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The inaugural Advising Academy will take place this Friday, October 8.  Sponsored by SAA, and modeled after the very successful LSA Teaching Academy, the main program of the Academy will enlist Associate Chairs of Undergraduate Education and/or Undergraduate Program Directors in conversation about enhancing the concentration experience for undergraduates. While concentration advising will be a part of that conversation, the Chairs and Directors will spend the bulk of the time talking about the importance of department-based students groups and organizations, the creation of community building events and programs, the inclusion of student voice in department decision making, opportunities for student–faculty engagement, and the creation of experiential opportunities and capstones. 

The Advising Academy will be comprised of two sessions, each with a specifically invited audience.  The aforementioned discussions will take place in the afternoon.  Dean Terry McDonald will deliver some remarks to kick off the afternoon session and Dean Phil Deloria will moderate a panel of undergraduate chairs and directors and their students that will address the value of the initiatives outlined above.  Following the panel presentations and Q&A, Academy participants will join table discussions to further investigate intellectual community development in their departments.  The afternoon program will be facilitated by Deans Nurse and Smith, Phil Gorman, Cathy, David Brawn, Chris Luebbe and I and the liaisons (Dawn, John) to the Psych and Linguistics departments.

The Academy also has a morning session devoted to “nuts and bolts” issues and is primarily directed to new concentration advisors and those veteran concentration advisors who want a refresher on the on-line advising file, study abroad and transfer credits issues, pre-health and pre-law advising, and resources for students experiencing difficulty.  Phil Gorman, Susan G, David B, Karen and Cathy will present on those topics.

Over half of LSA departments and programs will be in attendance at the Academy and we are looking forward to the opportunity to engage them in these critical discussions.

Looking ahead, we plan to organize follow-up working sessions on some of the topics addressed in the Academy.  Also, as departments explore and implement community-building programs for their undergraduate concentrators, department liaisons will play an important role as catalysts and consultants on new initiatives.  Chris will speak to the enhanced role of department liaisons in future staff meetings and brown bags.  Advisors also can look forward to participating in the Advising Summit on November 18.