Online Advising Site Helps Students Become Proactive
The development of a new student advising and academic skills Website has been a labor of love for Alma College faculty member Kay Grimnes.
Located within the academic section of the College's main Website, the online materials are the result of a sabbatical project that may ultimately prove to be a national template for providing an exhaustive one-stop location of information related to student academic advising and skill development.
Click here to view the online advising materials.
“I love what I’m doing — the out-of-classroom stuff that keeps students happy, focused and working hard,” says Grimnes, a member of the biology faculty since 1986. “It’s hard to find any other college or university Website with this kind of thorough information related to student advising.
“I’m thrilled and excited about this project,” she says.
Kay Grimnes (far left)
a personal interest in providing more resources for students, Grimnes
embarked on a 2007 winter term sabbatical intent on researching and
identifying student academic advising tools.
“I always have had an interest in helping students see what they need to do, to make them proactive,” she says. “And being proactive means taking action with knowledge. I began my sabbatical by reading many resources on advising and asking the question: What information should I provide students?”
Most of the information on the new advising Website is targeted directly to students as opposed to advisors. The text ranges from simple information to actual strategies and processes that help students make informed decisions about their education.
“For example, a student may consider dropping a course,” says Grimnes. “To drop a course, a student has to fill out a form. But that’s the end action. Students also need to understand the process that leads to the final decision of dropping a class and what the ramifications are for dropping a class.”
The Website includes information on selecting a field of study, declaring a major, changing an academic program, picking courses, creating a four-year plan that leads to graduation, how to study, and how to make the most of college.
“Being a responsible adult is a hard task,” she says. “My goal is to try to get students to think through the consequences of their decisions and to understand the processes that lead to final decisions. It’s helping students to become proactive.”
The Website includes sections on “The Alma Overview,” “Field of Study/Major Questions,” “Navigating General Education, “ “Success Manual,” “Especially for First Years” and “Especially for Sophomores.”
“The least developed site is information for advisors, but I ran out of time,” says Grimnes. “I will work on that in the winter. I want to do actual video clips of real student stories so that students can see that they are not alone and can make it through.”
Grimnes plans to continue to add resources and expand information on the Website.
“This project is rewarding to me and helpful to the institution,” she says.
Posted: Fri, September 21st, 2007 at 11:14AM