Tips for Advising Seniors
It’s the home stretch but there can still be danger on the racetrack. Here are some strategies/tactics to consider for helping seniors reach the finish line:
Note problem areas on the senior audits as you receive them. Senior audits performed in the fall mean that seniors should be coming to you if a problem has been detected. Be alert to issues, but also note any student who missed the audit (clearly indicated by lack of a signature on the form). It is possible that a contact from the advisor will work where repeated contact from the registrar has not.
Check major requirements. Department senior audits occur in the middle of the last term during degree clearance, which is often too late to fix problems. Trouble can be avoided by checking majors early and often (or having the students check it in front of you), or have them pass it by the department chair if they are a different major. Many departments have advice on timing and other issues that are not in the catalog, and are not readily apparent to advisors outside the department.
Senior comprehensive/capstone requirements. Seniors should be well aware of these by now, but they bear repeating, or better yet, quizzing them!
Finalize the four year plan. Seniors should have this well in hand, and be able to respond to any last minute changes in class offerings. It seems there is at least one frantic senior each term who needs help!
Review post-college plans. Graduate/professional programs and job applications all require prompt action. Connect to resources as needed.
Continue to offer assistance. Grades, motivation or persistence problems may still exist. A list of interventions is located HERE. Poor grades may need replacing, but graduation in August or December may still be a viable option.