CSI Advising Guide


Best Practices in Advising

The art of advising comes with experience and knowing the “nuts and bolts” of each advisee’s unique perspective. The following hints are proven best practices that are used on campus on a consistent basis. Use them wisely and you too will become a successful major advisor.

Stick to Placement Scores

If the advisee is short a few points from the next level of course placement and the advisee believes they belong in a higher level course, recommend a re-take. On the other hand if the advisee does not meet minimum ACT or SAT placement scores, the advisee will need to take the ALEKS and/or Write Class. If the advisee does not want to abide to the criteria listed above, introduce the course placement referral form.

Put Yourself in the Advisee's Shoes

Maintain your own educational experiences relevant to the advising task at hand such as past experiences, skill level, motivation, personal schedule, etc. The advisee’s perspectives may be similar to yours, but you need to be careful with making that assumption. For example, you may have passed calculus easily; however, your advisee struggles in pre-college math and may need  tutoring services. Thus, your advisee may require a different advising approach than what your college experiences may have been. 

Listen Carefully

About half of the advising experience is listening carefully to your advisee. Each advisee will tell you information about themselves which will help determine the appropriate credit load, program interests and other student support services required. Your listening role will empower the advisee to make informed decisions based on what is reasonable and realistic in their given situation.

Assist with Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Once you guide the advisee through their first semester, your advisor responsibilities have just begun. Be sure to follow up with your advisees on a regular basis throughout their time at CSI. Touching base with your advisees to develop short-term goals while keeping in mind the attainment of long-term goals will help keep plans within reach.

"Common Sense" Advising Tips

Each degree completion track will differ depending on placement scores, course rigor combinations, outside time obligations, course sequence selection, and course delivery methods. Here are some suggestions for you to consider as you visit with advisees:

  • Placement - Some advisees require two or more semesters to complete their developmental credits. In these circumstances, placement discussion should be one of the first topics to address with advisees.
  • Course Rigor Combinations - Part of educational planning entails knowing the academic rigor involved in the degree curriculum. As you listen and advise, keep in mind the combination of recommended courses. For example, if your advisee’s degree does not require upper level math, English, or science and they prefer not to take these courses, then suggest courses that compliment their skills as they relate to their degree.
  • Outside Time Obligations - In today’s world, many students have additional responsibilities outside of the classroom. Remember the "2:1 Rule" ... CSI recommends at least two hours of study for every hour in class. Therefore, make sure your advisee selects a manageable course load that fits in their lifestyle.
  • Course Sequence Selection - Many degrees include "must have" courses that are either offered in specific semesters or are offered as a cohort group. Attention to detail with course sequence selection will help guide advisees towards graduation in a timely manner.
  • Course Delivery Methods - Familiarize yourself with the variety of course deliveries offered each semester. Courses are offered online, independent study, telecommunications, hybrid, and in a traditional classroom setting. The course code, found in MyCSI, indicates the type of delivery method used in each class section. Understanding the course delivery methods will help answer advisee questions relating to the scheduling process.

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