The first meeting with a student should focus on getting to know the student and discussing your role as an advisor. (You may want to review the roles and responsibilities of the advisor and advisee outlined in Advisor Responsibilities.) Some students will talk freely and readily and provide personal information. If the student appears shy or says very little, you can use some of the following questions to obtain information and build rapport with the student.
- What high school did you graduate from? Can you tell me how well you think your high school prepared you for the challenges of DSU?
- Do you live on or off campus? What is your local address, phone number, and email address to put in my file? Are you familiar with the email system on campus?
- How are your general education courses going? Where are you in the math sequence?
- Have you taken any courses within your major yet? How are they going?
- Is there a specific aspect of your major that particularly interests you?
- What led you to choose your major?
- Are you involved in any kind of extra-curricular activities?
- Do you have a job? If so, how many hours per week do you plan to work?
- Have you received any scholarships? If so, what is required for you to keep those scholarships?
- What are your goals after graduation from DSU (employment, graduate school, etc.)?
- What do you expect from me as your advisor?
You can use these questions as a guideline for initial sessions with students. You can also save the information from these questions in the student's folder. As the advisee progresses, it is also a good idea to ask for a resume and to re-visit questions about their career goals and academic progress.
Sample Questions for Subsequent Meetings
Future meetings with advisees should attempt to make their lives at DSU as productive and trouble-free as possible. You should be ready to work with the student to help solve problems the student encounters. These meetings are also a time to make certain the academic choices students make correspond with their career goals.
- How are you enjoying life at DSU? Do you know where to get help if you encounter any problems? (See Resources for a list of referral contacts.)
- How are your classes going? Do you know where to get help for these classes (Make sure advisees know about services such as tutors, the Student Success Center, the OWL, SMARTHINKING, etc.)
- In which student activities and professional organizations are you currently involved? Do you know where you can find more information about campus activities? (If the student is not involved in a departments' professional organization, this is a good time to encourage involvement.)
- Do you need help in developing a resume? Should we review a copy of your most recent resume? Have you contacted Career Services?
- When do you plan to graduate? Will you be planning to do an internship or gather any related professional experience before that time?
- Have you considered from whom you may request letters of recommendation?
As the above questions demonstrate, the discussions advisors have with advisees should go well beyond simply helping them register for courses and results in developing a personal connection between advisor/advisee.