Frequently Asked Questions about Faculty Advising
How should I start an advising appointment with a student?
Here are some Advising Suggestions and questions to ask.
When should I send students to the Drahmann Center?
Faculty advisors are responsible for general advising and particularly advising of declared majors. All students should meet with their assigned faculty advisor for Mandatory May Advising to check on progress toward graduation and to determine students’ fall schedules. Faculty advisors are also responsible for working with students applying to study abroad, students seeking exceptions or explanations in their major, and graduation petitions.
The Drahmann Center meets with students from all colleges to discuss university-wide core and policy. The Drahmann Center has a particular mission to support undeclared students and can assist students in choosing majors and minors, planning for the year, and explaining core and pathways. In addition, the Drahmann Center also works with students in academic difficulty and those seeking explanation of or exceptions to university policy.
How can students make an appointment to see a university advisor?
You can have student go to this link https://scu-insight.symplicity.com/students/ and schedule an appointment. They can also click on the Make an Appointment button under this website's menu located to the right of this page.
If it is the student's first time making an appointment they should go to the link and reset their password by clicking on the "Forgot Password."
If students are still having trouble making an appointment they can visit the Drahman Center in Kenna 101 where our student staff can help them make an appointment.
Where can I get information about freshmen core sequences like Critical Thinking and Writing and Cultures and Ideas?
What does it mean when a student is on academic probation or receives a letter of academic warning?
Students are in good standing when they are making adequate progress toward graduation based on the criteria outlined in the Bulletin (link to page 406). Briefly, students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative and major GPA and maintain full time status of 12 units per quarter. The Drahmann Center evaluates all students every quarter to ensure they are making progress toward graduation. Students who fall below the required cumulative GPA or have not completed enough units over 3 quarters will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation must meet with a university advisor before registration for the next quarter and a permanent notation will be added to their transcript. Failure to make adequate progress towards graduation over two or more quarters can result in disqualification from the university. Students receive an academic warning letter when their quarterly GPA falls below 2.0, when their major falls below 2.0 or when they complete fewer than 12 units in one quarter. The warning does not result in permanent notation on their transcript.
What should I do about a student who has overwhelming family problems, mental health issues and other crises that affect their success at SCU?
Students sometimes grapple with many different problems that affect their academic success. Link to the “assisting distressed students” https://www.scu.edu/cowell/caps/. The Office for Student Life on campus looks into student cases where students have extraordinary non-academic pressures, have stopped attending classes, or are exhibiting other behavior inconsistent with academic success. 408-554-4583 (link for student life: Office of Student Life). Faculty can also call the Drahmann Center to discuss student issues with a university advisor.
A student’s parents have been calling me. What should I tell them?
FERPA regulations protect student privacy and limit how much information faculty can give out to parents. Even when students have signed a FERPA waiver faculty are still limited in release of information. Parents can be referred to the Drahmann Center where they may be able to attend a meeting between a university advisor and their student. The Drahmann Center can also provide information to parents regarding university policies.
What should I do if the student has a Dean’s hold on their registration?
A Dean’s hold is placed on students who are on academic probation, preventing them from registering for the next quarter, or after spring quarter preventing them from changing their fall registration. Students on probation must meet with a university advisor to have this hold removed. Students will be unable to register until this hold is removed.
How can I become a more proficient faculty advisor?
Attend a faculty advising workshop. Often these are held in the spring before the Mandatory May advising period begins (link MMA explanation). These workshops are available to faculty from all majors, schools and levels. Become familiar with the core and major requirements. Consider joining the faculty advisors that advise new first-year and transfer students during Summer Orientations. Faculty get specialized training at the beginning of the summer and then sign up for two-to-one student-faculty advising sessions. This intensive advising process will get you up to speed on the core and advising quickly! You can also contact the Drahmann Center for one-on-one advising support with an university advisor. We are happy to provide an introduction to advising the core curriculum and majors, to trouble-shoot particular advising problems you have encountered and to support you in advising challenging students.
How can I get credit for faculty advising into my FAR and promotion materials?
Advising is part of teaching at SCU and should be included as part of your annual FAR as well as promotion materials. Keep track of how many students you regularly advise (see your advisor page on ecampus) and how often you are asked to help students in particular areas of advising such as career mentoring, study abroad advising, graduate school preparation and overcoming academic or personal difficulties. Integrate advisor training and workshops into your professional development discussion. If you work as an advisor for Summer Orientation integrate that into professional development (you are becoming a better advisor) and university service.