At the Midterm
Take the opportunity to check in with your advisees before the mid-term deadline (see the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines. Invite them to join you for lunch in your residential college or set up advising office hours. You may learn that a student is struggling and has not thought about getting a tutor for a given course. Or it may be that the best way for a student to manage a difficult situation is to drop a course, or limit extracurricular involvement. By building on the relationships you established in the first few weeks, you can find out more about how your advisees are faring in their ongoing transition to college life.
You might also discuss study habits, efficient organization of their work-week, and realistic allotment of study time to different types of courses. Ask your advisees whether they have written any papers, and if so, consider whether the experience they describe suggests that they would benefit from working with the Bass Writing Tutors. Also, be sure to remember that the habits for academic citation that your students learned in high school might not meet the standards we hold students to at Yale.
Encourage them to visit the Writing Center’s website, which contains much helpful information about writing academic papers. Refer your first-years to Yale’s extensive tutoring programs that provide one-on-one support in writing, foreign languages, science, and quantitative reasoning (including for most introductory courses in mathematics, economics, and the natural sciences).
The dean of your residential college can describe these programs for you or your advisees in much more detail.
As you can imagine, stress levels run high at the end of the term.
Your college advisees would benefit from an encouraging email from you, should you care to send one. You might offer your help, or perhaps suggest a lunchtime meeting or a coffee break to discuss study strategies. You might also let them know — if it’s the fall — that you look forward to seeing them again in January to discuss and sign their spring schedules. If it’s the spring (and you’re a faculty member), you might let them know that you have enjoyed advising them and offer your services if they were unsuccessful in securing a sophomore faculty adviser.
What you write is not as important as the very fact that you have written. Some advisees respond to our efforts to reach out and some don’t. Regardless, please know that your efforts as part of their “constellation of advisers” are important and appreciated.