First-year Advising

Working with First Year Students is both rewarding and frustrating.  Everything is new and unknown.  Helping students to establish a responsible relationship with an adult mentor is important for student success. 

Advisor expectations and guidelines:

  1. Review new advisee materials before meeting with advisees during New Student Orientation (NSO).  This includes the Advising Survey which can be found under the assignment files for the Coordinator of Academic Support and Advising (K drive).

  2. Check that all Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/CLEP and transfer work has been evaluated by the Registrar.

  3. Meet with new advisees during NSO to select courses for Blocks Two and Three and Four.

    • First-year students need to select a ‘W” course sometime during their first year.  The earlier the better, especially if the student was not a strong student in high school.
    • Use the departmental advice page to access major/minor requirements and recommended course sequences for any major  the student may be considering. You may also want to use the Major Checklists on the Registrar's page.
  4. Arrange to meet with each new advisee during Blocks One and Two to get acquainted and review each other’s responsibilities in the advising relationship.  Convey an interest in them as an individual, as well as their academic success at Cornell.   Check out this article.

  5. Introduce/reinforce the importance of thoughtful, respectful and collaborative relationships with faculty and staff.

  6. Help first year advisees plan their academic program for terms five through eight.  Assist them in creating a balanced liberal arts plan for the year.  Encourage independence, responsibility and long-range planning.

  7. Create an environment and present a demeanor to the student so that they are not intimidated, but instead feel comfortable approaching you with questions or concerns throughout the year and will believe that you are available to them and interested in their well-being.

Discussion topics:

  • The college’s educational priorities

  • Study habits: the difference between high school and college-level academic expectations.

  • Academic Survival Skills

  • The importance of connecting with professors through discussions in class, office hours, etc.

  • Adding/dropping courses, 15th day drop policy

  • Off campus and international study, Berry Center, Dimensions, Cornell Fellows, Civic Engagement, independent study.

  • College support services  (Note:content tutoring now falls under the Coordinator for Academic Support and Advising in Old Sem)

  • The student's personal experiences and goals.  Sometimes they perceive a certain educational path or major is needed for a certain career and another direction might actually serve them better.
  • Their adjustment to life in Iowa, small town Mt. Vernon, their residence hall, their roommate and the OCAAT life. 
  • Your method for doing things.  Sometimes an advisee may struggle with active reading skills, note-taking, presentation skills and you do these things every day.  Simply sharing the way you approach a text or task may give them some insights.
  • If the student mentions an inability to learn a foreign language due to a learning disability, consult the Policy for Alternative Coursework for Students with Disabilities