Fall 2019 Advising Memo for Advisers to First-Years and Sophomores

Table of Contents

A wealth of information and tips for college advisers is available on the Advising Resources Website, under For Advisers.

Key Goals of College Advising for First-Years and Sophomores
  • To give first-year students an understanding of what constitutes a liberal arts education at Yale and to help them transition from high school to college
  • To convey to first-year students an immediate sense that faculty and staff members are accessible and take a personal interest in them and in their education
  • To help first-year students appreciate the need to strike a balance between academic commitments and extra-curricular activities

·       To help sophomores think through and troubleshoot any issues that arose during their first year at Yale and help them plan for an engaging second year

  • To help sophomores further identify academic areas of interest and help them move toward a major
  • To help sophomores reflect on their extracurricular activities during their first year as they plan for their second
Additional Goals for First-Years and Sophomores
  • To help them think through how their choices — and not just their academic choices — fit into their future plans
  • To help them understand the community that they live in
  • To encourage them to ask big questions, rather than thinking exclusively about courses or requirements

►See also Goals of College Advising and General Goals of Sophomore Advising for additional considerations.

►First-years and sophomores are encouraged to consult with their residential college deans and directors of undergraduate studies or other departmental representatives about specialized course- and requirement-specific information.  However, to the extent that you feel comfortable, you are also encouraged to provide such advice.

►First-year students also have access to first-year counselors (“frocos”) and are invited to attend the August 27 Academic Fair.

Important Fall 2019 College Advising Dates and Deadlines
  • August 20-30
    • College Adviser “Boot Camps,” one-hour sessions facilitated by the Yale College director of advising and residential college deans on the role of the college adviser, important information about Yale academics, and advising resources at Yale. They are aimed at both new and returning advisers, but are especially important for first-time advisers. A Q & A period is included, and an RSVP is required. 
  • August 26-August 30
    • ​optimal period for contacting your advisees and setting up a 30-60” advising meeting. Click here for links to your advisees’ contact information, answers to the Housing & Advising Form, photos, and other information.
  • August 26-September 9 or 10
    • ​all advisers should meet twice with their advisees during this time period: once, on August 26, in your residential college (see below), and a second time for more comprehensive (30-60”) advising meeting.
  • August 26, 2-3 p.m.
    • meetings with first-year advisees in the residential colleges. These are generally group meetings where advisers meet with all of their first-year advisees at once. Information will be forthcoming directly from your residential college dean.
  • September 9, by 5:00 p.m.
    • first-year students’ final course schedules, complete with all required signatures, are due in the residential college deans’ offices.
  • September 10, by 5:00 p.m.
    • sophomores’ final course schedules, complete with all required signatures, are due in the residential college deans’ offices
Where to Find Your Advisees’ Names and Other Information
​Information Available to College Advisers
  • Name, residential college, family and high school information
  • Students’ answers to the summer 2019 Housing & Advising Form (it often provides good insights into each student’s likes, goals, and preparation)
  • High school transcript
  • Link for sending emails to your advisees (individually or as a group)
  • Link for sending email to the dean of your residential college
  • Link to your advisees’ fall- and spring-term grades, when posted
  • Photos of your advisees
First-Year Advising: the First, Group Meeting in the Residential Colleges

While your advisees will be instructed to contact you, it’s probably best for you to email them before the start of the term to welcome them to Yale and to let them know your availability for advising meetings.

Some information to help familiarize you with the goals and timing of this meeting, and tips on how to conduct it, can be found on the following web pages:

Please also know that I will email the Class of 2023, asking them to complete some simple preparations in advance of your meeting.

Sophomore Advising: the First, One-on-One Meeting during Course Selection Period

While your advisees will be instructed to contact you, it’s probably best for you to email them before the start of the term to welcome them back to campus and to let them know your availability for advising meetings.

General information for sophomore advisers, including General Goals of Sophomore Advising, Majors and the Sophomore Year, Meeting Your Sophomore Advisees, Sophomore Academics, Sophomore Advising Timeline, Thoughts from Sophomores about Advising, and What Sophomores Expect from Their Advisers is available on the Getting Started page of the Advising Resources website.

Where should you hold your one-on-one meetings with your sophomore advisees? Good locations are your Yale office or in one of the residential colleges. Meetings in coffee shops or similar may be convenient, but don’t lend themselves to private conversations. Meetings in personal residences or off campus are to be avoided.

Your Second, Follow-up Meeting (First-Year Students and Sophomores)
No-cost Lunches for College Advisers in the Residential Colleges

As per the Council of Heads of College, all college advisers — even those not otherwise eligible for lunches in the residential college dining halls (staff members, for example) — are entitled to three lunches per advisee per term. This enhancement allows for scheduled or impromptu lunch-time meetings with your advisees.