Five Things: Advising During Orientation – Fall 2020

A video version of these updates and reminders is available here, or you can read the key points below. [Posted 9/3/20]

Some additional reminders were sent via email on 9/8/20 (not included in the video); they are included at the end of this page.


The two main goals of advising during orientation are:

  • beginning the advisor-advisee relationship by starting to get to know students
  • discussing their fall schedule, making sure students feel comfortable with their registration choices

These goals remain the same this year during online orientation. However, since we won’t be having an in-person Advising Practicum this year to kick off advising during orientation, there are some additional important logistical changes and reminders shared below.

Virtual Appointments and New Scheduling Logistics

New this year – advising will NOT be tied to the First-Year Seminars as in years past, except for FYSem instructors. There will not be an opening day meeting of First-Year Seminars where students have traditionally signed up for advising appointments. Therefore, you need to be in touch with your new advisees via their K email and/or on Teams before orientation begins (on Sept. 10) to schedule their appointment with you.

All appointments will be held virtually. Meeting via Microsoft Teams video chat is strongly encouraged and recommended. Students will be accessing all orientation programming through Teams.

As a reminder, the dedicated advising times on the schedule are:

  • Thursday, Sept. 10 – 12:30-2:00pm, 4:30-6:00pm
  • Friday, Sept. 11 – 8:00-11:00am, 12:00-1:30pm, 3:45-5:00pm
    • Note: since we have students from all over the world in different time zones, they may need or prefer to schedule advising appointments outside the dedicated advising times (just please not during other required orientation activities) or even prior to orientation.

New students have already been sent a copy of the orientation schedule, so you can begin contacting them to set-up their appointments at any time.

Finding Your Advisee List

Your complete list of advisees can be found in Student Planning. If you are having trouble identifying which are the first years, try looking for students with a “Last advising date” between mid to late July and a program of “Undeclared” (remember: many sophomores will also show as Undeclared right now).

NOTE: We are still experiencing a very small amount of summer melt, so it is possible you might see someone on your advisee list today that isn’t there on opening day of orientation. If you have any questions about whether someone is missing from your list, please feel free to contact Lesley Clinard or the Registrar’s Office for clarification.

Orientation “Folders” and Programming

Virtual orientation folders were sent via email by Dana Jansma on September 1. There will be no hard copy folder delivery this year. Many more details about advising, including science sequence information, were included there. Please make sure to read through everything that was sent.

Needless to say, the orientation schedule looks a bit different this year. One thing that will be very helpful is to encourage your advisees to take advantage of the multitude of Saturday opportunities to learn about academic departments, student support, student organizations, study abroad, and more. It is important that we are encouraging our advisees to get involved, build community, and make connections with other students and faculty – it will look different than in a face-to-face term, but it is still very possible to get involved and meet people. Attending some of the Saturday sessions is a great way to get started.

Supporting Students

How to help our newest students have a successful start is undoubtedly on many of our minds. Remember, much of advising will be the same this term as in any other term – our conversations will just be taking place over a screen instead of in-person. Student support offices and services (such as Learning Commons, Counseling Center, disability services, student organizations, Intercultural Student Life, Religious and Spiritual Life, CCPD, CIP, Registrar’s Office, Early Alert – among many others) are still available. We should be listening carefully to student questions and concerns and referring students to resources as needed, early and often. Our newest students often need the most encouragement to ask for help and utilize resources and might need a couple of reminders.

Effective time management, staying organized, and consistent communication will be key for students this term. They should be using some type of planner, whether hard copy or electronic. They need to check their email and the Hornet Hive daily. Students will need to keep track of synchronous and asynchronous components. As you talk with new advisees, please make it clear to them that although their courses are online, most courses will have synchronous components that require their presence during the regularly scheduled class time on at least some days.

General Reminders

  • The Credit/No Credit policy has changed for fall term only.
  • If students have yet to take required placement exams, they need to do so right away.
    • Students are required to take the language placement exam for any languages offered at K that they have previously studied, even if they don’t intend to study the language at K.
    • Students interested in economics/business need to complete the math placement exam.
    • NOTE: Any placement exam questions should be directed to the relevant departments (Magnolia Little – Languages, Kristen Eldred – Math, Jeff Bartz – Chemistry)
  • First-Year Seminar registrations are now final. Students will not be allowed to switch Seminars.
  • Make sure to read the applications of your incoming advisees; a lot of good information can be found here! Look for the “Admission Documentation” link under their picture within the student-specific screens in Student Planning.

Additional Reminders (sent via email 9/8/20)

FERPA
It is important to adhere to the requirements of FERPA as we meet with advisees. Meeting via Microsoft Teams is considered secure and is strongly encouraged and recommended. Other forms of video chat are also considered acceptable as long as you’re able to visibly confirm who you are speaking with. Since this will be the first time meeting with these students, please use their K email to send them meeting links if you are not using Microsoft Teams. Email conversations with students when both the student and the advisor are using their K email (not Gmail/other emails forwarded from their K account) are also FERPA compliant. Additionally, while using video chat please make sure you are in a private location out of the earshot of others and make the student aware that anyone in the vicinity on their end may be privy to information about their educational record at K during your conversation. Parents have been told all orientation activities, including advising appointments, are for students only.

No-Shows
If one of your new advisees does not make contact with you by Friday (9/11) morning, please let Nicole Kragt, Registrar, know, so that this information may be tracked and we can follow-up as necessary.

Advisement Complete
Don’t forget to submit Advisement Complete in Student Planning after meeting with your advisees.

Thank you for all you do for our students! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lesley Clinard via email or Teams with any questions. And don’t forget, the Registrar’s Office is also available via email to answer any course registration, requirement, or policy questions.