Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Academic Advisers do matter

Did you know that 3 out of 4 graduating students surveyed said that they had a mentor while they were at Wake Forest?  And 70% of those students said their mentor was a faculty member or staff member. That’s incredible – and a great indicator of our authentic, unique mentoring culture.

Last week was a big week. I made three important speeches. The first one was to several hundred Academic Advisers and Student Orientation Advisers. These important people are responsible for providing both academic and non-academic guidance and advice to first year students.

One of my strategies for the Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) is to partner with the key influencers of students. Then students will obtain the appropriate information to make sound academic and career decisions. It was important for me to speak to this influential group of faculty, staff and students before Orientation began.

In addition to providing the impressive statistic in the first paragraph, I offered some important tips on how to be an effective adviser:

  • Define the goal of the relationship. What outcomes do you desire?
  • Identify what the student know. What are her expectations of you and of this relationship?
  • Clarify your role. What are you responsible for and what will you do?

Goal. Know. Role.  (It’s easy to remember; it almost rhymes!)

Clarify and confirm each of these with your student – right up front. This will set the foundation for building a true relationship so that students will want to return when they really need help sometime down the road.

I gave more tips and described our ‘extreme makeover’ of the career services area with the launch of the OPCD. To read my entire speech, here it is: Andy Chan Speech to Advisers – Sept 2010

Stay tuned. I’ll tell you about the other speeches in the coming days.

Category: Faculty