As advisors address these five areas, it may be helpful to consider the following strategies for building rapport with and understanding students.
- Become acquainted with the advisee in as many aspects as possible.Knowing the academic abilities and background of the advisee is important. Having good documentation such as placement test scores, transfer courses, grades and present academic status is essential when assessing students’ abilities and future direction.
- Explore the objectives, interests and motivations of the advisee.Students’ future objectives and goals may be difficult to determine. Some knowledge of their non-academic background such as home influence, hobbies, and friends may make more thorough advising possible.
- Develop rapport with advisees.The advising process is much more beneficial if students know the advisor is a professional person who has a genuine interest in them. Students should be encouraged to get to know other faculty members in the department. Multiple contacts are useful to students who are attempting to assess and reach personal goals.
- Know Ivy Tech rules, policies, regulations and procedures that affect academic programs and activity.Every advisor must be well informed regarding current academic policies and procedures. These are the foundations on which all advising efforts will be built. Regular review of College policies and policy changes should be a regular activity of each advisor before each registration period.
Evaluate student motivation.Capitalizing on good academic planning can enhance students’ motivation. Lack of motivation is recognized as the most common cause of poor academic performance. The following thoughts are offered as suggestion to enhance motivation.Early in the program, choose courses that focus on students’ strengths, interests, and background.
- Early in the program, choose courses that focus on students’ strengths, interests, and background.
- Help students build on success rather than failure.
- Challenge capable students to continue the efforts toward academic excellence.
- Explain the reward of a strong academic program and associated good grades.
- Beware of the limitations of advising. An advisor cannot make decisions for an advisee, but can be a good listener and offer various options for consideration. Advisors cannot increase the ability of students, but can encourage the maximum use of that ability. While advisors cannot change aspects of class schedules or employment loads, students can be referred to proper offices for adjustments when necessary. Generally, advisors should not attempt to personally handle complex problems concerning financial aid, mental or physical health, personal and social counseling. When these situations do arise, students should be referred to college or community resources that are trained in dealing with such problems.