Advising at a Distance – Strategies for Success, Spring 2021 Edition

As a community, we engaged in meaningful learning and reflection through our second MAP (Mentored Academic Pathways) Day on Thursday, March 25, 2021. As we move ahead, our days will be 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.

Student learning, in its many varied forms, is a crucial component of academic success and academic planning is part of that learning. To assist our work as guides to our students, we would like to share available resources meant to support “Advising at a Distance” again this semester — in doing so, we place a particular emphasis on the strategies, tools and resources that can strengthen personalized connections between advisors and advisees.

Advising and Registration for the Fall 2021 course selection will continue in a more distanced fashion for now as we navigate the current realities of hybrid/remote teaching, learning, advising, and other college operations. Therefore, Academic Advising and the Registrar’s Office have worked together to make the process as accessible and functional as possible during this period.

We hope you take the opportunity to consider the many connections you can create during your advising sessions this semester. Please 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. 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 Google 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.

Phone Meetings, for students who may not have internet access for example, may be an important 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 come upon the current semester, here are some important highlights regarding upcoming deadlines.

Reminders about the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar

  • Grade/Pass/Fail: Deadline for submitting a Grade/Pass/Fail (G/P/F) has been moved to April 23, 2021.
  • Withdrawing from a Course: The last day to withdraw from a course with a notation of WD will be May 7, 2021.

Academic Calendar – Check the calendar for all critical dates for the academic year.

Registration Advising and PINS

Summer Session Registration

  • Students will be able to register directly through Registration on insideWheaton starting on April 5th (or sooner) and will remain open for several weeks! Please register for courses you may want to pursue and be sure to discuss your Summer 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 Summer Session here.
  • Cost: Summer Session courses will cost $3,040.00 each. For information about potential scholarships and financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services at sfs@wheatoncollege.edu or visit Summer Session – Tuition and Fees here.

Fall 2021 Registration

  • Advising Week and Registration Week start March 29th and Registration Periods have been extended. Advising Week will take place from March 29-April 2, 2021. Registration will open on April 5, 2021 and will remain open through May 7, 2021. Each class will now have at least 2 days for web registration as follows:

Class 2022 – April 5-6

Class 2023 – April 7-8

Class 2024 – April 9-12

Open registration from April 13 through May 7, 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 Fall 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. Find more information here about how to use the new Course Search tool as well.

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 registrar@wheatoncollege.edu.
  • Independent Study and Honors Courses
    If you are working with a faculty member to enroll in an independent study course for Fall 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 your 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
  • 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 – advising@wheatoncollege.edu

The Staff of the Registrar’s Office – registrar@wheatoncollege.edu