During the session

Questions you can ask to learn what your advisee needs.

Preparing your screen

Have HomerConnect, Degreeworks, the IC Resources site and IC Navigation Guide open in advance so you can share your screen quickly; when looking at midterm grades, share your HomerConnect screen with your advisee. Open in advance so you can share screen quickly 

During the Session

  • DegreeWorks is presumed to be accurate. If you or the student think something is an error, please email mydegree@ithaca.edu so we can investigate.
  • Are graduation dates on DegreeWorks correct? If not encourage students to update them with the Change of Expected Graduation Date in IC Workflow.
  • Remind students to review their own record periodically and to raise questions if/when they see something questionable.
  • How is the weather in your head? 

  • Are you and your people healthy? 

  • Are you at home or in Ithaca?  

  • What questions do you have up front? 

  • Do you have what you need to learn this semester? (Tech? Wellness? Need to curb work hours? Need help talking to family/roommates about boundaries?) 

  • What is a day in your life like now?  How do you occupy your time these days? 

  • How are things going with school right now?  Is anything surprising for you about this (remote learning) setup or how classes are going? 

  • What are you learning about yourself in terms of being able to focus and establish a schedule? 

  • Is there anything that you feel particularly excited to work on or think about?  Do you have space to build that into your life?   

  • Are you keeping up with friends or is it hard to maintain that connection? 

  • Challenges: see the IC Navigation Guide to help make a recovery plan 

  • Successes and turnarounds: celebrate strengths (appreciative advising) 

  • What are your goals for the coming term? 

  • What are your academic strengths? 

  • What are your greatest academic concerns? 

  • For each class: is this grade accurate? How much of the overall course grade does the midterm actually represent?  

  • How are you doing in this course which has no grade listed? 

  • Are you doing better than expected with a S/D/F course? Consider switching to a regular grade before week 10 of the semester.

  • What do you think is the biggest challenge for you in (name class) 

  • What are the concerns you have about (class/project) 

  • Have you submitted your work on time? Do you know the deadlines? Do you have an organizer? 

  • Have you spoken to the professor? You could consider making an appointment to go with a classmate so you both get answers.

  • Do you feel able to access support resources? What do you think will be helpful? 

  • How have you been studying? 
    • What is and isn’t working?
    • When you review your notes, do you highlight them? 
    • Have you considered forming a study group? Peers teaching each other can be very effective. 
  • What actions can you take to recover in this course? 
    • We need to develop a strategy for success (hope is not a strategy) 
    • Use resources document to make a recovery plan with built in accountability 
    • Explain what a W is, with pros and cons, and assign student task of calculating percentage of grade still under their control to determine if W is best strategy. The last day to withdraw with a W can be found on the academic calendar for the current semester.
  • Explain retaking a course. 
    • You can re-take a course if you earned below a C- 
    • Both grades will appear on your transcript, but only the higher one goes into your GPA 
    • Some majors have limits on retakes; see the Catalog to check
  • If your advisee is returning from leave of absence or enrolling after a deferral, share how to catch up on any sequenced courses.   

  • Compare the student’s list to DegreeWorks degree evaluation

  • Drop-down: Is your advisee enrolled in about 15 credits a semester and 30 credits a year to graduate on time? 

  • Did you bring in any credits when you came to IC? 

  • Do you need to take fewer credits in the semester to be successful, and make up credits in winter, May and summer terms (at IC or elsewhere)? 

  • Share with your advisee any of the required courses built into your major that count toward ICC writing intensive, quantitative literacy or diversity attributes so your student does not take more of these than they intend to. 

  • Are any of these courses going to be especially challenging? What steps you take to make it likelier for you to be successful (Arrange tutoring through IC or bartering? Take one less course, or not two hardest in same semester?) 

  • Explain that S/D/F option is good for taking academic risks, but cannot be used on required courses for major or minor, and you only get 4 in your time at IC. 

  • Note any waiver/substitutions student may need from you or another faculty member and record in “Notes” tool in Degree Works. 

  • Especially for first-year students, emphasize that they should have back-ups ready and that their course schedule is best thought of as a draft, to lessen stress when they don't get into their first choices.

  • How does this align with your values? 

  • What courses and minors might benefit you? 

  • How can you get some experience? 

  • Have you visited Career Services?

  • If student needs to follow up, put notes in DegreeWorks NOTES feature re: next steps 

  • Agree on explicit actions and your expectations for follow up (get transcripts or AP scores sent, talk to Student Financial Services before and apply for W by this date, etc.) 

  • Have student write it down, or if they don't, open email and start composing a follow up email while we're talking.  Do this for all actions not just low grades to create a “paper trail.” 

Other than classes, how can I be helpful to you?

If you are worried about your advisee:

If your advisee student seems depressed, or if there is a significant change in appearance, demeanor (or grades) from past visits. It’s helpful to share that you do not intend to pry but are concerned about them. Some rough periods are temporary, but longer term or larger issues may benefit from outside help.   Resources for distressed students include: