Advising A-Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A

Absence from class
  Advisors should discuss this topic with all advisees, especially incoming 1st-year students. The freedom of choice associated with college can lead some students to assume that class attendance simply doesn't matter. A frank discussion of the expectations of class attendance will prove helpful with students at all levels of college experience.
Absence from exams
  If students miss an exam, recommend that they first discuss the absence with the professor, and then, second, arrange for a make-up opportunity. Encourage students to read their class syllabi carefully since many professors do not allow make-up exams.
Academic Calendar
  In addition to being located in the Oregon Tech General Catalog and in the Introduction to the Schedule of Classes, the Academic Calendar is available on the Oregon Tech web site, http://calendar.oit.edu/MasterCalendar/. A slightly consolidated academic calendar for the next five years is also available.
Academic Forgiveness
 

Oregon Tech's Academic Forgiveness policy allows undergraduates with an unsatisfactory GPA to drop a maximum of three consecutive terms of work from consideration in their GPA. Academic forgiveness applies to terms only. Students are not allowed to select courses within terms for forgiveness.

Academic forgiveness is granted on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Progress and Petitions Committee.  It is an extreme measure; it may be granted only once and only when a student provides clear and convincing evidence of a renewed commitment to advancing his or her education.  Once forgiveness is granted, it may not be revoked.  Forgiveness can be applied only to credits earned at Oregon Tech.

If the petition is approved, the student's transcript will have a notation stating, "Academic Forgiveness Granted," above each term in which forgiveness is granted.  Forgiven courses and grades are no longer calculated in the GPA and do not apply toward graduation.  However a record of all coursework will remain on the transcript. See Oregon Tech General Catalog for details about eligibility and procedures related to Academic Forgiveness. Discussion with the academic advisor is strongly recommended.

Academic Honors
 

At commencement, Oregon Tech recognizes academically outstanding students.  Graduation with honors is explained in the Oregon Tech General Catalog. Also, Honors are awarded (for full-time students) according to the following classifications:

Dean's List
Each quarter, students with a GPA of 3.30 - 3.69 are included in the Dean's List.

President's List
Each quarter, students with a GPA of 3.70 or better are included on the President's List.

ADVISORS should discuss these awards and honors with advisees and explain the advantages of identifying earned honors on resumes and job applications.Students may wish to set academic goals each quarter to attain or maintain honors status.

Academic Integrity
  Oregon Tech expects that all students will be held to the highest level of academic integrity. The university's academic integrity policy is outlined in the Oregon Tech Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook. See the Oregon Tech Student Handbook consulted through the Online Communities, Current Students.

Instructors must submit evidence of academic dishonesty in a timely manner to the Office of Student Affairs as outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy.  Dishonesty includes plagiarism of written work. ADVISORS might discuss the ethical academic conduct with advisees.

Academic Policies and Procedures
  Academic policies are developed by the Academic Standards Committee (Faculty Senate); Approved by the Faculty Senate; Approved by President's Council; Published in college catalog. Policies are administered by Registrar; Exceptions are granted by Academic Progress and Petitions Committee; Grade issues and challenges go through Chair of Department affected, Deans, and/or Provost. All advisors have access to Academic policies through Oregon Tech's website.
Academic Probation (See this link to the Oregon Tech catalog.)
Academic Progress and Petitions Committee
  Administration of the regulations governing academic requirements is vested in the Academic Progress and Petitions Committee. This committee has the authority to assess probation or to suspend any student from the university when it appears that the student's work is at such a level that the student cannot benefit by continued attendance.  The university requires that students make substantial progress toward meeting graduation requirements, including maintaining a minimum 2.00 GPA. Any cumulative GPA below 2.00 is considered unsatisfactory and will bring the student's record under review. The Academic Progress and Petitions Committee also serves as an advisory group to the Registrar's Office regarding academic appeals. For information regarding appeals to this committee, students may contact the Registrar's Office.
Academic Reinstatement  (linked to Oregon Tech General Catalog)
Academic Standing (linked to Oregon Tech General Catalog)
Academic Suspension
  Students on academic probation for one term who do not meet the 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement in the successive term of enrollment will be placed on Academic Suspension for at least one term. To re-enroll, a student must complete the prescribed procedures and appeal to the Academic Progress and Petitions Committee for reinstatement. Students are advised to contact the Registrar's Office for re-enrollment information. Students who have been suspended are denied all privileges of the institution. When a student is placed on academic warning, probation, or suspension both the student and the academic advisor are notified.
Academic Warning/Probation
  An academic warning is a caution to the student that there is a lack of satisfactory academic progress.  Students (including first-term freshmen) who have attempted 2 or more terms at Oregon Tech and have an Oregon Tech GPA (in any given term) below 2.0 receive an Academic Warning. Students who have no graded credits, including Withdrawals (W) and Incompletes (I), for three or more consecutive terms will also receive an Academic Warning. Students placed on probation will receive notification that they are on Academic Probation as well as instructions on how to proceed. Once placed on probation, students are advised to limit their course-load to 13 credits. This requires special advice; advisors might keep more regular contact with students on probation and request updates on student progress and grades. Students on Academic Probation need special Academic Advisement.
Add/Drop
 

1. During the first 10 days of the term, a student may drop one or more courses with no record. However, if a student withdraws from all courses, the student's transcript will note "Complete Withdrawal."

2. After the first 10 days of the quarter, a student who withdraws from one or more courses will receive a "W" for those courses. Students may withdraw from individual courses through Friday of the seventh week of the term.

3. After Friday of the seventh week, students will receive a letter grade ("A," "B," "C," "D," "F," "P," "NP," "I," or "IP") from the instructor.

Deadlines for dropping and adding courses are listed in the academic calendar. Many instructors list these dates on the course syllabus. It is wise for academic advisors to meet with advisees before the official drop date and discuss student progress in their courses. Students must keep in mind how many minimum credits they must carry to remain eligible for athletic eligibility, veterans' benefits, visa status, and scholarship and financial aid requirements. The Financial Aid Office will help answer any questions related to credit load and financial aid awards. Withdrawal from a course can change a full-time student to a part-time student. This can also have a profound effect on financial aid, athletic eligibility, class year (which lowers registration priority), foreign student visas, Dean's List inclusion, graduation status, even health insurance and veterans' benefits. It is not a step to be taken lightly or without some discussion with the advisor. Plus, a student's dropping a class may be a symptom of other issues that the advisor may want to discuss with the student. Be sure to ask!

Administrative withdrawals (see also, withdrawals)
  These can be done only in the first two weeks of a term and only to create seats in over-enrolled classes. After that, it is the student's responsibility to withdraw from courses. Faculty members and advisors may not withdraw students from courses after the two week limit.
Adult learners (advisor advice)
 

Returning or "older" students represent one of the fastest growing populations enrolling in college. The accessibility of advisors is critical for adult students who may have many more questions than "traditional" aged students. One good approach to working with returning students is to emphasize their strengths:

  • the experience base they bring to campus.
  • the varied life experiences that can be acknowledged within and outside the classroom (though these can be "double-edged sword" (Noel-Levitz, 1997, p. 91)-both assets and deterrents to learning.
  • clear goals and a consumer orientation. They set high standards for themselves and the institution.

Adult or returning students also bring special needs to campus that the advisor must address if these students are to be retained-

  • Multiple role commitments that may conflict with educational experiences.
  • Tendency not to identify very closely with the institution; these learners are often off-campus directed and may not take advantage of available resources. Frequently they utilize resources and services available off campus.
  • Possibility of returning for a college degree after a major life transition that may impact success of their return.
  • Tendency to avoid asking for help. Advisors may need to be more proactive when working with older students.
  • Possibility of "baggage" from past negative experiences in formal education. Resulting lack of self-confidence may prevent them from persisting through degree completion.
  • Adults want to expedite their degree completion and get frustrated when they are required to take courses that they think they may not need. Discussion of overall value of educational breadth may be needed. Prior learning might also be assessed.
  • Adults frequently return to campus without support from spouses, family, co-workers, friends.  This opposition or apathy must be balanced by institutional support.
  • Adult students often lack confidence in their ability to succeed.
  • Advisors need to help adult students remain open and flexible to new ideas. (Academic Advising for Student Success and Retention, Iowa City: Iowa, ACT, 1997, pp. 92 - 93.)
Helpful Questions to Ask Adult Students:
  1. What made you decide to enroll (or re-enroll) in school?
  2. Are you enrolling in school as the result of a big change in your life?
  3. How do you think your transition to school will alter you life? How prepared do you feel for the changes this transition will create?
  4. What past personal experiences do you feel will help you most in school?
  5. How do your friends and family feel about your return to school?
  6. In what areas are you expecting to want or need help?
  7. How would you describe your past experiences with school?
  8. In addition to taking courses, what other obligations do you have that will take your time and energy?
  9. How many hours day are you planning to spend on campus in class, studying, in labs, doing research, etc.?
  10. How much urgency do you feel to complete a degree?
Advance Credit Programs
  The Advance Credit program consists of college courses taught in the high schools by college-level qualified high school instructors. These courses are offered above and beyond the high school curriculum with the option of registering for college credit from Oregon Tech. These credits should be transcripted as regular Oregon Tech courses on a student transcript. Interview questions related to learning outcomes achieved in these courses might be appropriate.
Advanced Placement (AP) credit; scores; Advance Credit
  Assigning course credits for scores of 4 or 5 on the Advance Placement exam varies by department. Advisors are urged to consult the Oregon Tech Catalog and the Counseling and Testing Office for specific information on each exam.
Advising and Student Persistence (advisor advice)
Advising and Teaching (advisor advice)
 

College professors do not always see a connection between teaching and advising. The following summarizes a few of the parallels. This may reassure advisors who believe that they have the skills to teach but limited skills in advising. Both advising and teaching--

  • Emphasize sensitivity to audience
  • Require respect for diverse points of view
  • Create interest through enthusiasm
  • Create a good learning environment
  • Facilitate learning
  • Have long term impact
  • Are both theoretical and practical
  • Require appropriate preparation
  • Emphasize rapport building
  • Provide student with cooperative and alternative ways of learning
  • Involve formative communication (on-going, self-evaluation)
  • Are intrinsically rewarding
  • Are interactive processes
  • Require clear communication

(The Relationship between Teaching and Advising USA Group Noel-Levitz, Inc.)(By Carol Ryan, Ph.D.-Dean, First College and Coordinator of Academic Advising, Metropolitan State University)

Faculty members have little formal training in advising. First, faculty members need general knowledge of college programs, policies, procedures, and student services in addition to knowledge of major field content if they are to work effectively with advisees. Some understanding of student development in the college years is also useful.Advisors should also consider ways in which they can apply teaching knowledge and skills to the advising relationship. 

Academic advising gives faculty members an opportunity to extend primary teaching roles beyond the classroom to the one-to-one advising encounter. In the advising setting, a learning environment can be created that encourages and challenges individual students to develop educational plans and programs that are congruent with their personal and vocational goals, and with their skills, abilities and interests.

Effective Teaching skills and knowledge
Most of the effective teaching techniques professors practice in the classroom can be transferred to work with advisees. Only the format (the small group or individual meeting in a more informal atmosphere) and the content are different. In the teaching/advising meeting, content centers on educational planning. Students want to discuss whole programs or majors or need assistance in understanding policies and procedures that may affect progress. As trust is created between the faculty advisor and the advisee, questions of values and life goals and their relationship to the student's educational goals will be part of the teaching/advising exchange.

Teaching skills and knowledge
Mastery of subject area or material
Encouragement of active student participation in the learning process
Provision of regular feedback
Reinforcement and encouragement to students
Instruction in how to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information and express ideas clearly

Communication skills and knowledge are in a second category under which a number of exemplary teaching characteristics are often cited. Two that directly relate to effective advising are good questioning techniques and strong listening skills.

Attitudes toward students are also important. These attitudes include:

Demonstration of positive regard, concern and respect for students;

Open, genuine presentation of one's self to students;

Exemplifying what a university community is, what is expected of students in the academy and what one does after college in a professional or work role; Knowing what is required in a specific major or program is similar to mastering content area knowledge.

Students give high marks to advisors who know Oregon Tech programs and procedures and can provide them with specific and accurate information-just as they do for teachers who know their material.

Students say their best classroom learning occurs when they are actively involved in the teaching-learning process. The same is true in the advising setting. Faculty advisors can engage students in the advising process by asking questions about their aims, concerns and possible educational goals or programs, and can work with students to develop academic plans to meet these goals.

An advisor should also monitor student progress and provide regular feedback to the advisee just as in the classroom, even if this simply means mailing a computer-generated letter with a print-out of course completions. A note from the advisor encouraging the student would also be welcomed.

Written or verbal encouragement similar to what advisors say in the classroom or write on a student paper is also positive reinforcement when we see that an advisee has passed a difficult course or is engaged in signification co-curricular activity on campus. And if we are alerted to some academic difficulty the student is experiencing, we need to intervene and give timely warning of the difficulties and possible remedies-just as we would if the student were in one of our classes.

Faculty members regularly teach students in their disciplines how to search for information and how to analyze and draw informed conclusions about issues or problems. Advisors can also give problem-solving and decision-making assignments. In this case, students are researching educational and career options including specific courses, internships or cooperative opportunities, and are trying to make good decisions about future directions. The teacher/advisor points the student toward university or community resources that will help her gather information and draw careful conclusions about best courses of action.

Questioning skills that work in the classroom also work in the advising setting. Open-ended questions work best, especially when getting acquainted with advisees and helping them reflect on future educational and life goals.

Advisors should ask students to talk about what they would like to do after graduation. Careful listening, or concentrating on what the student is actually trying to say, is as critical to the advising setting as it is in the classroom.

Often, advisors can help the advisee communicate meaning more clearly by restating or clarifying his or her comments. This allows students to move to a higher level of discussion or to more clearly articulate their positions. It also helps the advisor reassess the advisee's learning needs or concerns.

Advising appointments
  Setting appointments during pre-registration time is strongly recommended.  Often advisors post a sign up sheet for registration appointments. Remind advisees to bring all relevant material with them to these interviews. Advisors should inform their students how to set up appointments. Often, advisors post a sign up sheet for registration appointments, but advisors should make it clear that advisees can schedule other times to discuss issues in more depth.
Advising Athletes
Advising Coordinators
  Each department appoints advising coordinators. Oregon Tech sometimes has specific advising coordinators for programs as well. These coordinators are responsible for assigning advisees to advisors, for maintaining training and on-going support for advisors, and keeping up-to-date on major changes in Oregon Tech's advising practices and requirements. Only advising coordinators are capable of officially changing a student's advisor.  General and specific questions related to program-specific advising can be directed to the advising coordinator. In addition, Advising Coordinators make up the Oregon Tech Advising Task Force and recommend changes in advising procedures, evaluation, and activities.   A list of advising coordinators is posted on Web for Student.
Advising Distinct Populations
Advising Goals
 
NACADA Advising Goals include the following:
  1. Assist students in self-understanding and self-acceptance
  2. Assisting students in their consideration of life goals by relating interests, skills, abilities, and values to careers, the world of work, and the nature and purpose of higher education.
  3. Assist students in developing an educational plan consistent with life goals and objectives (alternative courses of action, alternate career consideration, and selection of courses).
  4. Assist students in developing decision making skills.
  5. Provide accurate information about institutional policies, procedures, resources, and programs.
  6. Make referrals to other campus or community support services.
  7. Assist students in evaluation or re-evaluation of progress toward established goals and educational plans.
  8. Provide student information to advisors and departments.
Advising, Legal Issues
 

Advisors should always consult the Vice President for Student Affairs and Oregon Tech's Dean of Students if they have any questions related to legal issues and advising.

The university relationship with students is contractual, and academic advisors are considered spokespersons for the university. Advisors' statements are legally binding.  Avoid making claims like "you can get a good job with this degree." Be sure to publicly announce changes in major programs and university policies. Note that departmental handbooks, recruiting brochures, etc. are considered legally binding.

Talking about student grades with other faculty, or mentioning grades in a recommendation letter, is a breach of confidentiality. Student records are protected by FERPA, and students (unless they are dependent minors) must sign a waiver for release of academic records to anyone, including parents; the exception is a "need to know" basis, which would include academic advisors, financial aid offices, and other university personnel.

Slander, bias, and harassment are grounds for suit; avoid making comments that could be misinterpreted.

Faculty members who have different roles (e.g., advisor, instructor, administrator) may find these to be in conflict. Exercise referral if you find yourself in a conflict of interest situation or consult colleagues/persons of authority.

Clearly inform students of the chain of command to voice complaints, concerns, etc. and their due process rights.

Academic advisors have a "duty to warn" others if an advisee threatens harm to others or self.  This is an acceptable breach of confidentiality. Also, advisors have an obligation to report overt signs of abuse to the proper authorities if their advisees appear to be victims of violence.

Advisor Training
 

Advisor Training is required of all new faculty members. In addition, in selected terms, refresher courses for experienced advisors are offered through the Center for Learning and Teaching. For information on these and other workshops, contact the Center for Learning and Teaching in the Learning Resources Center at Oregon Tech, 5-1791.

Faculty members are not supposed to advise students (or be assigned advisees) until Academic Advisor Training is completed. This training is offered each winter term.

American College Testing (ACT) Exam
  The mean for each subtest (English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning) and for the composite score is 20 - 21, with a standard deviation of about 5-6. The range is 1-36. Always consult national percentiles, which are listed on the advising report. Beginning in February 2005, the ACT included an optional essay component. The score range for the essay is 2 - 12. This score is presented on the student's Student Assessment Report (SAR).
Appeal of Academic Policies and procedures
  All appeals of academic policies are handled through Oregon Tech's Registrar's Office.
At Risk Students
 

Under-prepared and students at risk are, obviously, at risk of giving up and leaving school. These students need very careful advising since advisors do not want to promise too much yet want to encourage students to persist and address issues that can be addressed.  The first step is to determine some plausible causes of the student's difficulties. Is it a time-management problem related to work and school? Is the problem related to family issues or financial difficulties? Or has the student simply not managed study and course loads effectively? There are millions of reasons students struggle in college. The academic advisor can be the student's most reliable and most honest help in times of difficulty.

Under-prepared and at risk students need to be encouraged to focus on strengths. They do many things very well indeed. If they can be encouraged to identify these strengths and transfer them to academics, then they can succeed at Oregon Tech. Many students do have a few deficiencies that might need to be addressed. If advisors try to attack deficiencies all at once, then this can destroy the student's self-confidence and undermine the advising relationship. Try to structure about half of the student's program to focus on strengths and help students "set the stage" for success (Noel Levitz, 1997, p. 101).

Students in college are capable of profound change. Advisors can inspire students to shine and to do things they didn't think were possible. Advisors can help students learn how to study, how to get connected to the academic community and how to get involved (Noel Levitz, 1997, p. 101). Advisors can also provide role models and kindly guidance related to how to manage time and some strategies for studying and for success. Never underestimate the power of a good academic advisor when helping under-prepared or students at risk or any other type of college student.

Here are a few helpful questions to ask Under-prepared students:
  1. What subjects did you enjoy in high school? In which subjects were your best grades? Explain.
  2. Name the highest point in your life so far and your greatest accomplishment. What about the experience made it special?
  3. If you have a spare hour, what do you do? Why? What strengths lead you to this activity?
  4. What will a college degree mean to you?
  5. What are your best personal qualities? What do your friends like about you? What about these answers can help you succeed in college?
  6. What have your employers valued about you? What about these characteristics will help you succeed in college?
  7. What are you most motivated to accomplish? Why?

Based on an advisee's answers, advisors can design a course plan and work-load to play to his or her strengths. Students who are both at risk and under-prepared may need more intensive advising than other students.

Best Resources for Under-prepared students:

Tech Opportunities Program - a federally-funded academic support program designed to help students who are low income, first generation college students, or Students with Disabilities. Contact 5-1125, LRC 233.

Center for Learning and Teaching. Oregon Tech's General Catalog and CFLAT publications describe the varieties of helpful resources the Center can provide.

Auditing a Course
  A student has the option to enroll in a class for informational purposes only. This enrollment is classified as an audit and is regulated by the following procedures.  See the Oregon Tech General Catalog (see Credit by Examination).

 

B

Baccalaureate degrees
 

The minimum credits for a Bachelor's degree are 180 credits.  Oregon Tech's curriculum maps detail required courses.  All bachelor's degrees require general education courses.  Some departments require C or better grades in certain courses.  Often, especially in math or technical courses, a C or better is required in pre-requisite courses.  Details are in the course catalog.  See the academic calendar, the Oregon Tech General Catalog, or each class schedule.

The Bachelor of Science degree requires that students opt between completion of 36 credits in mathematics and science or 45 credits in mathematics, science, and social science.  Students placed at a higher beginning level of mathematics than is published in their major's curriculum may choose to substitute those mathematics credits surpassed by their accelerated level of placement with electives from any department to attain the required number of general education credits required by Oregon Tech for graduation.  Transfer students require special advisement at upper division course selection.

 

C

Cancellation of a Registration
Registration may be cancelled prior to the term beginning by requesting, in writing, of the Registrar that all courses be dropped. The student can go to the Registrar’s office or by dropping all courses on line. There will be no entry for the term on the student’s transcript.
Career Advising Resources

All majors have excellent web-based career counseling tools. The web-version of the Oregon Tech Advisor Handbook has links to careers in all major fields. Please refer to these and other web-resources, Career Services at Oregon Tech, and professional periodicals and contacts when advising students on career opportunities. (see also, Legal Issues in Advising)

Examples of sources for Engineering include Bridge Engineering; Construction Aspect of Civil Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering Career Opportunities; Environmental Management and Technology—Civil Engineers, etc.

Biology
Business
Civil Engineering
Communication
Computer Systems
Dental Hygiene
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Echocardiography
Electrical
Electronics
Environmental
Health Sciences
Manufacturing Engineering
Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering
Medical Imaging
Nuclear Medicine Technology
Nursing
Psychology
Radiologic Science
Social Sciences
Vascular Technology

Career Services
The Oregon Tech Career Services office is located in the LRC 216. This office has many resources to help students decide upon a career or area of specialization, 5-1020. Services also include individual career advising, workshops in resume and job application letter preparation, job interviewing, job search and applying to graduate school, on-campus employment opportunities, whereby companies and government agencies interview students for career and internship opportunities. On campus employment information is available here so that an advisor can refer student seeking on-campus employment to an advocate.
Center for Learning and Teaching (CFLAT)
Changing Advisors
Students have various reasons for changing advisors. If a student approaches you to be his or her new advisor, contact the Advising Coordinator of your department first. Students may change advisors at any time after the first term of their first year. If their current advisor leaves (either temporarily or permanently), students MUST change their advisor. The correct procedure is for the departmental advising coordinator to make this change.
Changing majors
Advising Coordinators (usually in the new department) change a student’s major and assign a new advisor. Students need to meet with someone in the new major’s department to discuss schedule, requirements, long-term plans, and implications of such a change. The Advising Coordinator must be notified and given the student’s ID number. The major will then be changed, and the student will be assigned a new advisor. The student’s advising file must be given to the new advisor.
Certificates, Minors, Specializations
Oregon Tech offers several certificate programs (e.g., Dispute Resolution Certificate), minors (e.g., Minor in Applied Psychology), and specializations (e.g., Picture Archiving Communication Systems or PACS). These can enrich a student’s Oregon Tech experience as well as increase employability. Refer the student to the minor-granting department. Students must apply and meet all requirements (academic) to receive certificates and minors. They are posted on the student’s transcript, but not on the diploma. Often, a certificate is printed and awarded when completing a transcripted or non-transcripted certificate.
Class Rank, classification

Class rank is not awarded by credits in programs. Many students in certain programs are considered “freshmen” until accepted into the program despite their accumulated number of credit hours. Once accepted into these programs, students “move” to sophomore status. Traditionally, at Oregon Tech, class rank is defined by the following breakdown of credits. This serves students when they register each term. College Transfer courses are included in determining student classification and rank.

Freshmen 0 – 44 credits
Sophomore 45 – 89 credits
Junior 90 – 134
Senior 135 and above.
Cognitive Theories of Development (advisor advice)
Common Phrases, students seeking help (advisor advice)

Advisors might watch out for some “signal” phrases that indicate students are feeling lost and/or confused. Here are a few questions that signal the need for sessions that address skills and orientation to the university.

“I don’t understand anything my professor has said in class.”
“Can I ask you a few questions about my requirements?”
“How do I know how I am doing in a class?”
“When would be a good time to talk about my schedule for next term?”
“I am really lost (confused, scared . . .)”

Advisors might listen for these and other indications that students are struggling in classes or are having trouble adjusting to university expectations. A few targeted questions related to study skills, communication skills, and work habits might yield positive results and help establish an atmosphere of support and trust.

Communicating care to students (advisor advice)

A few tips can help advisors communicate that they care. Advisors do care about students, but a few signals make this level of commitment more easily “readable” by students in distress or students who are simply confused and afraid to ask for help.

Eyes, voice, body language all communicate focused attention
Write down notes on student and then follow up
Listen reflectively; listen, ask questions, let advisee talk
Be sincere
Probe if there seems to be an issue
Post office hours that meet students’ needs—and keep advising appointments
Review your notes before each student appointment.
Anticipate student needs and be prepared to meet them. Remember that students often don’t know what they don’t know.
Follow up on recommendations and referrals.
Remember advisee names and use them.
Relational aspects are very important.

Community College issues
Students who transfer credit from community colleges will receive a transfer evaluation form. Oregon now accepts the Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) and the Oregon Block Transfer. Both of these allow students to transfer general education credits. It is important for advisors to check which general education courses have transferred, however, since Oregon Tech has specific requirements in General Education beyond either transfer “block.” Also, since courses transfer as lower division only, transfer students with community college credit must pay particular attention to the 60-credit upper division requirement for bachelor’s degrees.
Complete Withdrawal

If a student is currently registered and decides to withdraw from all classes, the student must notify the Registrar’s Office. Upon notification, the student is required to complete the appropriate documentation. It is hoped that students discuss such possibilities with their advisors before withdrawing from Oregon Tech.

1. Complete withdrawals from the university may be processed through Friday of the week prior to final-exam week.
2. Financial aid will be held for future terms after a complete withdrawal is processed.
3. Depending on the time of the term, a complete withdrawal results in a notation of “complete withdrawal” or “Ws” on the student’s transcript.

Academic advisors need to discuss the implications of withdrawals with their advisees. It is possible that students can withdraw in good academic standing, which makes the eventual return to college much easier.

Computer Services (Information Technology Services)
The ITS help desk is available to the campus community to answer questions related to Oregon Tech computing issues and to help in any way possible to resolve electronic difficulties. This office is located in Boivin Hall 123, 5-1729. This office supports computing services and telecommunication resources at Oregon Tech. In Klamath Falls, more than 500 computers are available in several laboratory locations on campus. There are opportunities for students to find on-campus employment in Oregon Tech’s computer labs. Advisors might discuss this possibility with students.
Connections (helping students make connections) (advisor advice)

Many students feel that they are the only ones experiencing a particular problem. It is often a great relief to them to discover that their problems might be shared by other students on campus and at colleges across the country. Advisors can help by letting students know that the problems they face are common and natural. Helping students get connected to activities on campus can help students.

According to Noel-Levitz’s Advising Guide, here are some ways to actively try to get students connected:
1. Rather than asking a student, “Are you planning to be involved with any activities this term?” reword the question to assume that the student will be involved in something: “What activities are you planning to be involved in with term?”
2. Ask students about activities they were involved with in the past. Then go over with students a list of all Oregon Tech organizations and activities to discover any that seem like a good fit with student time and interests. Remind them of Oregon Tech’s super club sign-up and Oregon Tech’s student professional organizations.
3. Give students an “assignment” to attend a meeting of at least two campus organizations and to report back on what they discovered.
4. If a student is fairly set on a major area and/or career, help the student identify campus organizations, activities, or volunteer opportunities that might be related or helpful.
Co-requisites
Courses listed as co-requisites must be taken simultaneously with another course. Co-requisites are noted at the end of each course description.
Corrected Grade
Grade changes can be performed on-line for the previous term only. All other grade changes must be done manually in the Registrar’s Office. The CRN number, the student name and ID number, and term the course was taken are needed along with faculty signatures. Removal of Incompletes can be accomplished via Web for Faculty, grade change.
Course Numbering
Courses are grouped into a three-digit number series which indicates normal teaching levels. Some variations may occur, so consult the current Oregon Tech catalog. Usually courses numbered 1 – 99 are Preparatory and Developmental courses and are not applicable toward a degree, even though units are assigned, grades are awarded, and tuition is assessed. Lower-Division courses are those numbered 100 – 199 and 200 – 299. Upper Division courses are number 300 – 399 and 400 – 499. Graduate courses are listed as 500-level and above.
Course Repeat
The following restrictions apply for course-repeat situations:
1. Students may attempt the same course (for a “W” or a letter grade) a total of four times. (fifth enrollment referred to Academic Progress and Petitions Committee)
2. Each withdrawal (“W”) is considered an attempt. Withdrawals, however, are not included in GPA calculations.
3. The new grade earned replaces the previous grade(s) when computing GPA. Only the first TWO earned grades will be excluded for GPA calculations. The last grade earned will be used on the petition to graduate.
4. All grades and credits remain on the student’s official transcript.

Students should always consult with financial-aid counselors to determine the financial eligibility for repeating courses.

Example:
MATH 111: spring 2001 C
MATH 111: summer 2001 B
MATH 111: fall 2001 D (the D will count)

Advisor tip: Discuss repeating courses with students. Check to make sure advisees understand that a record of all attempts will appear on transcripts though only the most recent (last time course is attempted) grade will be calculated in the student GPA.

If repeating a pre-requisite, the lower numbered course must be completed before the advanced course is attempted.

At Oregon Tech, most appeals to AP and P are for permission to repeat math courses. AP and P requires the math placement test. MATH faculty regularly serve on the Academic Progress and Petitions committee, and AP and P often prescribes remediation strategies.

Course Selection (Schedule Preparation)
This is one of the most important conversations an advisor can have with an advisee and one of the advisor’s most important tasks. Course selection and schedule preparation should never just be administrative or clerical duties. Intensive conversation should always occur related to student progress in current program, strengths, talents, and skills, goals, plans for careers, extra-curricular commitments, possibilities for minors and certificates, and many other topics. The topics listed under First Advising Session should help guide this conversation even as it develops over the student’s four or five years of academic work at Oregon Tech.
Course Substitution (exception to Degree Requirement)

Students desiring to depart from the curriculum prescribed in the catalog should discuss this possibility with their departmental advisors to begin the process. It is the responsibility of the student to file a petition with the Registrar’s Office for such changes. Substitution forms must be approved and filed prior to or with the petition for graduation in order to assure acceptability toward meeting graduation requirements. It is best that the advisor manage this process to make sure students are a) getting credit for overlapping work and b) are not expecting credit and course substitutions when the courses from other institutions really do not match Oregon Tech’s curricular requirements.

Some transfer work, which may not be directly equivalent to Oregon Tech courses, may be appropriately substituted to meet Oregon Tech requirements. Students may seek course substitution approval by completing the Course Substitution Form and obtaining the signature of the advisor, department chair, and Registrar. The advisor is urged to manage this process.

Oregon Tech does not accept transfer credit or substitution credit for courses considered pre-college or vocational. Oregon Tech determines the level and nature of the course by examining catalog description and course numbering systems of the student’s prior college.

Key points for Advisors to remember:
Credits are never waived
Substitutions must be in the same category
Missing credits must be made up to meet graduation requirements
Failure to submit these substitutions early may cause graduation problems
The Registrar always finds it most helpful to consult with the academic department affected
Credit for prior learning must be documented in a portfolio
Claims for prior work experience or knowledge must be documents in a portfolio
Credit by exam often more expedient than credit for prior learning
Courses with C-Grade Requirement
Advisors should help advisees check for these courses. Writing 122, for example, can be taken only by students who have earned a “C” in Writing 121. Many major courses also have such requirements. Check the Catalog!
Credit/Prior Learning
Oregon Tech awards credit for educational accomplishments attained outside of accredited postsecondary institutions. For further information regarding this type of credit, it is best to consult Oregon Tech’s Credit-by-Examination policy or its Credit-for-Prior-Learning policy, both of which may be obtained from the Oregon Tech’s Registrar’s Office and in the Oregon Tech General Catalog.
Credit by Examination

Many departments have established credit by examination for certain courses. Writing 121, Writing 122, Writing 227, for example, may all be “challenged,” by examination.

Students currently enrolled at Oregon Tech may request credit for a course by special examination. This process is called a course “challenge” and the provisions are:
1. Credit by examination (course challenge) is available to students who are fully admitted in degree-granting programs.
2. Students may not challenge a course which they have previously taken for credit and received a grade other than an audit, nor may they challenge the same course more than once. If students register for a course they wish to challenge, they must drop and challenge that course before the last day to drop without a record.
3. No more than 25 percent of the credits submitted for graduation may be credit by exam.
4. Credit by examination counts toward graduation residency requirements. For a bachelor’s degree, students must complete 45 credits at Oregon Tech with the last 15 to be taken on campus. For the associate’s degree, students must complete 30 credits with the last 15 to be taken on campus.
5. Examinations receive either a “P” (pass) or “F” (fail). A pass suggests the student has mastered material comparable to a grade of “C” or better in the course being challenged. The Registrar records “P” grades on the student transcript, but does not count the “P” in grade-point-average calculations. The Registrar does not record “F” grades.
6. Departments are responsible for preparing an appropriate examination, evaluating the student’s response and submitting results to the Registrar’s Office. Departments reserve the right to declare any course offering as non-challengeable.

Further procedures and general guidelines for course challenges may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. Only the credit granting department may administer and “grade” challenge exams. Most departments have sample exams which advisors may send for and use in discussions with students contemplating the challenge of courses. Portland students in particular, have used course challenge opportunities.

Cross-listed Courses
A cross-listed course is one that although listed in one department, counts toward the requirements of another department or program. For example, COM 205 and COM 320 may count as General Education Humanities credit even though the courses are listed as Communication courses. Note that COM 205 and COM 320 may not be used to satisfy BOTH Communication and Humanities credits. GEOG 105, for example, may be used as a science elective or a social science elective.
Cultural differences (advisor advice)

Academic advisors need to develop sensitivity to cross-cultural differences. A common analogy is to think of culture like an iceberg with Language, Food, and Appearance “above” the water-line and visible to the eye, with communication styles, beliefs, attitudes, and values and perceptions, “below” the water line, out of sight, but vitally important to the culture (see Levine and Adelman, Beyond Language). In communicating with students from other cultures, academic advisors should be sensitive to these elements below the water line, so to speak, and learn to make frequent checks for understanding. In addition, gestures and commonly used terms in the United States can be misinterpreted by international students and even by students from this country. Be observant and sensitive, and don’t be afraid to ask when in doubt. The thumbs up sign, for instance, means support and encouragement in the United States while, in Nigeria, it is considered extremely rude. In Japan the gesture means “five,” and in Germany it is used as a signal for “one.”

Culture is not necessarily fixed. Students from the United States, for example, represent many different cultures including urban, rural, suburban. It is best not to emphasize cultural differences or cultural similarities but instead focus on understanding individual students and their needs in the college setting. Remember, too, that much of the messages (especially in the United States and other western countries) is transmitted non-verbally. Tone of voice and facial expressions can help a lot when trying to help students understand or when trying to “read” the level of comprehension among students from other cultures. Advisors have unique opportunities to educate Oregon Tech students in the skills related to honoring cultural differences.

Cultural Diversity (see also Intercultural Studies, General Education Requirement)
Oregon Tech students are uniquely prepared for a wide-range of careers and professional roles. They are encouraged to select at least one course which helps them develop skills related to cultural diversity. Some general education courses are designed specifically to address educational goals related to cultural diversity. COM 205 Intercultural Communication; COM 320 Advanced Intercultural Communication; ENG 281 Contemporary World Literature; and SPAN 201/202/203, Second-year Spanish; ANTH 103, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and GEOG 106 and 107, Cultural Geography I and II, and HIST 342 Modern Asia.
Cumulative Grade-Point Average (see General Catalog)

 

D

 

Dean's List
  Full-time students are named to the Dean's List if they earn a GPA between 3.30 -3.69.  President's List requires a 3.70 GPA or better.
Decision-making skills (advisor advice)
 

Many new students do not arrive at a university knowing how to make sound judgments.  Developing good-decision making skills in students can be one of the most important goals of informed academic advising.  In many ways, it can complement the work that goes on in university classrooms.  In many cases, advisors will be more heavily involved with students at the beginning of the advising relationship.  Developmental advisors provide concentrated advising in the first term to help students understand expectations for college students and begin to help students develop independent decision-making skills.  Advisors can model decision-making skills.  Five steps are often used in decision-making:

  • Define the problem and clarify the situation
  • Collect information from a variety of sources (in this case, the student) and use that information to help steer the student toward alternatives and solutions
  • Evaluate the alternatives available
  • Assess the risks involved in each alternative plan
  • Help the student develop a plan of action and a timetable to follow through on that plan

It is also important to remind students that they are responsible for their own education. They are responsible for their course selection decisions and every aspect of the college experience.  As long as the advisor keeps that process going without inserting his or her own bias into that, then it is a healthy interaction and can lead to student development.  (Noel-Levitz, 1997, p. 81).

A few questions can lead students to evaluate their own decision-making skills:

Do you ever have trouble making decisions?  Little ones?  Important ones?

How do you generally go about making a decision?  Describe the process.

What specific strategies do you use to make a decision?

Do you use the same method for all decisions?

Would you describe yourself as a spontaneous or a systematic decision maker? Why?

Do you make decisions by yourself, or do you need other people's opinions first?

Do you feel anxious about declaring a major?  How did you make this decision?

Degree Audit/ see Petition to Graduate
  Students must file an application to graduate and a Petition to graduate at least two terms prior to graduation.  These forms are available online at the Registrar's Office, in the Portland Programs office and in academic departments.  Petitions should be printed out early in a student's career at Oregon Tech and kept in the student's advising file.
Developmental Advising (advisor advice) (Steven C. Ender, Ed.D.  Professor, Learning Center, Indiana University of PA, USA Noel-Levitz, Inc.)
 

Advising is a developmental process which assists students in clarification of their life/career goals and in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals. It is a decision-making process, which assists students in realizing their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an advisor. It is ongoing, multi-faceted, and the responsibility of both the student and the advisor.  The advisor serves as a facilitator of communication, a coordinator of learning experiences through course and career planning and program progress review, and an agent of referral to other campus services as necessary"  (Crockett, 1999, p. 11).

"Developmental advising is a systematic process based on a close student-advisor relationship intended to aid students in achieving educational, career, and personal goals through the utilization of the full range of institutional and community resources. It both stimulates and supports students in their quest for an enriched quality of life." (Winston, Grites, Miller, & Ender, 1984, p. 538).    "Developmental academic advising is not an administrative function, a conference held once a term, a paper relationship, [or] supplementary to the educational process"  (Ender, 1983, p. 10.)

Advising is a process which links students' needs and experiences from the college-first year through senior year and beyond.  The process and focus on advising develops gradually through the student's level of maturation and the years spent in degree programs.  Where students are in the progression helps to determine the kinds of assistance they need from advisors, their level of independence and autonomy.  The following chart (NACADA) identifies the stages of the college years in general terms, provides examples of some academic and personal issues within each "stage," and gives examples of how academic advisors might respond.

This link to O'Banion's Developmental Advising Model will help guide advisors through all the phases of student development.

 

Academic

Personal

Advisor's Role

First-year

Fearful of failing

Unsure of requirements

Confused or unrealistic expectations

New academic demands

Vague career goals

Managing emotions

Finding social fit

Exposure to new values

Increased financial worries

Separation from family

Adjusting to life changes

Anxious/vulnerable

Be accessible

Be a good listener

Provide support

Give information on requirements, courses

Be nonjudgmental

Make referrals

 

Sophomore

More aware of expectations

Tired of school

Impatient to get into major

Pressure to find a major

Mixed confidence level

Increased self-awareness

Developing support systems

More relaxed

Campus involvement

Encourage further exploration

Help with assessment of skills

Focus options on realistic choices

Junior

Settled into a major or desperately seeking one

Looking for enhancements (e.g., minor or double major)

Developing faculty relations

Application of learning

Balance of work, study, free time

More confidence

Developing critical thinking skills

Looking beyond college

Leadership roles in organizations

Romantic involvement

Begin mentor relationship

Encourage responsibilities, complex thinking

Provide info. on grad. School/ careers

Encourage creativity to enhance degree

Senior

Winding down Applying and integrating knowledge Commencing job search/preparing for grad school; Grad. audit

Nervous

Stressed

Unsure of future

Transition to independent adult

Assist with grad. Audit

Prepare student to make transition; Continue discussion of career; conference attendance

Continue mentor relationship Write recommendations

Developmental Advising, Factors in (advisor advice)
 

In his article, "A Developmental View of Academic Advising as Teaching" Burns Crookston (1994) outlined ten factors which may be applied directly to advising.  To help advisors understand these factors, they have been described as a series of questions.  Each of the factors could be preceded by the stem, "For this student, in this situation. . ."

1. Abilities:  To what extent did the advisor look for academic potential within the perspective of performance?

2. Motivation:  To what extent did the advisor assist the advisee to identify and show ownership for his/her goals?

3. Rewards:  To what extent did the advisor focus on the intrinsic outcomes of education such as achievement, mastery, acceptance, status, recognition, and fulfillment?

4. Maturity:  To what extent did the advisor view the advisee as self-directed and   responsible?

5. Initiative:  To what extent did the advisor and the advisee share the initiative to   understand and fulfill various requirements?

6. Control:  To what degree was the content of the interaction shared by the advisor and the advisee?

7. Responsibility:  To what degree was the responsibility for action shared by the advisor and the advisee?

8. Learning Output:  To what degree was the advisor open to learning?

9. Evaluation:  To what extent did the advisor and advisee share in the evaluation of decisions?

10. Relationship:  To what extent did the interaction show evidence of trust between the   advisor and advisee?  (Crookston, Burns (1972). A developmental view of advising as teaching. Journal of College Student Personnel, 13, 12 - 17, qtd. in NACADA, p. 190 - 191).

Diplomas
 

Oregon Tech awards diplomas at Commencement based on preliminary grades and preliminary degree checks for spring term graduates.  Students who receive a diploma at Commencement, but do not subsequently compete degree requirements, will be notified after the final degree check.   The student will be asked to return the diploma.  The university             will place a hold on the student's registration privileges and transcript if the diploma is not returned.

Those students with estimated failing or incomplete grades will receive a letter, rather than a diploma, inside the diploma cover at Commencement.  After completion of all degree requirements, these students will receive their diploma in the mail.  Diplomas will also be held until all fees and charges due Oregon Tech have been paid and exit interviews have been completed for Federal, Perkins, and institutional loans.  (see Financial Aid)  Replacement diplomas are available also through the Registrar's Office.

Disability Services
 

As an academic advisor, it is not good practice to ask students if they have disabilities.  Sometimes, students will reveal that they have documented disabilities.  Sometimes their advising folders contain this information.  If the folder has information about a student disability, you may and are encouraged to ask the student to discuss any impact that the documented disability may have upon him or her and college-level work. For example, a student may sat that "I have to be careful about how many reading or writing intensive courses I take per quarter."  Very often, a student won't know the impact of course selection on work-load.  The advisor can help students understand the implications of courses with reading-intensive workloads.  In some cases, an advisor might say, "Would you like to discuss this with the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities?"  Or "Have you met with the Director of the Students with Disabilities Office?"  (Joan Loustalet, Counselor, LRC 210). 

PLEASE remember that advisors cannot require students to reveal anything about any disability!   Advisors cannot require students to meet with Joan Loustalet or any other Oregon Tech personnel related to disability services.  That is for the student to decide.  The Students with Disabilities Office is here to ensure that all students with disabilities can freely and actively participate in all facets of university life, to coordinate support services and   programs that enable students with disabilities to reach their educational potential, and to increase the level of awareness among all members of the university community so that students with disabilities are able to perform at a level limited only by their abilities, not their disabilities. Oregon Tech has a full-time director who serves as a facilitator and advocate for students with disabilities (learning, attentional, physical, or psychological).  Students who identify themselves as having a disability and provide documentation of the disability are assisted in finding the academic help or assistance they need.  The office refers and coordinates work with other on-campus center including the Center for Learning and Teaching (CFLAT), Counseling and Testing, the Health Center, Campus Dining, and Financial Aid, the Registrar, and academic advisors. Oregon Tech's Office for Students with Disabilities can also connect students with state of regional support agencies.

 

CFLAT helps with the following:
  Tutoring  Computer labs  Test proctoring
  Advance Registration and Orientation Accommodations for disabled students  Advisor training 
  Academic success classes First year learning communities Low-distraction testing
  Academic specialist in Advising includes intervention with at risk students   

 

Discrimination Complaints
  The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities also serves to help students resolve any difficulties related to perceived discrimination.  Contact Joan Loustalet at 5-1031 or in LRC    210 for help with any questions related to faculty or student discrimination.
Distance Education Courses (see also Web Courses)
  A variety of courses are offered each term through the web.  Advisors are encouraged to explore these offerings with advisees though there are additional costs.
Diversity Issues, Relational Aspects (advisor advice)
 

Diverse populations require certain skills on the part of academic advisors.  Each population has its own distinctive characteristics.  Some advising techniques work particularly well for      diverse populations.  The following chart guides advisors in adapting techniques to populations of advisees (McGillin, V. (1996), Dean for Advising, Wheaton College, Norton, MA, qtd. in NACADA, p. 187).

 

 

Characteristics Important to Advisors

Advising Techniques

Ethnic Minorities

Increasing percentages enrolling in colleges

Often with low self-concept; few positive expectations

Academic performance related to satisfaction with college

Achievement appears to be a preparation problem, not a racial problem

Lack of role models on campus causes concern

Make efforts to enhance college-student fit

Encourage campus involvement

Suggest campus resources when needed

Encourage positive self-concept

Avoid stereotypical attitudes and expectations

Suggest academic experiences that can prove successful, especially at first

Acknowledge importance of role models

Academically Under-prepared

Increasing participation in college

Often dependent learners with low self-concept

Many are deficient in basic skills

Need to experience academic success

Hesitate to seek support services they need

Establish trusting relationship

Begin with intrusive advising techniques

Discuss purposes of college early in the relationship

Encourage basic skill development first

Recommend intervention programs and campus resources needed

Career counseling

Students with Disabilities

Increasing participation in college

One or more major life activity limited

Prefer to see selves as "able" rather than "disable"

Express need for removal of barriers to full participation

Need support from peer and others

Understand student abilities and barriers faced

Display positive attitudes about integration of students into college community

Encourage full participation in college

Recommend support services when needed

Act as an advocate for special and campus resources

Student Athletes

Some may be under-prepared academically

Many have unrealistic career goals

Academically stressed by schedules and work load related to sport

Some must comply with external and team regulations (See Athletic student advisor)

Begin support services with entering freshmen

Be aware of constraints of participation in athletics

Establish academic support and intervention systems

Teach problem solving and basic decision-making skills

Encourage academic commitment that is equal to athletic commitment

International Students

Increasing numbers are traditional age

Most from Third World countries

Academic and career concerns primary

Need practical experience in career areas

Concerns are language difficulties, financial problems, and selecting relevant programs

Non-Western students see instructors in different ways, including as revered authorities

Be prepared to translate collegiate and U.S. culture(s)

Be familiar with student's academic preparation

Focus on designing academic plans that are relevant to home country of student

Encourage open view of U.S. lifestyles  Encourage involvement in college community and International Club at Oregon Tech

Students in Transition including undecided, changing majors, transfer, returning students

Indecisiveness;

Insecure; low self-image, perhaps

Successful transfer critical to minority populations

Transfer students require specific, focused, and targeted advising to aid in adjustment to new requirements

Period of transition; adjustment; re-orientation to college environment

Review Oregon Tech requirements, transfer evaluation carefully

Undecided majors need interest, career inventories (career services)  Returning students might contact TOP, counseling to make sure they are adjusted to new setting; Clarification of life goals; develop educational plans; increased student awareness of educational resources available

Development of decision-making skills

 

E

Early-warning
 

Oregon Tech currently has no mid-term or early warning system to help advisors know if advisees are struggling in one, two, or all of their classes.  (As of spring, 2007, a new system is being developed through CFLAT).  It is always possible (and recommended) that advisors ask professors about student progress at about mid-term.  Some professors will let advisors know if advisees are struggling in classes, but this is not required.

The Tech Opportunities Program (TOP) issues mid-term report requests which all Oregon Tech faculty members are urged to complete and send back to TOP.  The TOP office also notifies     academic advisors of student progress or difficulties.  It is in Oregon Tech's best interest that academic advisors determine which students are at risk to fail.  This can be caused by low grades on assignments, lack of attendance, or other evidence of lack of engagement in the course(s).

Advisors and faculty are strongly encouraged to respond to TOP's mid-term assessment reports, and investigate, around mid-term, into their advisees success and progress. Mid-term checks are entirely voluntary, but they can provide students and advisors with feedback they need to gauge progress, reflect on goals and strategies, and readjust accordingly.

Academic advisors are considered the primary resource for students who are struggling.The Center for Learning and Teaching can be notified and then can find tutors for and work with students in academic distress. The Office of Counseling also works with students in this area and will help students set up plans of action.

Electives, General Education
 

All programs require electives.  Advisors are encouraged to discuss with students which electives may best "serve" the student's educational and professional plans.  Electives are chosen based on student interest, student educational "gaps," and program needs.  Coordinating the selection of general education electives enriches a student's college education in immeasurable ways.  Students may "choose" from a variety of courses within each elective category.  See below and refer to Oregon Tech's General Catalog for course options in each category:

Arts and Letters/Humanities Electives:  English, Humanities, Speech, Journalism, Philosophy, Foreign Language, only 2nd year accepted in this category           

Art/Music-no more than 3 credits of activity or performance-based courses may be used in this category (i.e., ART 220, Basic Drawing, ART 225, Basic Photography or ART 207, Watercolors or Digital Photography; MUS 195, Band; MUS 197, Chorus).

COM 205 and COM 320 are the only Communication courses accepted in this category.

Business Electives:  Any course listed in the General Catalog starting with the BUS prefix.

Communication Electives:  Student must choose from the following list of courses:

COM 205, COM 225, COM 320, COM 347, COM 411, COM 412, COM 413, SPE 321, WRI 123, WRI 214, WRI 227, WRI 321, WRI 322, WRI 323, WRI 327, WRI 328, WRI 350, WRI 410.  More information may be found under the "Communication" category in the     Baccalaureate General Education Requirements section in the General Catalog.

When a curriculum lists "Elective," the student may take any course that meets graduation requirements.  These are courses that are numbered 100 and above, with the exception of MATH 100 and WRI 115, MATH 100, and WRI 115, which are NOT counted towards graduation.  Transfer students will often need upper division electives.

Science/Mathematics Electives:  Biology, Physical Geography, Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Geology, GEOG 105, 115 can be used here; Math - MATH 20, 70, and 100 may not be used, and Physical Anthropology (ANTH 101).     

Engineering Technology: only ENGT 207

Social Science Electives:  Anthropology, Political Science, Economics (ECO 202 may not be used to satisfy BUS electives and Social science general education electives), Psychology, History, Sociology, Geography (except for GEOG 105 and GEOG 115, which may not be used to satisfy social science credits.)

Intercultural Studies-one course

Always check with the Oregon Tech General Catalog for specific information on elective courses

The Oregon Tech catalog should also be consulted for the most recent electives lists.  The number of courses required may be different if the student is transferring course from a college on a semester-based system.

Eligibility, Athletic
  The athletic eligibility rules are complex.  Students are urged to talk to their coach AND the Faculty Athletic representative to assure continued compliance with eligibility rules. In general, students must successfully complete 36 credits per year, maintain a 2.0 GPA or above and make satisfactory academic progress in the major.
Email-student
 

All new students are automatically assigned an email address and password upon registering for an Oregon Tech class.  All official university announcements concerning students are also communicated via this Oregon Tech email account.  It is imperative that students check their email account often, even if their primary personal account resides elsewhere.

To access the Oregon Tech email account, students need to open Internet Explorer and go to:  https://mail.oit.edu/

Student email usernames are usually in the format of firstname.lastname@oit.edu.  Oregon Tech usernames are sent to students' current email account.  Have students check the email account to find the message containing the Oregon Tech username.  Urge students to use Oregon Tech email frequently to communicate with professors and Oregon Tech's offices.  Both professors and advisors should make it a regular practice to   communicate with their students/advisors via email.

Student's default Oregon Tech password is: first initial, last initial, and the last four digits of the social security number.  Students change their passwords after logging in by clicking on Options in the lower left area of the screen and scrolling down the Password section.

If students have problems logging into email, they will need to call an ITS lab assistant at 541-885-1717 for assistance. Students can also stop by the Boivin Hall computer labs sometime during the first week of school or earlier if possible.  Oregon Tech uses Outlook 2003 as the email program.  Students use the web version of this program. Students may wish to access the online Microsoft Outlook tutorial if they are not familiar with this program.

English Composition Courses
  All students at Oregon Tech, unless they transfer the equivalent courses are required to take WRI 121, English Composition, first term, and WRI 122, English Composition, second term.  Most majors also require WRI 227, Technical Report Writing.  These courses teach skills vital to success in all majors as well as success in all careers.  WRI 121 focuses on narrative, descriptive, analytical, and research-based writing. WRI 122 focuses on critical thinking and writing, research-based writing, and the skills of college-level argumentative writing.  Composition courses at Oregon Tech are guided by the Curriculum Coordinator for Composition, who serves in the Communication Department.  The Communication Department oversees all course design and content of the English Composition courses at Oregon Tech.
Excessive Course Load
  Students are allowed to register for 21 credit hours (including audits) during an academic quarter without special permission.  Fifteen credits are the maximum for summer session.  Students wishing to register for an overload must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and receive special approval from the advisor and the Registrar.  Appeals may be considered for special circumstances.  The class schedule will provide associated tuition costs each term.

Any excessive course load (over 21 credits) must be reviewed by the academic advisor.  It is recommended that only the most dedicated students with skills that guarantee continued academic success be advised to take excessive course loads.

Externships
 

All four of the bachelor's degree programs in medical imaging culminate in a senior year of clinical practice at a medical center.  Each of the modalities has an externship coordinator.  This person should be consulted when discussing externships with students in Medical Imaging majors.  The 12-month externship is spent at the affiliate institution under the supervision of a clinical instructor.  Any externship/internship program requires certain skills and attitudes on the part of students.  The academic advisor can educate students in particular skills related to this important transition to professional life. 

Externships are also options for students in the Communication Studies and the Applied Psychology programs.  Other medical programs require externships of shorter duration.

Eye contact (see also Cultural Diversity) (advisor advice)
  Direct eye contact can be perceived as rude or aggressive by people in different cultures.  It can also be a way to determine intimacy.  All people in professional interpersonal relationships should be careful of eye contact and how it might be interpreted by different genders and by different cultures.  Excessive eye contact can imply intimacy, attention, and      influence.  Insufficient eye contact can show lack of interest, inattention, and mistrust.

 

F

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
 

FERPA should guide Advisors' interactions with students and the way advisors refer to and use student records.  All faculty members at Oregon Tech are required to attend FERPA training. Questions should be directed to the Registrar's office.  To help you review your own knowledge about this important legislation, here is a short quiz. Answers are provided at the end of each question.

Answer True or False (self-assessment)
  1. A student can call the Registrar's Office and receive information about his or her GPA via the phone. (False, generally a student must appear in person with a picture I.D. or send a written request for information. The issue which exists is the possibility of releasing information to someone other than the student.)
  2. A student with a financial aid hold on his or her transcript still has the right to view his or her transcript in the Registrar's Office.  (True, the student always has the right to inspect records; however, there are some limitations.  These limitations include records containing information about other students.)
  3. An instructor can list grades by copying the final grade report and blocking the names so that only the student numbers show.  (False, the information is still personally identifiable by the fact that it is alphabetically ordered.  Even student numbers randomly assigned by the university should not be used.)
  4. Unless notified otherwise, the institution considers all students under age twenty-one as dependent on their parent(s) for release of information purposes.  (False. Information for all students in post-secondary education is considered confidential unless the student gives written permission to release information.)
  5. If a student has not restricted directory information, anyone can call and find out what the student's major is. (True, the student's major is one of the directory information elements.)
  6. If a student has not restricted directory information, anyone can call and find out the student's total credit information. (False, total credits is not considered directory information.)
  7. Institution officials with a legitimate educational interest can view educational records about a student without notifying the student. (True, "school officials," with a "legitimate educational interest" can gain information about a student without consent of the student (e.g., a professor and a department chair can discuss a student's grades.)
  8. The parent listed on the permanent address system of a student under twenty-one years of age can obtain the same educational information that the student can. (False, information can be released only with the student's written permission. The parent must also provide a written request, just as the student would need to provide.)
  9. The Institution must comply with a lawfully issued subpoena after a reasonable effort  is made to notify the student of intent to comply.  (True, any questions about subpoenas should be referred to the Registrar's Office) (adapted from the University of N. Carolina's The Advisor's Advisor, Spring, 1994, vol. IX, qtd. in NACADA, p. 182)
Feedback, Characteristics of effective (advisor advice)
 

Advisors provide advisees with many different kinds of feedback.  Advisors can help student advisees develop their own sense of themselves and develop advanced decision-making skills by focusing on the kinds of feedback they provide.  Here are some characteristics of effective feedback.

1. It is specific rather than general.

2. It is focused on behavior rather than on the person.  It is important that we relate to what a person does rather than to what we think or imagine the person is.

3.  It takes into account the needs of the receiver of the feedback.  Feedback can be destructive when it serves only our own needs and fails to onsider the needs of the person on the receiving end.

4.  It is directed toward behavior which the receiver can do something about.  Frustration is only increased when a person is reminded of some short-comings over which he or she has        no control.

5.  It is solicited, rather than imposed.  Feedback is most helpful when the receiver himself has formulated the kind of question which those observing him can answer or when he actively seeks feedback.

6.   It involves sharing of information rather than giving advice.  By sharing information, one leaves an individual free to decide for himself in accordance with his own goals, needs, etc.

7.  It is well-timed. In general, immediate feedback is most useful depending, of course, on the person's readiness to hear it.

8.  It involves the amount of information the receiver can use rather than the amount one would like to give.  To overload a person with feedback is to reduce the possibility that she may be able to use what she received effectively.  (NACADA, p. 179, adapted from "Responsible Feedback" in Guidelines for Peace Corps Cross-Cultural Training. 1970. Albert R. Wight and Mary Anne Hammond, ed.) 

Advisors are uniquely situated to provide feedback on advisees' academic career, performance, and goals.

Financial Aid
  For questions related to a student's financial aid, advisors are encouraged to contact Oregon Tech's Financial Aid Office, College Union, 5-1280, dollars@oit.edu
First-Year Seminars (ACAD)
  ACAD courses at Oregon Tech are designed to help develop student skills and knowledge in a variety of areas.  These courses are offered by the Center for Learning and Teaching.  Currently, ACAD courses include ACAD 101 Student Success Seminar; ACAD 105 Achieving Academic Success; ACAD 107  Seminar; ACAD 115  Career Exploration; ACAD 120  Stress Management; ACAD 135  Reading Tutor; ACAD 207  Seminar.
First-Year Student Advising (advisor advice)
  Each year's students require specific strategies for effective advising. Virginia Gordon, Wesley Habley and Associates recommend the following strategies for Freshman advising:

Freshman students need specific help with academic planning and with the terminology and structure of higher education.  Many are both unsophisticated and unaware of the variety of resources available to them.  They are also initially willing to place great trust in their advisors, a trust that warrants quality programs and services and very carefully checked information.  Freshmen expect the academic advising relationship to be characterized by caring and competence: advisors should expect to be available, knowledgeable, and accurate (Gardner, 1995). 

The freshman year is especially important to process of persistence; students are more prone to drop out of college during the first year and before the beginning of the second (Tinto, 1993).   

In preparation to advise freshman, an advisor might:

Consider how and when resources of the institution are marshaled to address the needs of entering students and whether the advising goals are the same for both the student and the institution.  Advisors should also acquaint themselves with the features of college freshman, their expectations, aspirations, and needs. Try to see the academic system from the     perspective of the new student.  Oregon Tech has information on its new students via data from CIRP.

Most freshmen enter college with "pat, superficial, pseudo-plans" (Gordon and Habley, p.99). 

Freshmen are quite vulnerable to changes in their academic plans or any sense of failure or difficulty.   Nearly half of all students who enter four-year colleges & universities never graduate from the institution they enter as freshmen.  Close to 60% of students who drop out do so after their first year (Gordon and Habley, p. 99).  57% of first-year students change majors in their first year.

Be prepared for readjustments in major plans, goals, and career direction.

Students need to learn to adjust class schedules after the first term, fit in study times with class and work schedule, understand their major and university requirements including general education, and understand credit hours; financial aid; pre-requisites, etc.

Advisors should make sure first-year students understand
Academic warning and probation Changing majors
Challenging classes Study abroad options (if that is an interest)
Time management Study skills and habits
Graduation plan (petition for graduation) Interest inventories
How to assess own abilities, strengths and weaknesses
How to explore major/career options
Responsibility for own progress
Importance of associating with professors outside of class and asking for help

 

Key concepts:
  Goals and Commitments
  University Expectations
  Orient them to the college community
  Outline career requirements

 

(Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Handbook (Gordon, Virginia N. and Wesley R. Habley; NACADA, Jossey-Bass, 2000)

Five C's of Student Concerns (academic advice)
 

Students often ask many questions.  Many of these questions center on five key topics.  The topics have been identified by Edward ("Chip") Anderson, among others. 

Course Selection:  Which courses?  When?  Why?

Connection:  Becoming part of campus, academic, and social community

Confusion:  What is expected? What is normal? What's happening to me? Why is college so difficult?

Confidence:  Overcoming self-doubt; regaining optimism

Career Selection:  Which careers will fit and fulfill me?  What factors need to be considered?

Foreign Language requirements (Oregon Tech)
  Students who graduated from high school in 1997 or after, who did not complete two years of a foreign language in high school, MUST complete two terms of college-level foreign language OR second language in order to receive an Oregon Tech degree.

 

G

GED
  The scoring system for the GED was reworked in 2002.  For 2002 examinees, the GED composite mean is 500, with a standard deviation of 100.  (This means about 2/3s of students fall between the score of 400 and a score of 600.)  For examinees tested prior to 2002, the GED composite mean was 50 with a standard deviation of 10.  These students need very careful advising.
General Education Requirements
 

All Oregon Tech programs, regardless of specialty, prepare students for roles as employees, citizens, and well-educated adults through required and elective general education courses.  These courses are organized within a curriculum so that students acquire knowledge, abilities, and appreciation as integrated elements of a four-year college experience.  These requirements and the opportunities for choice they provide allow the advisor a unique opportunity to discuss the value of broad general education with advisees and explain the value and importance of general education.

Communication requirement
    18 credits required
    SPE 111, WRI 121, WRI 122, required for all students
    WRI 115 not accepted for graduation
    Communication "elective" must come from catalog list

Business/industrial management requirement-often identified in major curricula
    9 credits required for grads using 2002-2003 catalog or earlier catalogs.
    Must have BUS or IMGT prefix
    ACC and MIS prefixes are not accepted in this general education category
    May use ECO 202 if NOT used for Social Science requirement

Humanities requirement
    9 credits required

No more than 3 credits of activity or performance-based courses may be used (e.g., watercolor painting, photography)
    Generally liberal transfer policy
    Only second year languages count

Math/Science/Social Science requirement
    36 credits in math/science OR
    45 credits in math/science/social science

Student with advanced math placement may make up credits with any electives

Science/Math requirement
    One college-level math course for which at least intermediate algebra (MATH 100 at Oregon Tech) is a prerequisite
    MATH 105 and MATH 111 meet this requirement
    MATH 100 may not be used on the graduation petition
    Elective credit ONLY for non-lab transfer (science) courses

Social Science requirement
    12 credits required
    Generally liberal transfer policy
    May use ECO 202 if not used for Business requirement or elective

Check transfer-(HIST is considered a Social Science at Oregon Tech and might be considered a Humanities category at other colleges)

Upper Division Requirement
    60 credits at 300/400-level courses required
    From baccalaureate-granting institution (not comm. colleges)
    Lower division substitutions NOT accepted
    Lower division transfer courses NOT accepted

See Oregon Tech's General Catalog for further information on the General Education requirements.  Advisees should receive some counseling about the value of general education to a four-year state university degree.  These courses create a broadly educated individual and prevent narrow specialization too early in the university career.  Some discussion about the value of general education will help advisees appreciate all general education courses.  Also, the communication requirements, which may seem heavy to some undergraduates at first, are universally praised by employers of Oregon Tech graduates as vital in preparing students for a wide range of careers.

Grade Point Average
  Students often ask about how GPA is calculated.  The General Catalog explains how GPA is calculated, and this is often very enlightening to students.  Academic advisors might wish to discuss the implications of low grades, however.  Students should practice calculating GPA at some point early in their academic career at Oregon Tech.  It dramatically illustrates how important final grades can be in maintaining scholarships, financial aid, and in achieving academic honors.
Grades, Understanding a Transcript
  Transcripts from other universities are best interpreted by the Registrar's Office.  If a student has received a transfer evaluation from the Registrar's Office, the advisor should carefully review how transfer credits have been used for Oregon Tech credit.
Graduation Requirements
  As students approach graduation, advisors might make sure all graduation requirements have been met.  Graduation requires 45 credits of residency; 60 Upper division credits; multiple majors and concurrent degree options; Petitions due TWO TERMS before graduation date; Estimated grades for grads submitted two weeks prior to Commencement

 

H

Honors
  Special Recognition
Each spring, a number of Oregon Tech graduates are selected for membership in national honor    societies.  It is helpful to explain this to students at all levels of work at Oregon Tech.   Honor-society members are identified by distinctive honor cords worn over the shoulder at Commencement.

Alpha Chi, which selects members from baccalaureate programs, identifies its honor-society grads with a white cord.  Advisors are urged to explore requirements via the honor society's      website.  Tau Alpha Pi, which selects members from the sophomore, junior, and senior     classes of engineering-technology majors, identifies its grads with a crimson cord.  Lambda Phi Eta selects from juniors and seniors in Communication Studies and identifies grads with a gold cord.  Lambda Nu selects from juniors and seniors in Medical Imaging and identifies honor grads with a green, gold, and maroon cord.  Finally, Sigma Theta Tau, who wear gold and maroon cords, includes Nursing students in the top third of the graduating class.

Advisors should explain the role of honor societies in a student's college career and how membership in these societies can provide scholarship and other opportunities. 

Honors, Graduation with
 

Honors are based on the Oregon Tech GPA only, not Oregon Tech GPA plus transfer courses used for the Oregon Tech degree.  Students must have a minimum of 75 Oregon Tech credits to qualify for honors. Exceptions to this policy are students in Degree Completion (Portland and on-line) programs.  At each Commencement, Oregon Tech recognizes academically outstanding students who will receive their bachelor's degree with academic honors. This honor is based on all Oregon Tech courses. Academic honors are based on the following criteria:

    Cum Laude-graduation with honors-3.50-3.74 GPA
    Magna Cum Laude-graduation with high honors-3.75-3.89 GPA
    Summa Cum Laude-graduation with highest honors-3.90-4.00 GPA

Honors recognized at the graduation ceremony do not include grades from the term immediately preceding Commencement.  After final grades are posted, the honors standing of some students may change.  These students will be notified.  A student's final honors standing will be posted on the official transcript.

 

I

Importance of Good Advising (advisor advice)
 

Tinto on college retention:  "The research in this regard is quite clear, namely that the frequency and perceived worth of interaction with faculty, especially outside the classroom, is the single strongest predictor of student voluntary departure."

Dr. Alexander Astin, et al on Retention:  "Frequent contact with faculty outside the classroom appears to be one of the most important forms of interaction that has an impact on the retention process."

Advising items most often discussed at Oregon Tech, according to ACT survey, (2001)

Scheduling/registration 77%
Academic progress 64%
Dropping/Adding classes 57%
Graduation requirements 51%

Precipitous drop to other subjects
Life/career goals (skills, abilities) 23%
Academic difficulties 23%
Changing majors 20%
Finding job after college 20%

At the bottom, rarely discussed by advisors
Personal problems 13%
Improving study skills/habits 13%
Campus employment 12%
Remedial/tutor assistance 11%
Withdrawing/transferring 07%

Noel-Levitz on retention:  Fifty percent of students who did not have a significant contact with faculty or staff in the first three weeks of school dropped out.

Incompletes
 

When the quality of a student's work is satisfactory, but some essential requirement of the course has not been completed for reasons acceptable to the instructor, a grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned and additional time granted for completion.  The instructor is responsible for submitting an "I" grade and completing the Request for Incomplete form and submitting it to the Registrar's Office.  This form can be completed on-line when final grades are submitted. 

An "I" grade must be removed by the end of the next quarter (summer session not included).  An "I" may be extended only under the most extenuating circumstances and then only for one additional quarter.  If an "I" is not removed within the allotted time, the "I" then reverts to the alternate grade assigned by the instructor on the incomplete form.

Incompletes received in the anticipated term of graduation must be finished and the grades recorded in the Registrar's Office within three weeks after the end of the final term.  Otherwise the diploma will be delayed until the term during which all degree requirements are met.

It is a good idea for the academic advisors of graduating seniors to take special note of a student's progress toward the degree.  

Advisor Tip:

Incomplete grade is inappropriate when
  The student is failing
  The majority of the course has not been completed
  The student has stopped attending class
  Graduating students must complete course within three weeks of graduation
  An incomplete form must be completed (Web for Faculty, final grade report)

 

Intercultural Studies (General Education Requirement)
 

Students are encouraged to select at least one class from the following list of intercultural courses.  These satisfy general education requirements in their appropriate category:

Humanities:
  COM 205, Intercultural Communication  (must be used as COM credit OR HUM credit, not both)
  COM 320, Advanced Intercultural Communication
  ENG 281, Contemporary World Literature
  SPAN 201, 202, 203

 

Social Science:
  ANTH 103, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  GEOG 106, Cultural Geography I
  GEOG 107, Cultural Geography II
  HIST 342, Modern Asia
International programs/study abroad
  Advisors at Oregon Tech are encouraged to inform students of the opportunities available for international exchanges. Information is posted on a wall display in the LRC, second floor.

 

J

Junior Advising
 

Students are expected to stabilize their academic course of study and goals in the junior year.  Students acquire background, master advanced study, enhance thinking skills to perform at a higher level than previously, pursue career information, and formalize relationships with faculty and other groups on campus.  Often, the junior year involves complex projects and the beginnings of research in collaboration with faculty members, clarifying and gaining confidence in both academic and career goals.  The third year of college has been labeled the year of "mastery and commitment" (see Kramer, Taylor, Chynoweth, and Jensen, 1987).

Advisors: Focus on providing supportive environment in which students are asked to evaluate their own academic progress, recognize academic accomplishments, establish vital contacts with Oregon Tech university personnel and begin to think of career contacts and/or graduate study.

Often conference attendance and contacts with the larger professional world will develop in the junior year.

 

Based on advanced course work, advisees begin to understand more clearly the structure of their professional field.  This topic might be of great interest in advising sessions as advisees plan their academic schedule and discuss future plans.

Become acquainted with faculty members in major fields and discuss letters of recommendations and career possibilities. 
Clarify career goals and test career choice.  Summer internships, etc.
Achieve intellectual competence in chosen field and confidence in professional ability.

If students are considering graduate school, they should begin this exploration.

Key Concepts
  Intellectual and social integration and maturity
  University Culture at a more involved level (student professional organization;
  Professional conferences; university tutoring, services, etc.)
  Adjustments for the Career

 

K

L

Laboratory Science Requirements
  The General Education requirements at Oregon Tech include one laboratory science (one term).
Legal Issues in Advising
 

The university relationship with students is contractual, and academic advisors are considered spokespeople for the university.  Advisors' statements are legally binding. Avoid making claims like "you can get a good job with this degree."  Be sure to publicly announce changes in major programs and university policies.  Note that departmental handbooks, recruiting brochures, etc. are considered to be legally binding.

Talking about student grades with other faculty, or mentioning grades in a recommendation letter, is a breach of confidentiality.  Student records are protected by FERPA, and students (unless they are dependent minors) must sign a waiver for     release of academic records to anyone, including parents.  The exception to this rule is a "need to know," which would

Include academic advisors, financial aid offices, and other university personnel.

Slander, bias, and harassment are grounds for suit; avoid making comments that could be misinterpreted.

Faculty members who have different roles (e.g., advisor, instructor, administrator) may find these roles in conflict.  Refer students to other offices if you find yourself in a conflict of interest and consult with colleagues/persons of authority for clarification.

Clearly inform students of the chain of command to voice complaints, concerns, etc. and their due process rights.  Oregon Tech has policies to guide grievances.  Review these with students.

Academic advisors have a "duty to warn" others if an advisee threatens harm to others or self.  This is an acceptable "breach" of confidentiality.

Advisors have an obligation to report overt signs of abuse to the proper authorities if their advisees appear to be victims of violence.

Listening and hearing-for tips on Listening skills, see Appendix H

 

M

Mathematics Courses, Placement
  New Oregon Tech students need to take the Math Placement Exam during Registration unless they have already completed a math placement exam at Oregon Tech; if they start their Oregon Tech Math sequence at Math 252 or higher; if they recently placement tested into Math 100 or lower on the KCC placement test; or if the student has already completed the math requirement for the major.

If the student is transferring to Oregon Tech, he or she might want to take the Math placement exam.  Other colleges Math 100 courses, for example, do not sequence well with Oregon Tech's Math 111. The grading standards of other colleges' Math 100 courses may not have     assured the     student an appropriate degree of Math competency, or the student may have forgotten key concepts.  In any of these cases, the student would be unprepared for Math 111.

Medical withdrawal
  Students requesting a medical withdrawal based on physical or mental-health conditions should consult with the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Dean of Students.  For more information, refer to Oregon Tech's Student Handbook.
Mental Health issues
  If advisors have any fears that advisees need mental health consultations, refer them to the Counseling center, at 5-1015.

 

N

New Advisors
  See the introduction of this guide, as well as the appendix, for suggestions for the first advising interview.  It is important that all new advisors attend Advisor Training held each winter term and sponsored by the Center for Learning and Teaching.  In addition, CFLAT has several training aides for advisors to use including tapes by NACADA.
Non-standard Grading
  Grading is Pass (P)/NoPass (NP) for non-standard grading (not Pass/Withdraw). This option can be used only for Seminars, Co-ops, and courses that do not carry graduation credit.

O

Oregon Transfer Module
  The OTM provides a one-year curriculum for students who plan to transfer to a state of Oregon Community College or University. The courses included in the module are general education foundation courses. If a student achieves an OTM it is noted in the comments on the student's transcript. All Oregon Community Colleges and Universities offer the OTM.

P

Pass-Fail grades (Non-Standard grading)
Seminars, externship classes, co-op courses and courses that do not carry graduation credit may be graded on the pass (P)/no pass (NP) basis at the discretion of the instructor. Sudents must request this.
Personal Identification Numbers (PINs)
  Advisors have access to advisees' pin numbers via Web for Faculty, Advisor tab.
Placement Frequencies
 

An overview of recent placement frequencies of incoming Oregon Tech may help advisors put placement scores in perspective.  These placement frequencies are updated by the Office of Institutional Research.

Math placement scores, 2005 Reading placement scores, 2005
  Math 20 07%   Reading 99A 09%
  Math 70 (Elem. Alg.) 19%   Reading 99B 27%
  Math 100 (Intermed. Alg.) 52%   Plan Schedule with Care 35%
  Math 111 (College Alg.) 14%   Ready for College Level 28%
  Math 112 (Trig.) 06%
Placement Test Scores (accessing)
  When new student registration (ROAD) is being conducted, students' placement testing  results will typically be available to advisors on the Student Assessment Report. New students will also have a testing information form on which testing staff members have recorded testing results.

Please consult publications from Counseling and Testing for specific information about    placement scores.

Advisors can and should access testing scores via Web for Faculty.
  1.  Once logged in, click on "student" on the yellow bar. 
  2.  Select student name or enter identification number; click on "submit."
  3.  Click on "student status" on the yellow bar.
  4.  Scroll down to view Test Scores.

Advisors may encounter many abbreviations when interpreting placement scores.   

If you are unable to access or interpret students' scores according to the above instructions, contact Admissions (5-1150) for assistance.

Placement Testing
  Placement tests help advisors lay the groundwork for a student's successful Oregon Tech career; provide a positive "moment of truth" or self-assessment for students; help register students into classes; and help advisors form a positive relationship with each student. Placement tests often provide the topic of the opening discussion advisors have with advisees.

Placement test scores are designed to do the following:

  • accurately and comprehensively assess each student's needs and provide connections to resources which will help students.
  • provide students with accurate feedback about their readiness for college and/or specific courses/curricula
  • influence students away from enrolling in courses which are not consistent with the students' abilities.

Placement tests provide one piece of the puzzle of placing new students into appropriate courses. They are both reliable and valid, to a point.

When an advisor thinks that placement scores may not be accurate for an advisee, he or she can:
  Recommend re-testing
  Consult with math or other faculty member (since exceptions are possible).

 

Topics related to Placement Tests that advisors might find helpful:
  Predictors of Bachelor of Science degree Graduation at Oregon Tech:
  H.S. GPA of 3.0 or better and SAT Math of 500, Composite of 1000
   
  Math placement into MATH 100 or higher and First math grade of A, B, or C
   
  Predictors of Attrition at Oregon Tech:
  Entry based on GED score
  High School GPA below 3.0 or SAT below 1000 composite or 500 math
  Math Placement into 70 or lower
  First generation/low income

Certainty of major choice for Oregon Tech students:  Most entering students report being "very sure" of their major.  Depending on their placement test scores, this certainty may waver a bit in the first few weeks of the first term.  Advisors are urged to discuss this with advisees.

Hours planning to work:  About 36% of the incoming first-year students report plans to work between 11 and 30 hours per week.  Planned study time and how it fits into a work schedule obviously influences a student's chances for success at Oregon Tech.

Hours planning to study:  About 25% of entering first-year students plan to study between 10 and 12 hours per week.  This is a gross under-estimation of how much studying most of them will actually have to do.  Between 20 and 25% of the entering first-year Oregon Tech students report planning to study between 7 and 9 hours per week.

Since most students register for four or five courses, and most courses still require an hour outside class for every credit hour of course work, this would require, on average, fifteen hours a week of studying.  Only about 10% of entering first-year students report planning to study that much.  Plans for study time might be a good topic for Advisors to discuss with advisees.

Financial need at Oregon Tech
75% of entering students apply for financial aid, and 67% are awarded aid (highest in OUS system; system average is 51%)
44% are Pell-eligible-indication of low-income group
36% awarded Pell grants (compared to 20% in Oregon; 24% in US)

Social Support
64% of Oregon Tech students are first-generation (neither parent graduated with bachelor's degree)

Most students report comfort in using word processing and the internet.

Over 50% of incoming students say that they are "somewhat" confident in their study skills. A little over 30% say they are very confident about their study skills, 11% say they are unsure about their study skills, and about 5% say they are sure they will need help.

Advisors must review the Testing Placement Form and on this will be highlighted the test results for all incoming students.  On the back is the exception to Placement testing results, and this is used only when students score within two points of the placement test cut-off for courses.

President's List
  This is applicable to full-time students only.  Each quarter, students with a GPA of 3.70 or better are included on the President's List.  Dean's List requires a GPA of between 3.30 and 3.69.
Pre-year
  Pre-year enrollment is open to all students who meet the general entry requirements to Oregon Tech.  Students in these programs are listed as pre-major students.  The pre-year is a part of the requirements in the following programs: MIT, Dental, Nursing, CLS.

 

Q

Questions, types of
  Advisors might employ different types of questioning techniques to elicit information from advisees.

1. Closed questions:
  Used to obtain specific facts
  Best to begin conversations with these types of questions
  Helps advisees to enter the conversation
  Can be used to direct conversation to specific areas
 
2. Involvement Questions
  Draws advisees more actively into the discussion
  Can be used to get advisees to elaborate on goals, needs, wants, and problems. Allows advisees to discover things on their own
   
3. Clarifying Questions
  Invites advisees to expand or clarify an idea previously expressed
  Provides feedback of your understanding of what you thought advisees meant. Helps uncover what is really on your advisees' minds.
   
4. Continuing (Key Word) Questions
  Ask your advisee for a more detailed explanation of what they were saying. (NACADA, p. 171)

R

Reading Placement
 

Students do not need to take the Reading Assessment during registration if they have completed a reading assessment exam at Oregon Tech; or if they are transferring with 36 or more college credits; or if they can provide Oregon Tech with results of a recent reading placement test taken at Klamath Community College.

Reading placement scores can help advisors recommend course sequencing and loading. If the reading placement test recommends "Plan schedule with care," it means that the student will struggle with courses with heavy reading requirements.

Referrals (advisor advice)
 

Academic advising is a process that involves the entire Oregon Tech campus.  A key element of informed advising is helping students discover and access the wide array of resources and support services available on your campus?  The advisor is a resource person who can direct students to the campus experts-and not someone who has all the right answers. Many students have difficulty dealing with referrals.  Students think advisors are supposed to have the answers, and they feel they are being shuffled around when referred.  Part of the referral process is getting students to be comfortable operating on your campus.  Sending them off with a list of tasks to do and report back to you is an important part of their educational process.  Students have certain responsibilities. One is to get the best possible information so that they can make the best possible decisions. 

Referrals are important resources in helping students achieve their goals.  In order to use referrals for this purpose, it's important for advisors to know what is available on campus. Because the issues students must deal with are so complex, it's important to establish a process for referring students. That includes your best judgment about when or when not to refer students to other sources of help.

Advisors will not feel comfortable or competent to deal with some student issues that arise.  At this point referrals become necessary.  Sometimes advisors need to contact the referral source directly and facilitate the student's use of that resource.  Follow-up is critical in the referral process. At the end of the session, schedule an appointment for a return visit.  The referral and what is to be accomplished in that session sets the agenda for the your next session with the student.  Follow-up communicates to the student that the referral is important.

As advisors, we depend on faculty and staff in other departments to help serve advisees at Oregon Tech.  But we also know the frustration of trying to help students make effective contacts with other departments and failing.  Here are some tips from NACADA for making effective referrals.

1.   Inform yourself of campus resources thoroughly.  Academic advisor training should have guided you in this area, but review and updates are important, too. Pay particular attention to the names of contact people and the "chain of command" in certain important offices. 

2.   Keep a list of names, offices, and telephone numbers at hand.

3.   When talking with students, pay particular attention to their expressed and implied needs.  Often students won't ask to be referred for help, but they very much need referral.  For example, they may express anxiety about financial affairs without asking for assistance; a referral to Financial Aid or student employment may be called for if you probe further.

4.   Do your best to find the right referral.  Students may sometimes focus concerns in an area that is less crucial to their needs than another.  For example, students may express anxiety about whether or not the registrar will let them withdraw from a class late in the term.  The appropriate referral, however, is to the instructor of the course, or financial aid to discuss implications of  such a withdrawal. 

5.   Students are often uneasy about following through with a referral.  Try to make them   comfortable with the idea, pointing out the friendliness, accessibility, and helpfulness of the people you are sending them to.  This task can be crucial in the case of faculty and upper-level administrative referees, since students often find these people intimidating.

6.   Try to keep the chain of referrals as simple as possible.  Often students will have to visit several offices to complete the referral.  Help students reduce the "run-around" by finding ways to eliminate steps.  Work out with students a proper sequence of steps, so that they don't have to backtrack to accomplish their ends.

7.  Help students draw up agendas for referrals.  Have them jot down (or jot down for them) crucial questions and procedures for getting the most of their visits with the people to whom you send them.  Make notes about referrals, indicating what the referral was intended to accomplish, so that you can refresh yourself for future interviews.

8.  Facilitate referrals by telephoning the parties to whom you are sending students while  those   students are with you.  Telephoning can be helpful in two ways: It can help you to be sure that you are sending students to the right people for help, and it can give you the opportunity to make an appointment for the students on the spot, which will dramatically improve the contact rate for referrals.  In fact, a good strategy for referrals is to make telephone calls and then hand the receiver to the student, encouraging him or her to set up the appointment.

9.   When you make referrals, jot down notes in your advising files that will remind you to ask students on their next visit about the results of their contacts. If students report that they haven't followed through, find out why not, and discuss the reasons with them. See if you should make a different referral, or if you need to become more involved in ensuring contact.  Don't take the process over from your students, however, since it is ultimately their responsibility to see that their needs are met.

10.  Check your records every so often to get a sense of the referrals you have made.  Student development is an ongoing process, and patterns of need and growth can be observed in the sequence of referrals you have made.  Need for further direction can often be discovered in the referrals you have already made. (Roundy, Jack. "Tips on Making Effective Referrals in Academic Advising,"  Academic Advising News, Vol. XIV, No. 2, April 1992, 2, 10, qtd.in NACADA, pp. 175-176).

Registrar's Office
  The Registrar's Office publishes the class schedule and registration instructions for each term on the Oregon Tech website. The Registrar's Office also processes class rosters for instructors and grades.  Personal information, class schedules and grades, as well as unofficial transcripts, are on Oregon Tech's Web for Student and also available in the Registrar's Office.
Re-instatement
  To re-enroll, after academic suspension, a student must complete the prescribed procedures and appeal to the Academic Progress and Petitions committee for reinstatement.  Students should contact the Registrar's Office for re-enrollment information.
Relational Skills (advisor advice)
 

Academic advisors establish an interpersonal relationship with their advisees, whether or not they believe they are good at establishing such relationships.  The following is a list of skills most commonly used to foster these kinds of relationships.  Advisors and advisees learn to develop these skills over the course of advising:

Non-verbal behavior-demonstrating, evoking, and analyzing
Questioning styles-adaptive and varied
Listening skills
Critical thinking-including problem-solving, analysis, isolating concepts, ideas, assumptions
Metalinguistics-analysis of tone, speech patterns
Self-disclosure
Paraphrasing
Respect for students' opinions
Cross-cultural awareness  (NACADA, p. 203)

Repeating a Course
  The following restrictions apply for course-repeat situations:

1.  Students may attempt the same course (for a "W" or a letter grade) a total of four times. (fifth enrollment referred to Academic Progress and Petitions Committee)

2.  Each withdrawal ("W") is considered an attempt.  Withdrawals, however, are not included in GPA calculations.

3.  The new grade earned replaces the previous grade(s) when computing GPA.  Only the first TWO earned grades will be excluded for GPA calculations.  The last grade earned          will be used on the petition to graduate.

4.  All grades and credits remain on the student's official transcript.

Students should always consult with financial-aid counselors to determine the financial eligibility for repeating courses.

 

Example:
  MATH 111: spring 2001 C
  MATH 111: summer 2001 B
  MATH 111: fall 2001 D (the D will count)

 

Advisor tip: Discuss repeating courses with students.  Check to make sure advisees understand that a record of all attempts will appear on transcripts though only the most recent (last time course is attempted) grade will be calculated in the student GPA. 

If repeating pre-requisite, the lower numbered course must be completed before the advanced course is attempted. 

At Oregon Tech, most appeals to AP and P are for permission to repeat math courses.
AP and P requires math placement test
MATH faculty on the Academic Progress and Petitions committee
AP and P often prescribes remediation strategies

Response Styles, Types of (advisor advice)
 

Understanding Response: An understanding response indicates the receiver's only intent is to ask the sender whether the receiver correctly understands what the sender is saying, how the sender feels about his/her problem, or how the sender sees the problem.

 

Result:
  The sender will expand on and expand ideas and feelings.
  Sender will achieve recognition of feels previously denied by self or others.
  Sender may move to express a new message with more meaning (testing for trust).
  Sender will feel he is being understood.

 

Evaluative Response:  An evaluative response indicates that the receiver has made a judgment of relative goodness, appropriateness, effectiveness, or rightness of the sender's problem.  The receiver has in some way implied what the sender might or ought to do.

Probing Response:  A probing response indicates the receiver's intent is to seek further information, provoke further discussion along a certain line, or question the sender. The receiver has in some way implied that the sender ought to or might profitably develop or discuss a point further.

Supportive Response:  A supportive response indicates the receiver's intent to reassure, pacify, or reduce the sender's intensity of feeling.  The receiver has in some way implied that the sender need not feel as he does.

Interpretive Response:  An interpretive response indicates the receiver's intent to teach, explain to the sender what his or her problem means, or to state how the sender really feels about the situation. The receiver adds his or her own frame of reference to the situation. (NACADA, p. 172)

Resources for Advising within a Diverse Academic Community (advisor advice)
 

When we speak of "diversity" at Oregon Institute of Technology, the first reaction may be that this is does not appear to be a very diverse campus. This is because the common perception of "diversity" is equated with obvious racial or ethnic differences.  But we are a very diverse community in the true sense of the word, and Oregon Tech's efforts at inclusion require awareness, responsiveness and personal responsibility on the part of all faculty, staff and students.   Oregon Tech students bring appreciable differences in socioeconomic status, geographic and demographic origins, age, gender differences within majors, life and educational experience, and sexual orientation, as well as the more obvious racial and national origin characteristics.

 

Several resources can assist faculty in understanding and responding to concerns that may seem to be unique to select individuals or groups in Oregon Tech's  campus community.  Many of your faculty and staff peers are active in diversity-oriented activities, organizations and committees; other groups and clubs are primarily student-driven; still others, perhaps the most effective, are "mutual efforts" of invested individuals. Following is a listing of on-campus resources where you can get information about services, activities, initiatives, support and further information to enhance the diversity and experience of our educational and workplace environment.  You are invited to get involved in our current and developing initiatives! 

Oregon Tech Diversity Center 

Office of Student Development, International Students and Student Activities

Jane Rider, Director    College Union   885-1389

Contact Zea Moulett (885-1036) for information about the following:

Women's Resource Center

Safe Zone Project  --  See the "Safe Zones" webpage under "Current Students - Student

Services" for valuable resources in supporting our Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered students)

The Oregon Tech webpage under "Current Students - Campus Life" has a listing of student clubs and organizations that can be a valuable resource in assisting students in developing a sense of social connection to the University.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action webpage under "Faculty and Staff - Administrative Offices" addresses relevant policies and grievance procedures.

The National Academic Advising Association has valuable resources for academic advisors.

Retention (and advising) (advisor advice)
 

Good advising can help improve a college or university's retention.  Students get clear answers and help with educational plans.  They can also rely on advisors to guide their educational journey.  Commonly, advisors may hear comments from students such as the following:

First year on campus:
  "I'm scared."
  "I feel like giving up."
  "Everything is so much harder than in high school."
  "I feel lost and confused."
  "I don't know where to go."
  "I don't understand what my professor wants."
  "I don't understand what I am supposed to do."
  "I didn't think college would be like this."
  "I don't understand the reading (or what my professor is saying)."

If an advisor hears any of these statements, some intervention will be required.

 

Other issues connect retention and advising.  Here are some common Retention Myths
  Students should make it on their own.
  Students already know how to be successful.
  Retention means lowering standards.
  Finances, work and/or family are sole reasons students leave college.
  Students who drop out are not academically prepared or are in academic trouble. Students come to Oregon Tech not intending to stay.

 

These myths are addressed in numerous documents both at Oregon Tech and from other sources. 

Student Satisfaction Inventory
Oregon Tech students rate academic advising as the most important category of items on the survey.
Only slightly more important than Instructional Effectiveness.

Oregon Tech students rate advising as more important than
  Registration effectiveness
  Recruitment and financial aid
  Safety and security

2006 Student Satisfaction Inventory (out of 7) Importance Satisfaction
  Academic Advising 6.31 5.36
  Instructional Effectiveness 6.25 5.17
 
  Individual items
  Academic advisor is approachable 6.42 5.49
  Academic advisor concerned about students as individuals 6.25 5.30
  A.A. "helps me set goals to work toward" 5.92 4.82
  A.A. "knows requirements in major" 6.57 5.72

When and why students leave
  Many students who leave decide to do so in their first four weeks.
  Fifty percent of students who did not have a significant contact with a faculty
  Or staff member in the first three weeks of college drop out (Noel Levitz)
ROAD (Registration, Opportunity, and Discovery-summer registration events)
  Registration for new students occurs in the summer and at the beginning of each term.  In addition to placement testing and meeting with academic advisors to plan an academic schedule, students have the opportunity to register for classes, get their academic schedule, set up Oregon Tech computer and e-mail accounts, purchase books and receive an Oregon Tech i.d. card and student number. Students are encouraged to attend ROAD in the summer, rather than waiting to register just prior to the beginning of the academic term. Details of orientation activities are sent to all incoming students.

 

S

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
 

The “old” SAT was administered through February 2005. The mean for the composite score was about 1000, with a range of 400-1600 and a standard deviation of 200. This version of the SAT had two sub-scores for the math and verbal sections. The mean for the math section was about 518, with the mean for the Verbal section about 508. The range for each section was 200 – 800 with a standard deviation of about 113 (111 for verbal, 115 for math). When interpreting scores for the “old” SAT, always consult national percentiles, which are listed on the student assessment report (SAR).

The new SAT was administered first in March 2005. The composite score for this exam range from 600 to 2400. the new SAT contains three subsections: math, critical reading similar in content to the verbal subtest of the “old” SAT), and a new writing test. The writing test includes both a multiple-choice and an essay component. The score range for each of he new subtests is from 200– 800. The score range for the essay is 2 – 12. For the new SAT, the SAR presents the composite score; the total scores for the math, critical reading and writing sections, and the essay sub-score.

Senior Advising
  During the senior year, students face the next transition. They have high expectations are to be considered sort of a “captive audience.” They are nearing the completion of their degree requirements and can develop learning experiences in and out of the classroom. The future graduate must plan a career and begin to think seriously of interviews; job search requirements; setting up placement files in the Career Services Office, and contacting prospective employers and/or graduate schools.

Seniors are likely to ask how all of the ideas and concepts they have been mastering fit together. Advisors can help with these sorts of questions. What is important about what they have done?

Advisors can help by engaging seniors in a self-assessment process. Reflective questions related to accomplishments and plans can be helpful and also help students focus with confidence on their achievements.

Four years of undergraduate work (or five years) should be capped by successful transitions into the world of work and professional life and graduate education. Advisors can help students in these important transitions by coordinating workshops on academic and career planning (see Oregon Tech Career Services), special interviews with the Director of Career Services, workshops with other graduating seniors and prospective employers.

Most important, perhaps, is a constant review and check on graduation requirements and academic standing. Increasingly, college graduates are older-than-average and may have different life goals than those graduating at a younger age or those having graduated from college in their early twenties. The realities of college education in the 21st century will influence how advisors discuss goals and plans with advisees.

 

Some possible topics for senior advisees:
  Letters of recommendation
  Understanding the profession
  Academic preparation and its connection to the workplace and/or graduate school
  Obtaining financial assistance; financial aid counseling as loan-pay-back begins
  Identifying intellectual and professional interests and contacts

 

Prepare resume; develop and practice interviewing skills; work with career services, pursue career possibilities and opportunities; discuss alumni responsibilities.

Key Concepts
  Choice and Clarification
  Crystallized Academic and Career Plans
  University expectations developed and changed
  Alumni organization contacts
  Career Search—Employer expectations
  Goal Attainment
  Graduate School exploration/possibility (prepare for LSAT, GRE, MCAT, GMAT)
  Graduate school search; recommendations
Senior Status
  A student is officially considered a senior when he or she achieves 135 credits. Transfer credits are included in determining student class rank. (freshman, 0 – 44; sophomore, 45 – 89; junior 90 – 134).
Skills in Advising (advisor advice)
 

Skills, Knowledge, and Attitudes required for Good Academic Advising (O’Banion, T. (1972). Academic Advising Model. AAJC Journal, March.)(ACT Survey of Academic Advising)

1. Exploration of Life Goals
  Knowledge of student characteristics and development
  Understanding the decision-making process
  Knowledge of psychology and sociology
  Skills in counseling techniques
  Appreciation of individual differences
  Belief in worth, dignity, and potential of all
 
2. Exploration of Vocational/Career Skills
  Knowledge of career related skills
  Skills in interpretation of tests, inventories, and other indicators of college work
  Understanding changing nature of work in society
  Acceptance of all fields of work and areas of study as worthy and dignified
 
3. Program Choice
  Knowledge of the programs available in the college (and respect for them)
  Knowledge of requirements to programs, e.g., special entrance requirements, fees, time, commitments
  Knowledge of university requirements for transfer programs
  Knowledge of how others have performed in the programs
 
4. Course Choice
  Knowledge of courses available and their content
  Knowledge of any special information regarding courses, e.g., pre-requisites, offered only at certain times/terms, transferability. Does the course meet graduation requirements? What is the appropriate sequence for the university?
  Rules and regulations of the university, scholastic probation, and enforced scholastic withdrawal, and limitations on courses and work load
  Knowledge of developmental courses and their content
  Knowledge of instructors and teaching styles
  Knowledge of student’s ability through test scores, high school record
 
5. Scheduling Courses
  Knowledge of schedule
  Knowledge of systems of scheduling and changing schedules
  One more area related to Academic Advising and not covered in O’Banion’s model is the following:
 
6. Exploration of Academic Development
  Knowledge of Critical thinking and its development in the college years
  Knowledge of how to help students assess their own thinking and expanding ways of knowing
  Knowledge of different learning styles and how these affect university students
  Knowledge of different problem-solving strategies related to academic content areas

 

The ACT Survey of Academic Advising lists these 36 topics or issues related to Advising and asks students to rate their advisors according to these issues. Impressions of Advisor…
  Knows who I am Allows sufficient time to discuss issues
  Is a good listener Is willing to discuss personal problems
  Expresses interest in me Anticipates my needs as a student
  Respects my opinions and feelings Helps select courses that fit my abilities
  Is available when I need assistance Helps me examine my needs and interests
  Provides a caring, open atmosphere Is familiar with my academic background
  Checks to make sure we both understand Encourages me to talk about myself
  Respects my right to make decisions Encourages my interest in my discipline
  Provides me with accurate information Encourages involvement in extra-curr. act.
  Keeps me informed on requirement changes Helps me explore careers
  Refers me to other sources Is knowledgeable about courses outside maj.
  Encourages my assumption of an active role Seems to enjoy advising
  Accepts constructive feedback Is approachable and easy to talk to
  Encourages me to achieve my educational goals Shows concern for my development
  Helps me identify obstacles Keeps personal information confidential
  Takes the initiative in arranging meetings Is flexible in planning my program
  Is on time for appointments with me Has a sense of humor
  Clearly defines responsibilities Is effective…I would recommend him/her

 

Sophomore Advising
 

A year of reflection: Students often need assistance in their sophomore year, but often they find little outreach designed specifically for their needs.

Academic advisors can help in a number of important ways:

Identity crisis known as sophomore slump: compared to the first year, the sophomore year sometimes finds students a bit less hopeful, less engaged, even less competent.

A year of reflection and readjustment on what they have achieved academically and on what they want to accomplish in the future.

Sophomore apathy signs: talk of changing majors or leaving school to work; questions about transferring to another school, various personal relationship problems.

Personal attention from advisors can help students overcome this slump. Also, getting sophomores involved in helping first-year students can help stave off some of the “slump” of the sophomore year. Advisors, aware of this important period, should arrange appointments with sophomores to review their academic progress and integrate them into the academic community. Often, sophomore years find students getting involved in campus activities which lead to much more involvement in the final two or three years on campus.

At Oregon Tech, several key programs welcome students into their professional programs with the sophomore year. Thus, a period of major adjustment may be awaiting the sophomore student, especially those for whom the externship makes up the final year of the Oregon Tech experience. Discussions about the goals and requirements of the second year are very important to help keep students engaged and developing both academically and personally.

Determine academic path and clarify expectations
Develop accurate expectations for selected major and outline petition for graduation requirements.
Explore career opportunities
Define well-defined education plans for up-to-date information on major and university requirements.

 

Key concepts:
  Development and Integration
  Student Motivation
  University Culture (programs/services/outreach/peers)
  Refine Career expectations

 

Student Assessment Report (SAR) (see also Placement Testing)
 

The Student Assessment Report is the advisor’s first glimpse into the entering student’s background and attitude toward the college experience. It includes vital information for advisors to begin the conversation with students about their academic preparation and what courses would be most appropriate for them to take. Also, it indicates how committed they are to the major they have chosen, their high school background, and (on the back) custom questions related to level of comfort and preparation.

Each advisee will have a Student Assessment Report upon entering Oregon Tech. Advisors consult these report at Pre-registration in the summer and, perhaps, throughout the first-year. Topics include Oregon Tech Academics including major, credits, previous attendance (if any), GPA, and degrees granted. Transfer Academics, High School Academics, Placement Test information. Background and custom questions are included on the back of the Student Assessment Report.

Student Satisfaction Inventory
 

Inventory created by Noel-Levitz, Inc. and administered at Oregon Tech in 1997, 2000, and every two years thereafter. Starting in 2005, the inventory will be administered every three years. Data is kept in the Office of the Provost. This office is also responsible for distributing results. The 2005 results and all subsequent inventory results will be kept by the Office of Institutional Research as well and can be used by Oregon Tech academic departments and other offices. The scales reported by the inventory include Academic Advising and Teaching Effectiveness.

Students of Color
 

Students of color from disadvantaged backgrounds who have made it to college frequently are successful because they overcome educational and social obstacles. Establishing rapport with students of color is especially important because they may have previous negative experiences with people outside their ethnic group—especially people in positions of authority. Establishing rapport requires openness, empathy, and a genuine caring attitude. Communication is critical in establishing and developing a relationship with students of color. Advisors need to establish credibility in early interactions with students of color. The racial match between advisor and students is not always as important as sensitivity, genuine care, and support. Advisors need to understand how the student’s background might affect the advising relationship. Many students of color come from traditional cultural backgrounds and are accustomed to hierarchical relationships. So an advising relationship that calls for the student to take a great deal of responsibility may be new (Academic Advising: for Student Success and Retention, <city w:st="on">USAGroup Noel-Levitz, <state w:st="on">Iowa City, <state w:st="on"> <place w:st="on"> Iowa: ACT, 1997p. 123).

 

Help questions for students of color
  1. What attracted you to Oregon Tech?
  2. In your experience so far, how is Oregon Tech different from what you expected it to be?
  3. How do your friends and family feel about your being at Oregon Tech?
  4. Of the faculty or staff you’ve met here, who are some you’d like to get to know better?
  5. How does it feel to interact with students here, compared to your last educational experience?

 

Students with Disabilities> (see also Resources for Students with Disabilities)
  17% of entering Oregon Tech students report a disability (national average is 09%). Most of these are “hidden disabilities”—that is, chronic health conditions, hearing or vision loss, learning disabilities. Contact the Office for more information.
Succeeding in college (advisor advice)
 

 

Noel-Levitz and other groups have identified some key characteristics of successful university students. What does it take? Reasonable ability, academic background, health, motivation, time, money, transportation, social support, computer literacy, discipline, motivation, study skills, relaxed and flexible attitude and positive ways of coping with anxiety and stress. Beyond these might be the following:
  Self-discipline Strong family support
  Clear sense of academic expectations Sense of what it takes to meet expectations
  Good study habits Involved in school activities, enthusiastic
  Good academic skills Curiosity, intellectual orientation
  Open-minded Independent thinker
  Effective time manager High self-esteem
  Self-confidence Focus, aims, goals
  Strong work ethic Emotionally healthy and mature
  Good academic preparation Special reason for choosing the institution
  Strong peer support Full-time attendance, steady progress toward
  Degree
  High motivation Commitment to getting degree/career
  Integration into college environment Willingness to seek help if needed
  Receptive to academic support and advising
  Ability to understand and function with university bureaucracy
  Not all successful students display all of these traits, but advisors might review this list occasionally with advisees and discuss its accuracy as it relates to them.

 

 

T

Transfer Credits
 

The Oregon Tech Registrar's office determines the transfer equivalency of general education courses using articulation agreements, course descriptions, course outlines, class syllabi,  ACE guides for military credit and faculty recommendations.  Advisors are advised NOT to estimate credit values for transferred academic work.  The student's major department determines some transfer equivalency of technical or major courses using similar resources.  Often, this is a collaborative effort between major department, academic advisor, and the Registrar's Office.  Frequent communication is required between all of these constituents to assure consistent transfer credit arrangements.

All transfer students have credit determinations prior to the planned term of enrollment.  The evaluation delineates the transfer credit on a course-by-course basis and specifies course equivalencies, courses which may be used toward general education requirements, elective credits and courses which do not receive credit.

The transfer evaluation also provides records of grades received in transfer courses. Advisors are urged to review these carefully to make sure students have achieved the grade required in all courses.

At the time of admission, Oregon Tech's written transfer evaluation may include elective credits that do not apply toward a specific degree.  These credits will be recorded as transfer credit for registration purposes, allowing the student an earlier registration appointment based on total earned credit hours.

Some transfer work, which my not be directly equivalent to Oregon Tech courses, may be appropriately substituted to meet Oregon Tech requirements.  Students may seek course substitution approval by completing the Course Substitution Form and obtaining the signature of the advisor, department chair, and Registrar. The advisor is urged to manage this process.

Transfer Students
 

Special advising is required by transfer students.  They are adjusting to a new university with new requirements. Often, transfer students have changed universities to complete a new degree or to complete the junior and senior year at Oregon Tech in a particular major.  Careful planning is vital to helping students complete the final two years in a timely manner.

Review the student's official transcript of coursework completed at all other higher-education institutions.

Tutoring
  CFLAT, Academic-Math, Writing, Anatomy and Physiology, and more

TOP, for participants in the program

 

U

 

Undecided Students (exploratory)  
 

 

This population can benefit from careful academic advising.  Here are a few key points which Noel-Levitz and others point out about undecided or exploratory students:
  1.  Undecided students are often the rule rather than the exception.  Many students are not ready or able to commit to a major when they enroll.  Even though Oregon Tech encourages early commitment to an academic major, major advisors may still find it helpful to explore options with students, especially in the first year.
  2.   Students can be unable, unwilling, or not ready to make a decision about a major or program.  The first task an advisor faces is to determine the source of the indecision.
  3.   Many students mistakenly equate educational decisions with career decisions.  Helping students keep these separate may help them negotiate their way through college.
  4.   Many decided students at Oregon Tech have not made informed decisions about their academic major.  They base their decisions on job trends, rumor, what they have heard from friends and/or parents, or their fondness for certain activities in high school (such as playing video/computer games). This can lead to an unrealistic view of the major which the advisor can help correct. Focused questions about what the students expect to do in the career they have chosen can help clarify these issues for students.
  5.   Undecided students are at risk because of their confusion.  Advisors need to help students clarify their values, their beliefs, and their concerns related to majors, interests, and careers.
  6.   Undecided students can feel pressure to make choices from a variety of outside sources.
  7.   Course selection is the key challenge for undecided students.
  8.   Advisors need to see students as unique individuals with different patterns of interests and abilities.  Each may bring different strengths and concerns to the major or to the advising sessions.
  9.   Advisors help students make sense of all the fragmented pieces of information they have.
  10. An informed career choice frees the energy and drive students need to complete their education and training required for that career.
  11.  Some undecided students are truly undecided and may be open to many possibilities.  Other students are undecided because they haven't been able to decide among two or three majors they find appealing.  Career services and interest inventories can be extremely helpful for these students.
  12.  The more able the student, the harder the decision-because more options are available.
  13.   Oregon Tech is particularly vulnerable in this area since the ability to move from major to major is somewhat constrained for students.  Many Oregon Tech majors have strict requirements so that changing majors may have heavy financial implications.  In addition, there are relatively few options for students when they shift from one area of interest to another.  Students need support, guidance, and understanding as they explore the possibilities represented by academic majors at Oregon Tech.

 

 

Here are a few helpful questions which an advisor might ask an undecided student:
  1.   How is each course you are taking now helping you decide your educational and career plans?
  2.   What is something you learned about yourself from taking this course that will help you to decide you major and career?
  3.   What courses would you take here if there were no requirements?
  4.   Looking at a list of required courses, which courses are you most excited about taking and why?
  5.   Which courses wouldn't you take unless they were requirements?  Why?

 

Upper Division requirements  
 

Baccalaureate students must complete a minimum of 60 credits of upper-division work before a degree will be awarded.  Upper division work is defined as 300- and 400-level classes at a bachelor's degree-granting institution.

Advisor Tip:  Review this requirement carefully with students transferring from community colleges and those students who have changed majors. Very often, much of their remaining course work will have to be within the upper division.

 

V

W

 

Withdrawals
  There are several aspects of withdrawing from courses which Advisors should remember.
There are two types of withdrawal: course withdrawal and complete withdrawal.
It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from a course.
Administrative withdrawals are allowed during first two weeks of term only and only to create seats in courses at maximum.
This policy is strictly administered.
Faculty/advisors may not withdraw students in an audit status.
Withdrawals do affect a student's financial aid and should be discussed with the advisor.
Writing Center
 

Oregon Tech's Writing Center is housed in the Center for Learning and Teaching (CFLAT) in the Learning Resources Center (LRC).  It offers help to student writers of any year in any school, in any major, at any level of skill.  Advisors are encouraged to send advisees and students to the writing center if they are experiencing difficulty in writing.

Often students are referred to the Writing Center and Writing Tutors if they are working through Academic Probation.

Because first-year students have an automatic connection to the Writing Center through their first-year composition courses, they may automatically go there for help.  More and more students are arriving at Oregon Tech with composition courses already completed.  These courses may or may not have prepared them for college-level writing.  The tutors in the Writing Center work with students at all levels including those working on senior projects.

Many students also think that the writing center helps only with Composition or Humanities papers.  The staff includes students from a wide range of majors and minors.  The staff is trained to read and respond to writing from all disciplines and can help students with any assignment.  The students/advisees must remember to bring the assignments and prompts, however, in order for tutors to be successful.

The Center staff strongly believes that all writers need readers, so tutors are trained to be responsive and insightful readers for all student writers, whether struggling or accomplished.  Encourage advisees to make use of the Writing Center not just if you think they need more writing practice but also if you find them to be strong writers who would benefit from exploring their ideas further with a peer.

The Writing Center is not a remedial service, nor are tutors editors or human spellcheckers. Do not tell students they need to get their grammar "fixed" or their papers "cleared up" at the Writing Center.

Tell students that tutors are interested in their ideas and in helping them to best express them. If they're having trouble articulating ideas or responding to an assignment, they should come to the Writing Center--even if they haven't written a single word.

Student writers and peer tutors will have conversations about the writer's purpose, thesis, organization plan, evidence, and more; the tutor may also point out any persistent sentence-level errors and help the writer learn to correct them on his or her own.  Students might find they visit the Writing Center several times for a single writing assignment, perhaps working with different tutors each time.  Students may also make appointments to work with the same tutor. Visit the CFLAT website and Writing Center Website for more information and on-line help.

Writing Placement Exam
  Students do not need to take the Writing Placement Exam during registration if they have already completed a writing placement exam at Oregon Tech; if they are transferring to Oregon Tech with a college level "English Composition" class that will transfer; they have passed an Advance Placement (AP) course and then passed the exam with a score of 4 or higher (either the AP Language and Composition Exam OR the AP Composition and Literature Exam); they have taken the ACT or SAT within the last three years and provided Oregon Tech with the scores; or they can provide Oregon Tech with results of a recent placement exam taken at Klamath Community College.
Writing, Tutoring
  Oregon Tech students sometimes have difficulty with writing.   The Center for Learning and Teaching provides writing tutors each term.  These tutors have done well in all writing courses at Oregon Tech and so are qualified to help others with their writing.  Also, the Communication Department provides a faculty writing tutor each term.  Tutors will guide students in idea generation and essay writing but will not simply edit papers for students.  Advisees who are having difficulty with writing might be referred to CFLAT for help.

 

X

Y

Z