career goals.

 

We discuss the dance major, the emphasis of study, courses, course-loads, and scheduling classes. We discuss any other majors or minors that may interest them. I also try to incorporate a broader context of exploration, including self-knowledge, goal setting and monitoring progress, decision making, and planning for a career and lifelong learning. I establish effective working relationships with other faculty, staff, and administration in support of the total experience for student advisement. During the four years, I encourage students to stick out difficult classes by discussing difficulties with the professor and seeking out a tutor. I also encourage to maintain the trajectory to graduate within the projected 4-year timeline. In turn, those students who graduate with a rich experience will be those to monitor for effective advising.

 

For advising to be successful, academic and career advising really should go hand-in-hand. Academic choices need to prepare students for their intended career, which is applied learning in a very real and very tangible sense.

Over the past four years, we have more college resources at our disposal that aid this process, plus two new degree programs (Arts Management, and Musical Theatre) that guide our students into meaningful career paths.

Methods for Effectiveness

I need to know if what I am doing is having the impact that I intend. In an ongoing process, I make a point to identify outcomes. I also gather evidence of the experiences of students, interpret the evidence, and implement change toward future advising. It is important to understand and take responsibility for my role in the advising relationship as well as have the ability to understand and articulate students' major and career options based on their interests, skills and abilities; and being able to make effective decisions.

 

Outcomes

My intended outcomes is that through advising, students will learn to frame questions about the future and seek information needed to formulate answers. As a result, they will practice decision making strategies and self-leadership skills that they will use throughout their lives. Students will also be able to put the college experience into perspective, especially with regard to understanding the value of the learning and creative process, whether it is independent or collaborative. They will also be encouraged to utilize unique opportunities to structure their college experiences to maximize their abilities to lead their lives as they decide.

 

Additional Reflection

For past reflections, please reference Annual Faculty Information Forms.

© SUNY POTSDAM  REAPPOINTMENT 2020 by Cynthia DuFault