One major objective of academic advising is to help students who are academically weak to stay on track. This involves: (1) identifying students with academic problems; (2) finding the causes of students’ problems; and (3) tracking students’ progress

(1) Identifying students with academic problems

Students often do not place sufficient importance to their own problems until their academic performance are seriously affected. Even if they understand the seriousness of their problems, many of these students are reluctant (or do not know how) to proactively seek help.

Advisers are therefore encouraged to identify students in need by taking a look at the GPAs of their advisees at the end of each semester (the GPA information is available in the “Academic Advising Tools in SIS” – click here for instructions). A very low GPA (e.g., GPA < 1.5), a significant drop of GPA or a failed course are indicators that a student needs particular attention from his / her Academic Adviser.

(2) Finding the causes of students’ problems

Students’ weak academic performance may stem from academic or non-academic reasons. Advisers should try to find out the problems encountered by their advisees. If the problems are non-academic in nature, advisers may consider referring the students to CoPE counsellor (for psychological problems), to student advisory officer of CEDARS (for financial problems), to the University Health Service (for medical problems), or to other supporting units as appropriate to address the identified concerns (see referral section).

(3) Tracking students’ progress

Advisers are encouraged to frequently follow-up on the situation of their academically weak advisees to provide timely advice in case of need. Under these circumstances, the meeting notes that Advisers kept in the SIS Advising System will provide useful reference for effective follow-up and devising advising strategies.

See here for a Back-On-Track worksheet for discussion with your advisees.