Remote Advising Resources (RAR!)

Strategies, Links, and Tools for Academic Advisors in Times of Disruption 

Communication

Scheduling Advising Appointments

Remote Appointment Options

Phone Appointments

Video-Conference Appointments

Email Appointments

Share Remote Advising Ideas/Resources

Need help?

 

Communication

With all the uncertainty in university life and beyond, and without the normal informal channels through which so much information flows, we are all learning that communication is key. 

  • Please reach out to your advisees: check in with them, ask how they’re doing, and let them know how they can reach you. If your outreach goes unanswered, please let your students’ success coaches know by submitting an alert in SSC. Learn how to submit alerts HERE

  • Set advising expectations, provide instructions and resources, and set deadlines: with routines disrupted, our students—and especially our first-year students and first-generation students—won’t be able to rely on “muscle memory” around academic advising and registration.

  • Some things and links you may want to share or have ready at hand:

  • Important upcoming Academic Calendar dates 

**Note: as academic policies undergo faculty review, these may change. Interim dates and policies are here.**

April 23 - Senior Registration

April 27-29 - Fall 2021 Registration

May 1 (new date!) - Last day to withdraw without academic penalty

 

Scheduling Advising Appointments

A number of apps and websites can be used to simplify scheduling of appointments for those who are able to have live virtual meetings. Please also consider holding virtual “drop-in” advising office hours in the coming weeks.

 

Remote Appointment Options

(This section adapted, with permission, from: Advising in Times of Disruption. Sarah Howard, Ohio State University, Co-authored with participants of the @AcAdvChat community. 3/16/2020.)

While many of our students may have access to resources which would allow them to maintain an advising appointment remotely, not all will/do, so keep that in mind when choosing remote options. When possible, allow students to choose the method they would prefer.

Phone Appointments

During a time of campus disruption, phone appointments may be the easiest way to connect with students. 

  • Make sure to remind students to verify that they have provided a phone number (either in the appointment system or in your Student Information System) that they will have access to during the time of their appointment.

  • Be sure to communicate whether you (advisor) will be calling at the scheduled appointment time, or whether it is the student’s responsibility to call.

  • Make sure that the student is aware of the time (and timezone) that the appointment will be held — sometimes disruption from normal routine makes us forget to convert timezones, if necessary.

  • Recognize that a student may or may not have control over the external environment they are in at the time of the appointment. If they are home, there may be other people/siblings/pets and/or external noises which they cannot control. You can communicate expectations that you would like for them to have access to a computer in a quiet space during the appointment, but be understanding if that is not possible.

  • After the appointment, consider sending a follow-up email with a recap of what was discussed, any website links that the student should look at, and any additional information that the student should know at that time. Since you won’t be able to read the student’s non-verbals over the phone, a follow-up email keeps the line of communication open and allows for confirmation that both you and the student are on the same page about the appointment.

Video-Conference Appointments

We are all becoming intimately familiar with Zoom. Tons of Zoom-ing resources are available elsewhere. Other video-conference options include Google Hangouts, Skype, and FaceTime (iOS-only).

  • Consider using screen share so that both you and the student are viewing the same item at the same time. This will reduce confusion and also ensure that the student doesn’t get lost in verbal navigation.

  • Some students may not feel comfortable using their camera during a video conference appointment, and that is okay. Keep your camera on if that works for both of you, or just switch to audio only using the platform.

  • Recognize that a student may or may not have control over the external environment they are in at the time of the appointment. If they are home, there may be other people/siblings/pets and/or external noises which they cannot control. You can communicate expectations that you would like for them to have access to a computer in a quiet space during the appointment, but be understanding if that is not possible.

  • As with phone appointments, it is helpful to send a follow-up email with a recap of what was discussed, any website links that the student should look at, and any additional information that the student should know at that time. A follow-up email keeps the line of communication open and allows for confirmation that both you and the student are on the same page about the appointment.

  • Group advising appointments (perhaps using breakout Zoom rooms for individual consultations) may be something that works for you.

Email Appointments

While perhaps not the most efficient option, you might consider offering an email appointment if the student is concerned about access to phone or wifi. Because students are probably used to emailing you with questions, there would be no learning curve for this option. A variation on this would be using a google doc that you and the student can edit.

  • Ask the student to respond to helpful prompts, e.g.:

    • What is going well? What challenges are you facing?

    • How were your courses progressing at midterm? 

    • Are you considering dropping a course prior to the deadline?

    • What courses are you considering?

    • What advising or registration questions do you have?

  • Be sure to close the loop on the communication, letting the student know that they are all set, and confirm with them that you have cleared them for registration.

 

Do you have ideas and/or resources to share about online academic advising?

If you have a resource, whether that is an article, a link to a website, an advising template, messages you have crafted for your students, or specific tips for using virtual tools for advising purposes, please share your ideas and resources HERE.

We’ll collect your resources, organize them, and make sure they’re shared.

 

Need help? We’re here (wherever that is)! 

Please contact TAO@stmarys-ca.edu. We’re checking our email and are ready to support you.