Fall Checklist for College Advisers to First-Years

  • Please contact your first-year advisees before classes start to introduce yourself. For those of you reading this after classes have started, now’s the time!
  • Provide them with the dates and times you’ve set aside for one-on-one advising meetings (or a link to your calendaring app)
  • Your meetings should be holistic in nature (academics, including course selection, but also — and perhaps more important — their adjustment to Yale, to the residential college system, and to our community, and their extracurricular activities)
  • Any questions about academics that you’re not comfortable handling should be addressed to the relevant director of undergraduate studies or to the residential college deans. Please remember that you’re not expected to know the ins and outs of all 2,000 Yale College courses or 85+ majors!
  • Advising meetings for first-years generally last between 30-60 minutes, depending on the flow of conversation
  • Preparation for your meeting might include reading your advisee’s answers to the  summer Advising Survey, including answers to such questions as “what should my adviser know about me?” Be sure to click on the “Supplemental Advisee Data” link on the left-hand side of each advisee’s Student Profile page: there you’ll find your advisee’s answer to that question and more
  • For those of you who are long-time advisers, note that, as of fall 2020, students neither “seal” nor “submit” their course schedules. Instead, the courses listed on their Yale College registration worksheets are simply “finalized” at 5:00 p.m. on the last day of add/drop period. No further student action is required
  • Advisers neither approve nor sign student course schedules. The absence of an adviser’s signature or explicit approval does not obviate the need for adviser/advisee meeting, however, and instead shifts the emphasis to conversation and discussion, from what sometimes was a transactional act
  • First-years are expected to meet with their college advisees two times early in the fall term:
    1. a brief meeting arranged by the residential colleges at the end of First-Year Orientation and before the first day of classes
    2. a substantial one-on-one meeting (30-60”) during add/drop period

Also keep in mind:

  • the first Friday of classes in the fall term follows a Monday course schedule
  • classes do not meet on Labor Day
  • the director of undergraduate studies or the DUS’s designee becomes the official adviser of any first-year who declares a major
    • Yale College students may have only one adviser at a time. Thus, if your first-year advisee declares a major, that student then disappears from your roster of advisees (though you may opt to stay on as an unofficial adviser)
    • the Registrar’s Office software deliberately prevents first-year students from declaring a major during their first  term of enrollment; in other words, first-year students may only declare a major beginning in their second term of enrollment