Advising First-Year Students Community

The Advising First Year Students community discusses the challenges and strategies associated with advising first-year students as they make the transition from being high school graduates to successful college students.  We will strive to build both web resources and to support your work as advisors of first-year students through future conference activities. Please contact the chair if you would like to become involved in any of these initiatives.

Online Discussions

November 2020 
Developing and Using an Advising Syllabus

Presenter: Kasey Swanke, Associate Advising Professor, University of Notre Dame

Date: Thursday, Nov 19, 2020
Time: Noon to 1pm PST|1-2pm MST|2-3pm CST|3-4pm EST 

Advisors strive to help students become successful in their classes and purposeful in their educational choices, but much of the rationale for the work that advisors do is unknown to students. An advising syllabus can help students understand (1) the tasks of the advisor-advisee relationship (2) its learning outcomes, and (3) a timeline for their work with their advisors.  This interactive session will cover the basics of using a syllabus and offer practical strategies and examples for developing, revising, and distributing a syllabus. 

Join Zoom meeting here:

Past Discussions

June 2020 Incorporating Coaching Into The First-Year Experience Online Discussion
Data shows that between 50% and 80% of college students change their major at least once during their college career.  UNC Greensboro's research has shown that 70% of the students in their program want help in deciding their major and/or career plans.  And due to COVID-19, 20% of students are considering cancelling their education plans and taking a gap year. How do we help students navigate this uncertainty?  

This discussion will provide you with an example how Bill Johnson, in Life Planning and Personal Development at UNC Greensboro, used a group coaching format with first-year students to define their meaningful work to not only decide on a major, but to identify potential educational, experiential, and entrepreneurial endeavors that lead to academic and career success. 

View the Recording
View the Slides
Syllabus Example #1
Syllabus Example #2
Snapshot of Life Design Catalyst Program
Life Design Catalyst Approach