Educational planning prompts students to be actively engaged in and intentional about their education both inside and outside the classroom. Because advisers have opportunities to talk individually with students, they are in a unique position to help students design a college experience. Part of your role is to help students remain aware of how college constantly puts them in the way of new ideas and new opportunities, how it can give them new interests or new ways to pursue them, and the value of planning. A segment on educational planning has been built into UNV 101 to give students ways to think about planning. You can build on classroom discussion in individual meetings with your advisees by including planning in your conversations with advisees:
- Help students define their goals and aspirations. As students gain clarity about what they want to experience or achieve, or become more aware of what they can achieve, you can help them find the appropriate opportunities.
- Help students identify and value their emerging interests. Talk with students about what they find interesting in their courses or what they might want to know more about and help them connect those to the classes they choose. You can also help them look for co-curricular opportunities that nurture those interests as well.
- Ask students to think one or two semesters ahead, especially in terms of getting involved in co-curricular activities. Give them an opportunity to talk with you about what interests they might like to pursue and get them started looking for clubs or organizations that can help them get involved.
- Help students understand that some experiences, like studying abroad, require advance planning. You can help by giving students contact information and getting them started on the process.
- Share the Four Year Plan with your advisees; it gives students a year-by-year guide to opportunities that they might pursue as freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
- During registration advising, talk with students about their reasons for choosing their classes. “Because it satisfies a requirement” or “because it fits my schedule” might not be the best reasons for selecting classes. You can steer student away from their typical emphasis on fulfilling requirements and invite them to think about designing a minor or exploring interests across disciplines.
- Talk to students about how to choose courses and activities that will help them develop essential skills, as they refine and clarify their career interests. You can also talk with students about the kinds of co-curricular opportunities that can help them develop in those areas.s students refine and clarify their career interests you can talk with them about how to choose courses and activities that will help them develop essential skills. You can also talk with students about the kinds of co-curricular opportunities that can help them develop in those areas.