Timeline for academic guidance

  • One of the most important functions of your role as an Academic Adviser is to touch base with all advisees at least twice during the academic year, and maybe more often depending on the nature of the programme.

    This relates to all your new and continuing students, at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Usually these meetings are scheduled at the beginning of each semester. In addition to these scheduled meetings, it is also important to build up a relationship with your advisees through casual and less formal encounters over time.

    Note that your advisees will be aware, from the statement in their programme handbook, where and how academic advice and guidance should be provided. You need to know this, too, and make sure you are clear on what elements of advice on the programme you are specifically responsible for providing. If you are unclear what these should be, then this is something that you should discuss with the relevant Programme Lead.

    The following timeline offers you some suggestions of when to meet and what you might discuss at each of these meetings, but the precise details will depend on local programme-level decisions.

    Induction or orientation

    At start of Week 0, you need to check your PIP pages in order to:

    • find out who your new advisees are
    • see the progress of continuing advisees

    Now is the time to get to know your new advisees.

    • Check they are aware of the Week 0 workshops, including PIP and Moodle sessions
    • Check they have succeeded in getting online and into their PIP pages as part of their induction programme

    First touchpoint

    What to cover in the first one-to-one, or group, meeting

    • Explain your role as Academic Adviser, give contact details, where office hours are posted and what to do if you are not available

    Programme advice

    • Explain that programmes are maintained online, through PIP, and that the student is responsible for checking PIP
    • Go through their programmes with them: check for error messages, timetable clashes and advise on how to resolve them
    • Check that students with disabilities are aware of, and in contact with, the Disability and Dyslexia Service
    • Draw advisees' attention to the programme handbook in Moodle
    • Inform them of key dates and procedures in the current semester, including:
      • deadline for changing modules
      • deadline for deleting modules
      • exam timetables released on PIP
      • deadline for choosing modules
      • when results will be released
      • mitigating circumstances procedure

    Academic matters

    • Encourage self-evaluation of academic performance and aspirations
    • Undertake an audit of academic skills development, including academic integrity, assignment planning and preparation
    • Discuss feedback received (formal or informal) with an emphasis on how the advisee will build on their strengths and address any weaknesses

    If an advisee does not respond to your invitation to meet, follow up directly and make arrangements to see them. If there is still no response, check whether the Programme Lead or Student Support Coordinator is aware of any reasons for this.

    Second touchpoint

    What to cover in the second one-to-one or group meeting

    • Encourage them in their studies and review achievements so far
    • Discuss any feedback or marks received (formal or informal) with an emphasis on how advisee will build on their strengths and address any weaknesses
    • Go through their programmes with them; check for error messages, timetable clashes and advise on how to resolve them
    • Discuss how the advisee is doing, and what feedback they have had so far on their progress

    If an advisee does not respond to your invitation, follow up directly and make arrangements to see them.

    Results period

    • Check advisee results on PIP as soon as available
    • Contact all of your advisees with a supportive message
    • If someone has failed, then invite them to a meeting to discuss their programme options.