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Austin: Colloquium and Academic Advising at Linfield

These are my favorite trees on campus; I've watched them change from green to slightly red, to yellow all in the last few weeks.

These are my favorite trees on campus; I’ve watched them change from green to slightly red, to yellow all in the last few weeks.

The Fog was so cool the other morning on my early-morning walk to Starbucks to study!

The Fog was so cool the other morning on my early-morning walk to Starbucks to study!

Beautiful Fall colors around the wellness trail

Beautiful Fall colors around the wellness trail

 

One of the activities that I am involved with this year works through the Academic Advising office, in a program called Colloquium. Colloquium is a 1 credit class taken by students during their first semester at Linfield, and it is co-taught by a peer advisor and a faculty advisor. The focus of the course is to bridge the gap between high school and college life, in the personal sense, but really the Academic sense as well. Throughout the semester, each class session is devoted to a variety of topics, ranging from exploring the Linfield Curriculum, to understanding how to put together your long-term academic plan, to navigating the career development process. Being a peer advisor this year has been an incredible learning experience. I have 22 first-year students that I keep tabs on, starting in the summer before they even get to campus. They receive letters from myself and their faculty advisor in June, and then I work with them all summer to prepare them for registration, and to make sure that they have everything squared away before they even get to campus. During orientation weekend, we have several class sessions where we meet with parents and students, and prepare them for their first week of college.

Now that the semester is 9 weeks in, a fact that I still can’t wrap my head around, I am meeting with each of them this week for individual advising appointments, where we will talk about how they’re adjusting to life at Linfield, some of their long-term academic and career goals, and we will go over their 4-year plans. I love how much effort Linfield puts in to ensuring academic focus and success starting before day one of college. A huge reason that I am able to graduate in 4 years, study abroad, major, double minor, and complete all of the pre-med requirements is because of colloquium, and the intense focus that Linfield places on academic planning. I have friends at other schools where they get 1 appointment with their faculty advisor per semester for 15 minutes, and that is just so hard for me to fathom. I’ve become accustomed to having such a personalized advising relationship with my advisor; I can shoot her an e-mail with questions any time, or just stop in to her office and ask her questions, and I’m good to go. Being on the advisor side of the equation is a very rewarding process, one where I’m learning how to challenge my students, and how to foster a productive time while they are studying at Linfield. There ya have it, my nerd-out of the day.

Until next time,

-Austin