Students reflect on advising day experience

Samantha Weber, Staff writer

This year, Advising Day occurred on Oct. 14. Advising Day is a day off from classes for students when they schedule a time to meet with their advisors and decide what courses they should register for next semester. This semester’s meetings are virtual because some faculty offices were not big enough to maintain social distance.“I have found that this year’s Advising Day went smoother than it did in the spring. I think we are all much more used to virtual meetings and how to navigate them much more comfortably now,” said Erica Cox, director of Academic Support and Learning Differences. These meetings are scheduled to last for 10-15 minutes depending on how well the student prepares ahead of time. Many advisors have too many students to meet with all of them in one day, so they have multiple days to sign up for. After the meeting, students will receive a specific time on Self-Ser-vice to register for their classes. Moreover, if they cannot get into one or some of the classes they had planned, they must find some backups and register for those classes. This year seniors are registering on Oct. 21, juniors on Oct. 22, sophomores on Oct. 23, and the freshmen on Oct. 27. Honors students register after seniors. Some meetings lasted all of two minutes because students were very proactive in having a suitable schedule already planned. “My advisor just looked at my schedule and gave me the thumbs up and then asked if I had some backups in mind and if I have any questions, and that was the end of my meeting,” freshman Megan Kantz said. “It lasted three minutes.”Cox summarizes the advising day this fall: “I also think that as far as Advising Day processes go, that we have been better about using the systems and databases we have to document and track. Advisors are entering notes in the Advising section on Self-Service and archiving course plans. Students are planning courses beyond the upcoming semester. It shows an improved comfort with technology and I hope it is something that continues even if we return to in-person advising sessions.” Talking about how COVID will impact future Advising Days, Cox said “direct chat messages on Teams or video calls have been much more popular for how students seek our support, and we have developed connections that we did not think was possible in a virtual world. It has also encouraged us to look at new ways to promote events or remind students about important academic dates. We hope to start growing our video tutorials and using video advertisements instead of email announcements.”