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Advising Matters at Skidmore

Posted: 11/04/2011

Rokk-Vincelli Williams ’14 first met Associate Professor of Classics Michael Arnush in England last August. He and 35 other first-year students were spending their first Skidmore semester in the First-Year Experience in London program; Arnush was one of the faculty advisors.

This week, they got together in Arnush’s Ladd Hall office – on this side of the pond – to discuss the current semester; courses for next semester; and long-range plans, including possible majors (Williams is leaning toward Sociology), study abroad (he plans to go to Tokyo for his junior year), and ways of connecting his studies here and abroad to his post-Skidmore goals. Knowing that Williams is going to be in New York City this summer, Arnush explored with him the idea of Japanese language classes that might give Williams a leg up in Tokyo.

It’s all part of Skidmore’s faculty-run academic advising process in which meetings are scheduled just prior to the course registration period for the ensuing semester. This fall, students met with their faculty advisors during the week of Oct. 31–Nov. 4.

According to Tim Harper, associate professor and chair of the Management and Business Department, these advisee meetings are primarily designed to help students develop a course schedule for the next semester. Advising sessions enable student and advisor to review the student's progress toward meeting overall academic and degree requirements for the major(s) and minor(s), and provide academic and social support to the students. Harper, pictured in the Portfolio with Gerard O’Shea ’12 (Business) and Austin Brock ’12 (Business and Economics), has nearly 40 advisees.

Skidmore takes pride in its close student-faculty relationships. And the outside world has taken notice. Says College Prowler, an online college guide: “College is a tough time for most people, as you are in a state of figuring out what the heck you want to do with your life. Luckily, Skidmore has a great deal of potential in helping you do this. Its strongest points are the closeness you will find in friends, classmates, and very importantly, professors. These people are rooting for you! They will surprisingly help lead you in the right direction because Skidmore offers a strong sense of family. You are not just a number here.”

The Office of Academic Advising oversees Skidmore’s advising system, and offers information and guidance to students so that they can make informed choices, take advantage of academic opportunities, and overcome academic difficulties. Corey Freeman-Gallant, associate dean of the faculty for academic advising and professor of biology, oversees the office.