As a faculty member, it is important to know college rules and follow policies before you offer academic counseling advice to your students. Don’t overstep your bounds! However, a good instructor’s goal is student success, not just student command of subject matter, which is why many instructors also play the part-time role of counselor. Furthermore, this is a way to show your students you care.
No student spends enough time with a counselor to learn everything he or she needs to know. Faculty can help fill in the gaps. Here are some of the important things that many students don’t know, forget, or simply don’t take into consideration:
- Changes to curricula.
- Course scheduling issues (e.g. courses that are offered only at certain times).
- The importance of completing prerequisites in timely fashion.
- The importance of completing math requirements early.
- The important of registering early (e.g. courses that fill early).
- College policies related to graduation (e.g. Will a grade of “D” apply?)
- Alternatives to taking courses (e.g. proficiency exams and substitutions).
- Students’ rights (e.g. procedures for appealing grades or dropping a course)
- College expectations (e.g. the Student Code of Conduct)
- The many, many issues that can prevent them from graduating on schedule.