Tuesday 28 September 2010

Academic Advisors

Academic Advisors
A member of staff will be appointed as your Academic Adviser and will normally act in this capacity for the whole three years. Your Academic Adviser is concerned with your general welfare, and is available to give you help and advice on all matters, whether academic or personal.  You should feel free to consult your Academic Adviser about anything that concerns you, including personal, domestic, medical, financial or legal problems.  He or she will be able to put you in touch with expert professional help if you should need it; but you may rest assured that, except in formal academic matters, all communications with your Academic Adviser are privileged, and that anything you say to him or her is strictly confidential and will not be divulged to anyone else without your express permission.  In academic matters your Academic Adviser will normally refer to your Programme Director.  It is essential that you keep your Academic Adviser informed of your progress and of any circumstances which may affect your work during the year or your performance in examinations, as he or she may be able to help you resolve your problems or to act as your "advocate", should this unfortunately prove necessary.

Ordinarily this will be your first-year tutor for Academic Development. If members of staff go on research leave you will be allocated another Academic Advisor for the remainder of your degree. The list of Academic Advisors is posted on the notice boards by the lifts on the first floor, South Wing, Samuel Alexander Building, and on the EAS student website. 

Academic Advisors meet their tutees individually twice in the first semester of their first year and if you request an appointment, once a semester thereafter. You will be able to discuss any academic issues arising from your study. The meetings will allow you to reflect upon your studies. In time, you may want to ask your tutor if s/he is willing to write a reference for you, so developing your relationship with them is important. Furthermore, the meetings allow you to discuss and reflect upon your learning needs for the future. You will receive reminders to make appointments by email. It is your responsibility to arrange the times for these meetings.


Possible topics for discussion

Year 1: 1

Essay writing and preparation

Year 1: 2

Academic Writing and exam preparation

PADP preparation

Review of feedback

Year 1: 3

Preparation for L2: registration choices, academic progress

Exam preparation

Review of feedback from semester 1

Student Satisfaction Survey

Year 2: 1

Academic development in L2: academic progress

Year 2: 2

Preparation for L3: registration choices, academic progress, Long Essay

Exam preparation

Review of feedback from semester 1

Student Satisfaction Survey

Year 3: 1

Postgraduate course and careers information

Long Essay topic: agree title

Student Satisfaction Survey

Year 3: 2

Approaching your final assessment


Student Satisfaction Survey

Academic Advisors may be consulted at other times as well, either during office hours or by appointment. You will also be able to take advice and gain further direction relating to any pastoral issues; Academic Advisors will direct you to the various University support offices. Students may change their Academic Advisor, if necessary, after confidential consultation with the Head of Subject Area or Programme Director..

Your Academic Advisor will meet you three times at Level 1 - twice in Semester 1 and once in Semester 2 - to discuss your progress and things that could be done to improve the quality of your student experience and performance. Meetings during Semester 1 will take place in the context of the Academic Development course and will focus on the research, analytical and writing skills necessary to do university-level work; but your Academic Advisor will be happy to discuss any other issues of concern, including planning for the next semester and next year, taking advantage of university resources, and planning for the longer term (that is, career and postgraduate education options).

Starting in Semester 2 of Year 1, and continuing through the rest of your course, you should plan to meet with your Academic Advisor at least once a semester, to discuss your academic progress, plan for the next semester and year, discuss your final-year Long Essay, and talk over any other issues or questions of concern. In addition to these regular meetings, you are encouraged to meet at other times to talk about your work or any questions that arise; this could be during your Academic Advisor’s scheduled office hours or by appointment.

The format of your meetings with your Academic Advisor is up to you and the Tutor to agree on. In general, students in EAS have preferred a more informal conversational format for meetings with Academic Advisors, and have preferred that these not be minuted. Again, if you would like minutes to be taken of your meeting and kept on file, you should arrange this with your Academic Advisor.

You may find it useful to assess your own level of skills and competences against the questions listed below, according yourself a mark of, say, 1(low)-5(high) in each category.  This should help you to identify particular strengths and weaknesses in your study skills and help you to target those areas where improvement might most usefully be targeted.  Remember, these same skills are likely to impact on your abilities in many professional situations once you have left university, so it makes sense to pay them some attention at this stage.  Feel free to bring this to your Academic Adviser’s attention in office hours if you want to discuss it.

1               How good are you at managing information taken from lectures and/or your reading (so note-taking, etc.)?
2               How good is you time management?
3               How good are you at understanding the arguments offered you by others and formulating your own?
4               How good are you at essay writing?
5               How good are you at communicating, both one-to-one and in seminars?
6               How good are your IT skills?

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