Connecting with First-Time Advisees

For many of our incoming students, the concept of academic advising is completely foreign. Their exposure to the University of Idaho has been through campus visits, marketing materials, and Vandal Friday – where they first experienced the registration process. Because we “advise” students at Vandal Friday and over the summer, they begin to think that academic advising is simply plotting out a schedule in ten minutes. In truth, academic advising is about forging a connection with a faculty or staff member that will help the student navigate the University of Idaho.

The best way to facilitate a positive relationship with advisees is to communicate with them early in their first semester and to clarify the nature of academic advising. Following the steps below and using the resources listed on this site will help advisors connect with new students, articulate the responsibilities of the advisor and advisee, and begin fostering a meaningful relationship.

During the last two weeks in August: 

  • All new students are assigned a departmental academic advisor.
  • Advisors email new students
    • Invite them to stop by during office hours or another block of time to introduce themselves
    • Attach a copy of your advising syllabus and ask advisee to print out a copy, read it, and write down any questions they may have
    • Attach a copy of the Student Profile Sheet and/or Self Evaluation Sheet. Ask advisee to print, complete, and bring sheet to initial meeting
  • Attend Advising Symposium in September 

After mid-September: 

  • Early Warning grades will be disseminated to departments from the Registrar’s Office. Please check these lists for your advisees and take action to ensure students know about:
    • Drop deadline and procedure
    • Withdrawal deadline and procedure
    • Tutoring and Academic Assistance resources
    • Disability Support Services (if appropriate)
  • Often, students identified on the Early Warning list are having difficulty transitioning to the university. They may need only a quick meeting to get their questions answered and a short pep talk. 

First week in October: 

  • Send out a reminder about advising (see template)
    • Encourage students to review advising syllabus
    • Set expectations for advising meeting
    • Create a schedule for advising appointments 

Mid-October to mid-November: 

  • Preregistration advising period 

After mid-October: 

  • Check advisee midterm grades and take action
    • Many first-time students are unfamiliar with the withdrawal process
    • Help students set reasonable expectations about finishing the semester 

First or second week in November: 

  • Registration for Spring semester opens
    • Many first-time students are unfamiliar with the VandalWeb registration process