Faculty-Student Advising: Suggested Talking Points for Faculty

The Goal

Don’t worry about giving advice about what courses to take or specific rules and regulations regarding curriculum. If students ask questions about that, just refer them to the counselors in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in Boelter 6426.

Your role is to use the knowledge and wisdom that you have as a professor to help our undergraduate students in ways that the counselors in Boelter 6426 cannot. In the best case, you can be a mentor to your advisees. At the least, you can provide them with a little advice and give them an understanding of what lies ahead for them as engineers.

Before the meeting

You can use the “My Advisees” page to see all of your advisees’ pictures, see their GPAs, and see what classes they are taking right now. You can also see any notes you have taken in previous advising meetings. A little preview of this material will give the students a sense that you know who they are, especially if you know with whom you will be meeting.

The first thing to do is ask about them

Just like on a date, in the beginning of the first meeting it’s not about how well you talk, it’s about how well you listen. Start out by asking the advisee how they are doing. Ask them what classes they are enjoying. Ask them how hard they are working. Do they study alone or do they study with friends? Ask them what their long term career goals are. Do they plan on getting a job immediately or do they plan to go to grad school? Do they plan to work in engineering as their primary career or are they planning to immediately go to law school or medical school or business school? These first few minutes are a chance to establish a rapport by listening to the advisee talk about himself/herself with short prompting questions from you.

If you take advantage of the “Notes” feature on the My Advisees page to enter some of this information, you will be able to bring it up the next time you meet with that advisee.

Recommend internships, undergraduate research, project teams

You can suggest that they try to complete an internship during one of their summers and mention companies in their major that offer such opportunities. You can refer them to the Career Center for a complete list of internship opportunities. You can recommend that they seek out student project teams. You can suggest they look for an undergraduate research experience with a professor in your department. You can direct them to a professor whose research aligns with their interests.

Refer questions about schedule and rules/regulations to OASA

If questions come up about selecting courses or planning their schedule, you can refer them to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs (OASA) in Boelter 6426. They can check out our hours at http://seasoasa.ucla.edu. If they start asking about specific curriculum regulations or petitions please refer them to OASA.

Use the referral sheet to handle other situations

When a student asks you a question or presents you with a problem you can decide whether you want to answer it yourself or direct them to another resource. Attached is a referral sheet that should help you direct students to the appropriate campus resources. If you get a question or problem you don’t know how to handle even with the referral sheet, you can tell the student that you’ll have to get back to them. You can email the question to Dean Wesel () and we will find the right resource and update the referral sheet.

Ask for feedback about our program

Do you have any feedback on how we could make the undergraduate program at UCLA even stronger?

Close the meeting by offering to meet in the future

At the very end of the meeting, point out that you will have similar meetings during the next quarter and make sure that the advisee feels welcome to contact you if they have any problems or questions with which you might be able to help.

Record the meeting

Please use the “Record Meetings” utility (click on “Record Meetings” at the top of the fifth column of the “My Advisees” page) to check off the students that you meet with during this quarter. You can also use the “Notes” utility in the third column to jot down a few details about your advisees to help you remember that student next time.

Recording meetings with unofficial advisees

Because their advisor was not available or because you are wonderful, you may end up seeing students who are not officially your advisees. The student may need to have that meeting recorded and you might as well get credit for the work you are doing. If you need (or want) to record a meeting with a student who is not your official advisee, just click on the “Unoffical Advisees” tab on the “My Advisees” page and you can record the meeting, which will add this person to your unofficial list of advisees for the future