|1||Academic Advising System|
|1.2||Definition and Importance of Academic Advising|
|1.3||Elements of an Effective Academic Advising System|
|1.4||Repeated Complaints about Academic Advising|
|1.5||Academic Advising Symposium|
|1.6||Academic Advising Techniques and Systems|
|2||Academic Advising Organization and Management|
|2.1||Academic Advising System at Colleges|
|2.2||Academic Advising System Execution|
|2.3||The Academic Advising File|
|3||Roles of Academic Advisors|
|3.1||Roles of the General Academic Advisor of the College|
|3.2||Roles of the Academic Advisor of a Department|
|3.3||Roles of the Head of Department|
|3.4||Roles of Students’ Academic Advisor|
|3.5||Evaluation of the Academic Advisor’s Performance|
1. Academic Advising System
The Academy adopts the international “Credit Hour” system that caters for individual differences among students. The flexibility of the system grants every student an opportunity to the courses to study, lecturers and timetable according to his/her own preferences. The success of such a system is primarily dependent on the effectiveness of academic advising that is reflected in its ability to help every student to overcome all the problems he/she may face, prepare him/her for academic life and train him/her to be self-dependent to make right decisions during his/her course of study according to each individual’s readiness and abilities.
Bases of Academic Advising
- Each student has his/her own individual needs and interests that distinguish him/her from others.
- It is essential to identify each student’s preferences, aims and abilities to guide him/her to design a suitable study plan.
- Students have the right to from various academic alternatives what suit their abilities, attitudes and interests.
- Students’ various talents should be cultivated academically, psychologically, socially and behaviourally according to their abilities.
- Attention must be given to prepare students for the job market and its needs.
- Academic advising is a duty of all staff members that is integral to other teaching, research and administrative tasks.
1. Academic Advising System
1.2 Definition and Importance of Academic Advising
Academic advising is the process that aims at helping each student identify his/her strengths and abilities to assist him/her in making decisions relevant to his/her studies and specialization and in overcoming any impediments at college. Hence, educational departments assign each student a staff member/graduate teaching assistant (GTA) to act as his/her academic advisor during his/her years of study. Students of the same department are divided into small groups with one academic advisor for each group.
Academic advising is particularly beneficial for students since academic advisors:
- Familiarize students with the programmes, systems, rules and regulations of their college.
- Help students the field of specialization that suits their individual abilities and interests. They also help them design their study plans.
- Enable students to the courses to study in each semester based on their academic achievement and abilities taking into consideration the course requirements. They also help them set their timetable.
- Identify students’ abilities and strengths based on their academic achievement and results.
- Follow up on the registration process and analyze students’ performance during the semester.
- Solve any academic problem students face to minimize failure/out rates thus, leading them to excellence.
- Provide opportunities for students to benefit from the knowledge and experience of staff members to find the best solution for each problem.
- Help students know themselves better to make their own decisions and solve their own problems.
- Create a student welcoming environment and a professional bond with the students to help them overcome academic or social challenges, find solutions and make the right decisions.
1. Academic Advising System
1.3 Elements of an Effective Academic Advising System
An efficient academic advising system is based on the following conditions:
- Setting a clear policy prescribing the systems, regulations, organization and procedures of academic advising.
- The availability of exact policies for training academic advisors and evaluating their performance.
- Issuing academic advising related regulations that identify its rules, systems, organization and procedures.
- The availability of sufficient information about the students and their academic achievement which necessitates timely access to the appropriate database to verify information.
- Setting a system for continuous and regular evaluation of the performance of academic advising.
- Stressing the fact that signature and approval of the academic advisor are a registration requirement. Students are held responsible for any violation to this rule.
- Setting a system to review and improve the academic advising system.
- Taking into consideration students’ feedback about and satisfaction with the academic advising system.
- Setting a fair policy to encourage academic advisors.
1. Academic Advising
1.4 Repeated Complaints about Academic Advising
There are some recurrent complaints about academic advising that are reported every semester. Some of them are listed below presenting the points of view of students and staff members.
- Lack of fixed office hours for academic advising.
- Not devoting enough time and effort to study individual cases academic advisors simply sign and approve students’ choices.
- Lack of experience on the part of some academic advisors.
Academic advisors’ complaints:
- Lack of sufficient information about students which makes the task more difficult.
- Difficulty to access students’ results at the proper time.
- Some advisors may complain about the large numbers of students.
- Academic advising is an extra unrecognized administrative load.
1. Academic Advising System
1.5 Academic Advising Symposium
College deaneries and the general academic advisor of college organize a symposium on academic advising for staff members and GTAs before the beginning of the semester. The symposium aims at further explaining the concept of academic advising, improving its techniques and tools and discussing the college academic advising plan which usually intends to:
- Explain the concept of academic advising, its procedures and effective role in the success of the credit hour system.
- Identify the best ways to promote it.
- Set the best conditions to apply the process of academic advising hence, solve any challenges that may hinder it.
- Identify the requirements of registration and its time.
- Identify and review the tasks and roles of academic advisors.
- Organize the meeting schedule of the committee for academic advising during the academic semester.
- To further explain the concept of academic advising focusing on academic, social and educational aspects.
1. Academic Advising System
1.6 Academic Advising Techniques and Systems
There are various techniques to provide academic advising to students like:
- Advising by staff members or GTAs (academic advisors)
- Automatic advising via computers and the internet
2. Academic Advising Organization and Management
2.1 Academic Advising System at Colleges
The committee for academic advising at college organizes and manages the system of academic advising within the college. The committee includes the dean, vice dean for student affairs, vice dean for educational affairs and the academic advisors of the college departments. The dean s the committee rapporteur from the vice deans the rapporteur is considered the executive official of the system of academic advising within the college and is given the title of “the general academic advisor of college.” The academic advisor of the department is the head of the department’s academic advising committee he/she follows up on academic advisors’ performance within the department.
2. Academic Advising Organization and Management
2.2 Academic Advising System Execution
Each semester, the college receives two groups of students:
a) New intake
b) Old students
The academic advising system differs between the two groups as follows:
a) New intake:
• The deanery of admission and registration in collaboration with the college organizes a special programme for the new students to explain the system of study and assessment and the study plans as a form of group advising.
• After that, the college dean meets the new students by the end of week one to welcome them and to orient them with their rights and responsibilities, the code of ethics and the system of rewards and penalties.
• Students meet their academic advisors to complete the data of their academic advising files.
• After two weeks of study, the students’ council organizes an event where new students meet the Academy officials in general and the college officials in particular.
b) Old students:
• Students meet their academic advisors daily when the early registration starts (two weeks before the study due date) according to a previously set schedule.
• Each academic advisor studies the case of every student as presented in the forms and reports included in the latter’s academic advising file according to the student’s abilities and interests.
2. Academic Advising Organization and Management
2.3 The Academic Advising File
The student’s academic advisor prepares one academic advising file for each of his/her students. The file includes the following documents:
• Instructions of academic advising and its procedures and dates
• Student’s data
• Programme of study
• Registration timetable
• Student’s conduct observation form
• Appeals, penalties, rewards
• Student’s transcript
3. Roles of Academic Advisors
3.1 Roles of the General Academic Advisor of a College (vice dean for students’ affairs/ education affairs)
1. Following up on departments execution of the college academic advising plan
2. Enhancing the awareness of the systems and regulations of academic advising and viewing the action plan by holding academic advising symposiums each semester with staff members and department advisors to review instructions
3. Supervising academic advisors and studying the cases the department academic advisors report
4. Coordinating the registration process of the new students with the Deanery of  Admission and Registration
3. Roles of Academic Advisors
3.2 Roles of the Academic Advisor of a Department
The following are the roles of the academic advisor of a given department before and during the registration period
3-2-1 Roles of the academic advisor of a given department before registration
1. Making sure that each student has an advisor and that each student has what it takes to know the name, place and timings his advisor available at via resorting to the information desk.
2. Printing out lists of academic advisors for each groups of students and handed them in to the advisor. These lists are announced using the department’s information board. Fair distribution of students to advisors should be taken into account.
3. Printing out academic records of students according to the results of the latest semester and distribute them to advisors.
3-2-2 Roles of the academic advisor of a given department during registration
1. Checking registration rooms regularly and making sure that academic advisors are available and doing their job.
2. Following up with academic advisors’ office hours and how far students are satisfied with the advisors’ performance.
3. Revising a random sample of students’ records for each advisor to make sure rules of advising agreed upon are followed.
4. Helping in solving students’ problems (group C, Table 1).
5. Holding a meeting with advisors upon the end of the registration period to discuss problems and evaluate the situation.
6. Directly contacting the college’s general academic advisor to update him/her with the registration situation.
7. Registering students’ graduation project and examining the file of each student to know the courses he/she has studied.
3. Roles of Academic Advisors
3.3 Roles of the Head of the Department
The head of the department follows up with the completion of the following information/data and hangs it on the information/announcements board of the department:
1. Steps of advising and registration and making sure that this is illustrated in a flowchart and that every step is clear.
2. Clarifying timings of registration and advising.
3. A document including names and places of advisors during timings of advising and registration and indicating the rooms they are available at.
4. A document including names of students of each advisor. In case there is an increase in the number of students, only registration numbers can be used provided that the names of students are available where the academic advisor is located.
5. Steps of online registration in detail to enable students’ registration, bearing in mind that students will be allowed to register courses on the Internet in case they complete more than 12 hours and less than 156 hours, provided they score a GPA that is 2.4 at least.
6. The condition of registering projects is that the students should have completed at least 138 hours and that a student’s GPA should not be less than 2.
7. Conditions of registration for students under advising.
8. Timetables of all semesters.
9. Exam timetables.
10. Courses available during the summer semester.
3. Roles of Academic Advisors
3-4 Roles of the Students’ Academic Advisor
1. Preparing a complete file for each student that includes all the information about the student whom he/she advises.
2. Keeping all bulletins/pamphlets, instructions, rules and regulations and the latest updates of graduation conditions or registration requirements regarding courses ….etc.
3. Reviewing and studying a student’s academic record and specifying the course the student has not studied/failed in/withdrawn during previous semesters.
4. Making sure h/she is available during specified hours of advising and announcing them before each semester.
5. Helping the student to choose the courses he/she wants to study and comparing them to his/her academic situation according to the rules followed.
6. The necessity of guiding the student to the courses he/she has not studied/failed in/withdrawn and force him/her to register the courses that should have been registered two semesters ago. Should the student not comply, his/her registration is suspended and he/she is transferred to the department’s academic advisor.
7. Following up with the student during the semester, encouraging excellent students and solving problems popping up during the semester.
8. Cooperating with students under probation and filing reports and recommendations regarding students with low GPAs to the department’s academic advisor.
9. The academic advisor should comply with the general regulations of registration such as:
a) Students who get 3.4 are permitted to register an extra course in the regular semester if the timetable allows for it this is done with the recommendation of the academic advisor and the approval of the head of the department provided that this will not lead to their graduation before 5 years in the College of Engineering & Technology, 4 years in the Colleges of Management and Technology, International Transport and Logistics, and Computing and Technology.
b) Students who got a GPA less than 2.0 should not register more than 12 hours per week including hours of courses taken for improvement or repetition.
c) Students of final semesters (ninth and tenth) are allowed to register an extra load as a graduation requirement provided that it does not exceed 21 hours per week and that their GPA is not less than 2.0.
d) The academic advisor should comply with rules and regulations his/her college has set for registering graduation projects.
e) A student is allowed to register the graduation project if these two conditions are met:
• Completing 138 hours for the students of the College of Engineering and Technology (except in the Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design Department) or 159 for the Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design Department or 102 for students of the Colleges of Computing and Information Technology, Management and Technology, and International Transport and Logistics.
• Completing 8 semesters (4 years) for the College of Engineering students (except the Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design Department) or 9 semesters (Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design Department) or 6 semesters for students of Colleges of Computing and Information Technology, Management and Technology, and International Transport and Logistics).
10. In case the student registered via the Internet, the advisor should review the registration situation of each student and make sure registration is valid/correct and in case there is a mistake in the point of view of the advisor he/she calls the student and confirms the necessity of modifying the student’s registration. In case the student is not convinced, the issue should be referred to the department’s academic advisor or the head of the department.
11. The advisor should try to finish the courses that should have been taken two terms ago the priority should also be given to registering the courses the student has failed in before.
12. In case the student remains to be under advising for more than two semesters, he/she should be referred to the head of the department and the college’s general academic advisor.
13. In case the student remains to be under advising for more than three semesters, the issue should be referred to the dean to make a decision concerning him/her (transferring to another department or transferring to study in another college in the Academy.)
14. The advisor should keep the student updated with exam timings before registration so as to know if there is exam conflict.
15. The academic advisor should perform his duties as regards helping students through the quality system documents that are directly related to the process of academic advising such as Students’ Appeal Form (MPS 2/2) and Result Modification Form (MPS 2/3) and following up with the results of students’ appeals and keeping these forms in the student’s file.
The roles of the academic advisor before, during and after the registration period are as follows:
1. The academic advisor prints out the academic records of those students he/she is responsible for and categorizes them into 5 groups (a, b, c, d & e) as shown in table (1).
2. The academic advisor reviews the students’ penalties (cheating, Students’ Affairs Committee, smoking, etc…) and includes them in their files.
3. Set a suggested plan for the courses suitable for students in each group (b, c, d & e) and submit it to the department’s academic advisor.
4. Set a plan for those students who are left with 15 courses/45 hours according to their abilities so that they can register 5 courses per semester.
5. Set a plan for those students who completed 108 hours (College of Engineering & Technology) or 72 hours (colleges of Computing and Information Technology, Management and Technology, and International Transport and Logistics) so that they complete 5 academic years (College of Engineering) or 4 academic years for other colleges.
3-4-3 Roles of the academic advisor during the registration period
1. The advisor receives students’ interests and register for them according to the plan (for each student) as follows:
Group (a) directly and makes sure there is no conflict in timetables.
Group (b) he/she compares student’s interests with the plan or convinces the student if there is any difference. He/she also refers to the department’s academic advisor if the difference may cause problems in the future, noting that the student registers four courses only including those he/she wants to improve or repeat or new courses.
Group (c) he/she guides the student to improve as many courses as possible and not to register new courses except if it is absolutely necessary and submit these cases with a suggested plan to the department’s advisor.
Groups (d & e) he/she does not register for students, calls their parents and refers them to the department’s general advisor.
2. He/she keeps the student updated with expected penalties (if there are any).
3. He/she completes students’ data form and confirms their address, parent’s mobile number and e-mail.
4. When registration is complete, the student receives a copy of the registration card with the advisor’s name and signature.
5. At the end of each day, the advisor records statistics of the number of students who registered and who did not.
6. Registration for the project course is only done through the department’s academic advisor or the one appointed by the department, bearing in mind the college’s registration rules and regulations.
3-4-4 Roles of the academic advisor after the registration ends:
1. Calculating the number of students who paid their fees with no advising and also those who did not pay and report to the department.
2. Calculating the number of students who registered without referring to the advisor and report their names immediately to the department.
3. Calculating the number of students belonging to groups b, c & d to follow up with their academic progress.
4. Constantly contacting the department to get acquainted with any procedures carried out for the students throughout the semester.
5. Getting acquainted with students’ assessment in the 7th week.
6. Completing students’ advising files and including all warnings preceding withdrawals (W) also in the file.
7. Activating early advising at the end of each semester.
Group  Students’ academic situation Procedures followed
A Students with a GPA more than 2.0 and completed a number of hours corresponding with their registration number Direct registration while making sure there is no conflict in timetables
B Students with a GPA less than 2.0 and more than 1.85
• For one semester or two and completed a number of hours that does not greatly differ from their registration number.
• For more than two semesters and completed a number of hours that does not greatly differ from their registration number. Comparing students’ interests with the suggested plan and convincing them if there is a difference. Referring to the department’s academic advisor if the difference may cause problems in the future, noting that the student should register 12 hours only, that is two new courses maximum + two courses to improve or repeat.
C Students with GPA less than 1.85 Guiding students to improve as many courses as possible and not register new courses unless it is absolutely necessary and refer these cases to the department’s academic advisor.
D Students with GPA more than 2.0 and completed a number of hours that don’t correspond with their registration number (less than they should) Not registering for them, calling their parents and referring them to the department’s academic advisor.
E Students who didn’t register the previous semester or semesters regardless of their GPAs. Not registering to them, calling their parents and referring them to the department’s advisor.
3-5 Evaluation of the Academic Advisor Performance
The college should care about the student’s evaluation of the academic advisor’s performance in addition to knowing how active the academic advisor is and his/her level of efficiency to continuously improve his/her performance and efficiency. To guarantee the effectiveness of evaluation, some factors should be available such as: evaluation tools, assigning the responsibility of the evaluation to the one responsible for the college’s academic advising and carrying out the evaluation objectively, regularly, continuously and inclusively.
Some colleges include staff’s academic advising in their criteria of achievement and promotion and some others take it into consideration when giving them financial raises and annual allowances.
A students’ evaluation of the academic advisor includes the following aspects:
• How easy or difficult it is for students to meet their advisor
• How much academic information is available to the advisor and what he/she transfers to them
• Is the number of the students he/she is responsible for decreasing on the list of warnings?
• The nature of the relationship between the advisor and the student
• How satisfied students are with the system of academic advising, how much they know about regulations through their relationship with the advisor or through providing bulletins and information on the Internet, as well as how far they can trust their academic advisor’s effectiveness. Students’ personal positive impressions are all important issues that are taken into consideration while evaluating the academic advisor as they facilitate judging the advisor’s success in performing the task entrusted to him/her. Students’ opinions regarding that matter is known through regular meetings held by the college’s administration through student union or some questionnaires.
• It is also necessary to continuously know the academic advisors’ opinions of the system of advising to know whether they are satisfied with it as well as their attitudes towards it, how clear the concept of advising is to them focusing on its academic, social and educational aspects, whether they regard it as an unimportant extra load that has nothing to do with their specialization, or they do consider it a part complementing their duties and that the success of academic programmes and work depends on and taking into consideration any views that would improve the work of academic advising.
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