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New online tools add ease and efficiency to advising process
New online tools add ease and efficiency to advising processMarch 15, 2006Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
When students and their faculty advisors meet this spring to map out class schedules for the fall semester and academic planning for a student’s undergraduate career, several new online tools will make it easier for both students and advisors to connect to information needed to complete the process as well as improve ongoing communication.
Situated on the University’s MySlice portal, the new advising site has several features that improve the efficiency of the advising process. These tools are live now and available for use. Among them:
- View My Advisees – Advisors can views a list of their advisees, as well as send them emails — singly or in a variety of subgroups — and produce advising transcripts.
- GPA Calculator – Advisors and students can view an advisee’s academic records, input grades for courses the student hasn’t yet completed, and calculate an unofficial GPA enabling students to set academic goals for achieving certain milestones, such as Dean’s List recognition or graduating with Honors or meeting GPA requirements to enter a particular major or minor.
- My Advising Links – Provides both faculty advisors and students access to links specific to schools or colleges, as well as academic support services, calendars, placement tests and other information necessary for assisting students in making academic decisions.
- Advisor Setup – Advisors can provide contact information and office hours, which students can view online.
The new services are first steps in electronically organizing advising information and bringing student records to a faculty advisor’s desktop. The Academic Coordinating Committee’s Sub-Committee on Advising, which is responsible for overseeing the site’s contents, hopes to add to the current menu of services and information. Rosanna Grassi, associate dean for student affairs atthe S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and current chair of the sub-committee, noted that the committee wants to assess how the site and services are being used to find out what other features faculty advisors and students would find helpful. “Our goal is to improve and grow this site to support a robust academic advising system,” she says. “Making communication between advisors and their students easier and providing ready access to online information through this site has been an inspiring beginning. We have a lot of offices on campus to thank for their collaboration and contributions to a complex task.”
Over the last year, in addition to the Sub-Committee on Advising, the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Undergraduate Studies, Information Systems, and Client Services have participated in launching the online advising services site. The services were implemented in two phases: the student tools portion in October 2005 and the adviser portion in February 2006.
Sandra Hurd, associate provost for academic affairs and project sponsor, says that these new online tools will enhance the accuracy and efficiency in the advising process, while also providing students and advisers with additional resources that are often not within easy reach. “One of the great tools within this project is the faculty advising linkssite (at http://undergraduatestudies.syr.edu) that makes it easier for students and advisors to discuss different academic options and available support services in the same meeting,” Hurd says.
Online tutorials for advisors were also developed to illustrate how to use the new services available to them.
“It’s great that everything is online. Information is more up to date, and I can do a variety of time-saving things, including e-mailing my advisees, pulling up current transcripts, and calculating GPAs,” says Brenda Wrigley, associate professor of public relations at the Newhouse School and a participant in the faculty focus group. “With nearly 50 advisees, I’m appreciative of anything that will help me easily contact them and keep organized.”
For instruction on using the new advisor services, go to MySliceHelp, located under My Advising Links in MySlice.