Current Status Report - September 2011
Text in red denotes new activity since previous status report.

Develop a more robust and integrated academic advising program for Brown undergraduates, through all four years and across all disciplines and concentrations

Action Taken

  • Reviewed Orientation to identify further improvements to programming, developed plans for new sophomore “re-orientation,” identified improvements for transfer orientation, and added sessions on adapting to college learning
  • Received and began to implement recommendations from the Task Force on Undergraduate Education related to advising
  • Hired new coordinators of co-curricular advising
  • Received recommendations from the Committee on the Residential Experience for changes in residential programming and staffing to enhance advising, co-curricular education, and development of community outside the classroom
  • Launched new Faculty Advising Fellows Program, a collaboration between the Dean of the College and Campus Life and Student Services; currently have five Faculty in Residence and ten Faculty Advising Fellows
  • Published Liberal Learning at Brown to promote a culture of responsible and integrated learning
  • Piloted “Excellence at Brown” initiative in August 2008 to offer an early introduction to Brown academics and culture for students from under-resourced high schools
  • Strengthened advising and mentoring support for minority and international students through increased dean’s hours, involvement of Faculty Advising Fellows, and better coordination with International Mentor Program
  • Conducted external review of Career Development Center to discover areas of potential improvement
  • Published new guides for sophomores and transfer students, and offered an enhanced transfer orientation program
  • Launched a new program in “Careers for the Common Good”
  • Completed an external review of programs for Latino students to learn how we can better support underrepresented populations
  • Created new contact system to connect with students before they find themselves in academic difficulty
  • Continued implementation of an electronic advising portfolio to facilitate communications between students and advisors, to house student work, and to enhance continuity between pre-concentration and concentration advising
  • Completed initial design of new online advising portfolio, to be launched with incoming class of 2013
  • Established directed programming to support undergraduates who are first generation in their family to attend college
  • Developed stronger connections between the advising programs in the Office of the Dean of the College and the Third World Center with expanded staffing in the TWC
  • Strengthened the collaboration between the Division of Campus Life and Student Services and the Office of the Dean of the College to provide better advising for all aspects of the student experience. The Student Services Organizational Review Committee preserved and enhanced services for students while making necessary budget reductions
  • Implemented recommendations from the Undergraduate Task Force designed to enhance advising including
    • Advising Sidekick (ASK), an electronic advising support system that allows first-year and sophomore advisors to access all necessary advising materials in one online location
    • New Handbook for concentration advisors that orients new advisors to the concentration advising process and outlines best practices in concentration advising
    • Advising Central, an inviting new space in J. Walter Wilson in which students consult with faculty advising fellows, peer advisors, Randall Advisors and deans
    • Excellence at Brown, a program that offers an early introduction to Brown academics and culture for students from under-resourced high schools, increased in size from 44 to 82 (2011)
    • Opened new Science Center, a state of the art facility in which students obtain science-specific advising and work in collaborative study groups
    • Made improvements in transfer student advising
    • Increased outreach and advising to students in academic difficulty
    • Implemented Brown-RISD dual degree advising
    • Created Matched Advising Program for Sophomores (MAPS), which pairs senior mentors with sophomores according to shared interests. The program also offers sessions on internships, study away and time off, getting to know faculty, and research/thesis writing
    • Developed and implemented regular calendar of electronic communications with sophomores and sophomore advisors
    • Expanded Randall Advisor program from 10 to 14 advisors dedicated to sophomore advising
    • Published consolidated Academic Advisor Handbook for all first-year and sophomore advisors. The publication supports the continued integration of advising across the four years
    • Developed new advising database that manages and tracks advisor recruitment; advisor-advisee pairings; and special advising programs (CAP, UCAAP, PLME, TEAM). The system will provide us with robust longitudinal data about departments’ participation in advising
    • Improved communications about post-baccalaureate fellowships: developed and published pamphlet on how to apply for a Fulbright, sponsored Fulbright Festival, which links Brown Fulbright recipients with students interested in applying; developed and published pamphlet of Fulbright winners
  • Increased involvement of alumni in career planning through several efforts including increased departmental participation in “Brown Degree Days” (from 14 to 24 in 2010-11)); alumni sponsored internships abroad; and alumni events through Alumni Affairs
  • Expanded training for Meiklejohn Peer Advising Program
    • Designed and implemented more robust spring Orientation for Meiklejohns, including new academic resources and support panel, and session on sophomore advising
    • Developed enhanced fall Orientation for 12 Meiklejohn Leaders, including sessions on diversity and leadership (to be implemented August 2010)
    • Developed enhanced fall Orientation for 350 Meikleljohns, including new panel on academic resources and support, faculty panel, and session on academic integrity (with participation of library staff and Chair of the Academic Code Committee)
    • Revised Meiklejohn Handbook to include new sections on diversity, time management, and Meiklejohn responsibilities
    • Implemented requirement that all Meiklejohns have no violations of academic or student conduct codes and be in good academic standing at time of application
  • Expanded career advising at Brown, especially for careers in public service and related fields
    • Reorganized Career Development Center staff to enhance advising for careers in the common good and the arts, as well as finance and banking
    • Launched Life After Brown dinner series that allows seniors to converse with alumni working in non-profit careers
    • Offered a series of workshops and networking events on Careers in the Common Good
  • Strengthened number and effectiveness of student department undergraduate groups (DUGs) by developing websites, guidelines, and coordination with concentration advisors
    • Increased number of active Departmental Undergraduate Groups (DUGS) from 24 to 46 in 2010-11
  • Expanded international orientation to integrate a stronger introduction to American academic culture
  • Expanded pre-orientation programs for under-represented student populations, including special programs on science and writing
  • Enhanced support for non-native speakers of English, including integration of academic workshops into undergraduate pre-orientation program for international students, and hiring of new Coordinator for English as a Second Language, a new position in the Writing Center
  • Expanded peer advising programs, including New Scientist ProgramĀ  and the Sidney Frank Scholars Association (SFSA)
  • Created series of panels and focus groups on academic integrity, advising, and academic support for 350 Meiklejohn peer advisors
  • Created year-long series of discussions by and for sophomores on advising issues of concern to them
  • Improved advising and support for diverse student populations
    • Expanded Advising Central to include Academic Support Services, resulting in improved coordination of academic workshops, advising, and student support across various offices
    • Doubled the number of faculty involved in Team Enhanced Advising and Mentoring. Twenty-eight faculty met in two teams throughout the year to share best advising practices and to build advising expertise
    • Expanded programming for ALANA (African, Latina, Native American) faculty and administration mentors and improved ALANA program outreach to incoming students and their families
    • Strengthened recruitment and advising services for the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership in the College, the medical school, and the Graduate School
    • Assigned every Sidney Frank Scholar a “Personal Career Advisor” from the Center for Careers and Life After Brown
  • Improved concentration advising
    • Introduced Focal Point, a concentration search tool that allows students and their advisors to access information about concentrations in one location
    • Offered new concentration information sessions in sophomore residential areas
    • Converted paper-based concentration declaration process to an online system that allows students to draft and revise concentration essays and course lists based on advisor feedback
    • Increased support and resources resulted in 51 active Department Undergraduate Groups. A DUG student coordinator position was created in the Curricular Resource Center, and DUG leaders now meet at beginning and end of year to share best practices and advice
  • Enhanced advising for competitive fellowship programs
  • Strengthened career advising services and programs
    • Implemented recommendations for restructuring career advising services. Increased open hours and added drop-in hours in Advising Central
    • Introduced new name and concept for career advising: The Center for Careers and Life After Brown (CareerLAB)
    • Launched internship city initiatives in Boston and New York
    • Increased involvement of alumni in career planning through Brown Degree Days and Sunday Conversations

Action Needed

  • Continue to strengthen the number and effectiveness of student department undergraduate groups (DUGs) by developing Web sites, guidelines, and coordination with concentration advisors
  • Expand training for Meiklejohn Peer Advising Program
  • Develop systematic methods for gathering feedback from students participating in pre-orientation programs; use feedback to inform planning for subsequent year’s programs
  • Continue to expand and enhance current programs such as New Scientist Program, Meiklejohn leadership training, and TEAM advising
  • Extend ALANA mentoring into the sophomore year
  • Develop plan for early identification and support of students at risk of failing entry-level science courses
  • Develop systematic plan for supporting concentration advisors
  • Plan and implement January CareerLAB conference

Responsible

  • Dean of the College
  • Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services

Return to [Phase II - Continue to Strengthen Undergraduate Education]