Tips for Advising Juniors
Most juniors have a good grasp of the system, and should be well on their way to success. Others are barely hanging on. Your advising help can really make a difference in the junior year. Below are some strategies/tips you might consider:
Major progress. Help students review requirements for the major or POE (and declare any minors) and work up a flexible four-year plan for the remaining classes. Terms and times may now become critical, so students should have a good idea of any potential conflicts between required classes. Discuss any required senior comprehensive exam/senior capstone experience.
Encourage broader majors. Sometimes students see the minimum 36 credit as a maximum as well. They may benefit from encouragement to expand their major and make it more unique.
Review career choices. This is a good time to ask what they plan to do after college. Many students see the major as the point, not as preparation for their career. Are their goals, actions and abilities aligned? Have they completed practica, internships, or jobs in their future career area? Have they performed informational interviews, perhaps through the Alma Circle of alumni? If additional schooling will be needed, do they have the experience needed/required/expected for graduate and professional schools? Students should consider a visit to the Academic and Career Planning Office to meet staff and become aware of resources.
Review DR completion and perform a pre-senior audit. Discuss creative solutions for the remaining DRs to help connect major, field of study and career. Each DR represents a chance for a student to become unique! Using the co-audit (where the classes are listed out in order and the actual DR is identified) makes this very easy for the student to do. A handy degree audit checklist has been developed for the students on the portal.
Anticipate advanced schooling. If more schooling will be required, discuss timetables for application, testing, experiences and practica, and connect students to resources, both real time and online.
Check on academic skills. Students in persistent grade difficulties might benefit from probing questions designed to reveal underlying problems. Connect them with resources. A list of interventions is located HERE.
Motivation/procrastination issues. These may crop up as students fail to commit to a future that they envision for themselves, and can be a hint that a “Plan B” is needed, if only for the shock value. Connect to resources (Center for Wellness, ACP Office, etc.) as needed.
Don’t be surprised if a student totally changes their mind. If they are proactive, they will bring in the solution to their “brainstorm” as they enthusiastically announce their new future. Please direct panicked students to “I’ve really changed my direction. Will I have to transfer?” page in the website pages above. They may need a lot of help to regain their balance.
Got a strategy for advising juniors? Email them to Kay Grimnes (email@example.com) for inclusion into the website!