Advising at a Distance – Strategies for Success, Fall 2020 Edition

As a community, we engaged in learning and reflection through our inaugural MAP Day on Thursday, October 23, 2020, as part of the Mentored Academic Pathways program in the Compass curriculum. This day, and the weeks to follow, are filled with rich conversations about self-discovery and future planning. Now more than ever, student and faculty connections are critical to enabling personalized advising and successfully navigating these challenging times. As an academic community, student learning and academic success remain important priorities, as well as the work of academic planning for the future. We would like to highlight resources and opportunities for embracing Advising at a Distance, noting many of the strategies, tools and resources that will enable personalized connections between advisors and advisees. Advising and Registration for the Spring 2021 course selection will continue in a more distanced fashion as we navigate the current realities of hybrid/remote teaching, learning, advising, and other operations. Recognizing this, Academic Advising and the Registrar’s Office have been working together to make Wheaton’s process accessible and functional during this period. We hope you take the opportunity to consider how you can best connect in the advising relationship. Know that Academic Advising and the Registrar’s Office are available for any assistance needed.

Making Meaningful Connections from a Distance

Consider using your Google platform (Calendar, Hangouts Meet) and other online appointment scheduling tools to organize and personalize the advising contact. You can also consider phone meetings as well. Your Student Success Advisor can assist with options and alternatives. Here are some formats to consider and an article from NACADA on Replicating Best Practices of Face-to-Face Advising.

For Virtual Meetings, students and faculty can access the Google Calendar to find a mutual time, and invite each other to an appointment. When selecting the appointment, you can select Hangouts Meet to link a video conferencing session to the appointment. Faculty advisors may elect to use the Zoom platform as well, and should send any meeting invitations to students to ensure they have the link to the meeting. You can include the link in the description of the appointment or send a separate email with the link. Virtual meetings are the closest option to an in person meeting. A quick email discussion between advisor and student should determine if this option works best for both.

For Phone Meetings, for students who may not have internet access for example, a phone meeting may be an option to consider. This option ensures personalization and immediate clarification of goals, priorities and other elements discussed in the academic review and planning conversation. Consider having copies of shared materials, like emails from the faculty instructor, or the DegreeWorks audit, so that both the student and advisor are referencing similar notes and planning together. Again, ensure that both student and academic advisor are both comfortable with this format of personal communication.

If the only alternative is email exchange or using the chat option of Google Hangouts, those text options are feasible as well. Details can be conveyed and focused messaging with attached resources can make this option most effective. Consider that there may be lags and delays in communication as well, and this type of discussion format creates additional space for misinterpretation and misunderstanding of any points being conveyed. Regardless of the alternative, the advising contact is an important one and engaging in this type of discussion and learning is incredibly important regardless of what venue you use for communication.

Should there be any challenges between faculty advisors and students in making an advising connection, please consult your Student Success Advisor in Academic Advising for guidance and we can also assist in follow-up as needed. We are here to support both advisors and advisees.

Ongoing Feedback and Supporting Students This Semester

Faculty have the ability to use the WISe notification system (linked to the Class List on the college’s portal) throughout the semester. A submission will notify the student, the student’s advisor and Academic Advising of current performance including any concerns or commendations. Students should follow-up with their faculty for the course, their academic advisor and/or their Student Success Advisor should any concerns surface throughout the remainder of the semester. As you consider some of the advising and student academic needs that may surface in the current semester, here are some important highlights regarding upcoming deadlines.

Reminders about the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

  • Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course: The deadline to drop courses without record is October 23, 2020, while the last day to withdraw from a course with a notation of WD will be November 24, 2020.
  • Grade/Pass/Fail: Deadline for submitting a Grade/Pass/Fail (G/P/F) has been moved to November 13, 2020.
  • Student Initiated Connections Proposals: The deadline for a proposal submission is set for this Friday, October 23, 2020.

Academic Calendar

Registration Advising and PINS

  • Schedules for Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 are posted for viewing now. See College Catalog and Course Search Tools information below for links and details.

Winter Session Registration

  • Students can register directly through Registration on insideWheaton starting TODAY! Please register for courses you may want to pursue and be sure to discuss your Winter Session course options with your advisor during Advising Week. Students are limited to enrolling in no more than 2 courses. For more information, you can find more details on Winter Session here.
  • Cost: Winter Session courses will cost $3,000.00 each. For information about potential scholarships and financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services at [email protected] or visit Winter Session – Tuition and Fees here.

Spring 2021 Registration

  • Advising Week and Registration Week start November 2nd and Registration Periods have been extended. Advising Week will take place from November 2-6, 2020. Registration will open on November 9 and will remain open through December 12, 2020, extending it by two weeks. This semester, each class will now have at least 2 days for web registration as follows:

Class 2021 – November 9-10

Class 2022 – November 11-12

Class 2023 – November 13-16

Class 2024 – November 17-18

Open registration from November 19 through December 12, available to all class years.

  • PINS are NOT needed for registration this semester. Faculty and advisees should still connect for reviewing course requirements and academic plans for Spring 2021 course selection. Your faculty advisor will contact you about setting up this appointment.

College Catalog and Course Search Tools

You can access the course schedule and course catalog through the information provided below.

NOTE: Cross Listed courses – If the available seats seem full in one of the listings, there may be open seats in the other. By selecting a cross listed course, you can view the cross listing for each course under Cross Listed Courses. These courses are split by program/department. This is a change from the prior practice where all registrations were directed to one course within the cross listed grouping. This means students can register under either program/department.

Course Search Tool – for viewing course options in a given semester/term.

College Catalog on Banner – for viewing courses offered at Wheaton and course specific details.

College Catalog on Web – for viewing academic programs, policies, courses and course descriptions.

The functionality of paper Gray Cards and the Grade/Pass/Fail form has been converted to online forms. A new form has also been added for declaring Honors/Scholars programs.

Online Student Forms available in WINDOW
  • Go to: insideWheaton > WINDOW > Student & Financial Records > Online Forms for the Office of the Registrar
  • NEW FORM Compass: Optional Honors/Scholars Declaration Form
    You may use this form to declare Eliza Wheaton Scholars, Global Honors and Taylor and Lane Scholars.
  • Grade/Pass/Fail (G/P/F)
    You may use this form to elect the G/P/F option for a course in the current semester. Please be sure to read policy and instructions carefully. Consult with your advisor(s) if you have questions.
  • Request for Permission to be signed into a class.
    Use this form to request instructor permission to be signed into a class. Complete form and send it via email to the appropriate course instructor. (e.g., instructor permission required, override enrollment limit, prerequisite, class year restriction, etc.) If approved, the instructor may forward the approval to the Registrar or use a faculty online form in WINDOW.
  • Major Declaration and Minor Declaration
    Complete form and follow instructions to send it to the appropriate Department Chairperson or Coordinator for approval. Once approved, we ask that the Chair or Coordinator forward the approval to [email protected].
  • Independent Study and Honors Courses
    If you are working with a faculty member to enroll in an independent study course for Spring 2021, ask the instructor to submit a request to the Registrar via a faculty online Independent Study Course Form in WINDOW.
  • Connections Declaration
    Use this form to declare you Connections.

Holds that prevent registration

  • Please remember that there are some holds that prevent course registration if not resolved prior to the web registration dates. To check your account for holds, go to: insideWheaton > WINDOW > Student & Financial Records > View Holds

Dropping Fall 2020 Courses

You may drop courses online through the drop deadline of October 23, 2020. You may not drop below 4 credits, however, without approval from the Committee on Academic Standing. Connect with your Student Success Advisor or contact [email protected] to access the form and address any questions you might have about the process.

To drop a course, go to: insideWheaton > WINDOW > Student & Financial Records > Registration > Course Registration (Add/Drop)

We will, of course, also accept your email messages sent to [email protected].

We do, however, expect an extremely high volume of email messages while we work remotely which may delay our ability to respond to email messages.

Please do not use paper gray cards as we are working remotely and will not receive them.

  • DegreeWorks (available through WINDOW on insideWheaton) provides an up to date status of student academic progress and is a valuable tool in academic planning.
  • Consider using your Google platform (Calendar, Hangouts Meet) and other online tools for making this advising connection. Student Success Advisors in Academic Advising can assist with how to utilize these tools and other options.

For support with any questions pertaining to advising, please consider reaching out to your Student Success Advisor. For questions regarding registration processes and procedures, feel free to reach out to the Registrar’s Office.

We see how invested and committed you are in your education, and we want to ensure a smooth advising and registration process. Best wishes for advising and registration in the coming weeks!

The Staff of Academic Advising in the Filene Center – [email protected]

The Staff of the Registrar’s Office – [email protected]