Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Spring 2012 (March 20, 2012)

New Program Urges Students to ‘Be Advised’

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March 20, 2012

Beloit has always been adept at advising students, but over the past year and with new graduation requirements, the college is aiming to make the advising process even more comprehensive, intentional, and measurable.

The efforts so far are paying off, garnering Beloit national publicity and kicking off a new program that helps students step back, reflect on their interests, and start planning early to get the most out of their education.

To that end, the college debuted Advising Practicum in November, the first semiannual event in a five-year pilot program for students, which preempts classes for an entire day prior to advising week. First and second-year students participate in special advising sessions, and all students are invited to attend concurrent workshops both on topics related to their majors and on subjects ranging from time management to dealing with stress to deciding whether graduate school is right for them. More than 150 sessions were offered in the program’s inaugural year.

Promotional materials for the first Practicum urged students to “Be Advised.” Apparently, they were paying attention, since hundreds took part in the day’s events.

In addition, Beloit has beefed up expectations regarding advising by re-articulating and significantly expanding advising guidelines for faculty members seeking reappointment, tenure, and promotion.

This spring, both the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education took notice of Beloit’s reinvigorated focus on advising. In the Chronicle, Jennifer Joslin, president of the National Academic Advising Association and director of the University of Oregon’s office of academic advising, commended Beloit for “taking a fresh look at advising—how it’s done, how its effectiveness is measured, and how it should be evaluated when it comes to pre-tenured faculty.” Joslin said, “We all need to think about advising in a more complex way.”

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