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Terrence McDonald Academic Advising Academy

The Advising Academy fosters excellence in advising programs within all departments in the College by providing a solid practical and theoretical approach to advising in LSA.  The Academy also offers a wonderful opportunity to share best practices.  One of our primary goals is to enjoin all departments in a discussion of how we might build stronger intellectual communities within our respective areas.  

The Advising Academy will consist of separate morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session will showcase a panel of representatives from departments that have been particularly successful and innovative in the key areas mentioned above. 

The Advising Academy is named in honor of former Dean Terrence McDonald, who has been an extraordinary friend to and leader for advisors on this campus.


2017 Terrence J. McDonald LSA Advising Academy

Thursday, March 23rd, 8:45 AM--12:30 PM

Michigan Union Pendleton Room    

Register Here

Funded by the generous support of former LSA Dean Terrence J. McDonald, this year's Academy will focus on transfer students and how the College receives and educates them. We anticipate that the number of transfer students admitted to LSA in 2017-2018 will be at or above 1000 and will likely rise higher than that in the very near future. These students bring their own wealth of experiences and interests to the College, but also encounter potential challenges in the form of shortened time frames and (perhaps) financial limitations. How can we address their immediate needs, such as making sure they satisfy the requirements of their target programs, while helping them develop as scholars and connect to the campus and its opportunities as fully as possible?

The Academy will begin with a continental breakfast at 8:45 am. At 9:30 am, LSA Dean Andrew D. Martin will address the College's emphasis on creating a transfer friendly environment, including a brief overview of initiatives currently being undertaken as part of that effort. This will be followed by brief comments addressing factors impacting the success of incoming transfer students and continuing students who use transfer credit. Finally, we will hold facilitated table discussions, which will allow advisors and faculty from different departments to discuss potential viable practices they might apply or adapt to their own work with transfer students.

Past Academic Advising Academies

2015: Helping Students Create Meaningful Narratives

The 2014 Academy focused on the perspectives of the “consumers” of student narratives: employers, scholarship programs, internships, and professional school admissions. The program for the 2015 Terrence J. McDonald LSA Academic Advising Academy addressed the role academic advising can play in helping students develop a coherent, meaningful understanding of their own experiences as they engage with the range of opportunities, decisions, and obstacles to and through which their education may lead them. Guided discussion touched on (among other things) student identities, engaged-learning opportunities, the roles academic disciplines might play and, of course, what advisors can do to shape students’ reflective practices. The goal of the discussion was to provide all attendees with a set of viable practices that they might then apply or adapt to their own advising work in departmental settings. The program began with a set of facilitated table-based conversations to generate key ideas and concerns, which was followed by a moderated plenary discussion.

2014: What Do Students Need to Tell Their Stories

The 2014 Academy began with a panel composed of members of the University community who work directly with, evaluate, and in certain cases judge the manner in which LSA undergraduates present themselves and their body of work to others. Panelists included Henry Dyson (LSA Honors/Scholarships), Edie Goldenberg (Ford School, Michigan in Washington), Amy Longhi (UM Career Center), and Sarah Zearfoss (UM Law School). Panelists discussed what they look for when evaluating students, trends they have noticed in our UM cohorts, and suggested ways advisors might be able to help students develop greater competence and confidence in “telling their stories.” Table-based discussions of key themes followed the panel.

2012: Advising and Engagement (this program included a co-curricular fair)

In 2012 the Academy was named for outgoing LSA Dean Terrence J. McDonald in recognition of his consistent, thoughtful support and leadership for academic advisors across the College. This Academy picked up the concept of engagement from the 2010 Academy, but moved the focus to work LSA departments can do to help students make meaningful connections between the ideas they encounter in their courses and the work they do in co-curricular and extra-curricular domains. The Academy began with a panel that included Charlie Bright (a lead planner for the Center for Engaged Academic Learning), Paula Wishart (Rackham), Phil Deloria (LSA Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education), and Noam Kimelman (LSA Alumnus and CEO of Fresh Corner Cafe). Following the panel discussion, academy participants were invited to attend the Cool Opportunities Fair, comprised of 17 co-curricular programs based in the University, to help departmental advisors learn more about existing options for connecting academic experiences with community involvement.

2011: Visions of Community

The 2011 program expanded on the concept of academic departments as intellectual communities established in the first Academy. It began with a panel discussion including different versions of departments (History, Mathematics, Organizational Studies, the Program in the Environment) as intellectual communities. The panel was followed by an afternoon of breakout sessions, in which more departments were able to present on the work they do with undergraduate students. Each breakout session had a separate focus:

  • Student Voice: Student participation in departmental processes, such as curriculum committees and outreach to students
  • Curricular/Co-curricular: Undergraduate programs that connect specific departments/disciplines with study abroad, service learning, etc. (e.g. NELP, Biostation, Camp Davis) and other curriculum-based models (e.g. using gateway courses to introduce students to the departmental community, capstone projects)
  • Faculty-Student Interaction: Programs and events outside of regular classroom settings (e.g. Pizza with Profs, brown-bag discussions) that provide undergraduates with opportunities to meet and interact with faculty from their majors
  • Milestones: Programming and events built around the decisive transitions that structure the undergraduate experience (e.g. major orientations, departmental commencement programs, etc.)

2010: Student Engagement and the Community in LSA Departments

This program focused on the mechanisms and processes LSA departments might use to initiate their students into the intellectual and scholarly life of the disciplines those departments embody. Associate Dean Phil Deloria moderated a discussion with a panel that included faculty and undergraduate student representatives from Classical Studies, Astronomy, English, and Psychology. This was followed by table-based discussions on topics drawn from the ideas introduced by the panelists.