Advising is central to this campus, and is carried out by an extensive advising team including professional and faculty advisors.
Advising Students upon Entry to UIS
After students are admitted to UIS, they are linked with an advisor based on the major and the number of academic hours they have completed. First-time, first year students and transfer students with twenty-nine academic hours or fewer will be advised by a professional advisor in the Office of Advising Services, Information, and Support (OASIS). Transfer students who enter UIS having earned thirty or more academic hours will be connected with a professional or faculty advisor housed in the appropriate major department. Advisors will work with students entering UIS to:
- make informed choices concerning their majors;
- select their initial courses;
- track student success and report on student progress,
- assist students in accessing support from other student services offices, and
- develop an understanding of additional campus requirements and policies related to successful completion of academic coursework.
Incoming freshmen are assigned to an advisor in OASIS based on a number of factors and will be notified of this assignment during Summer Orientation. Transfer students who will receive advising within a major department will be connected with either a professional advisor in the department or a faculty advisor upon admission to UIS and will be notified of this assignment during the admissions process.
Traditional freshmen students will be advised by professional advisors in OASIS until they have completed thirty credit hours successfully. At that time, students will attend a Transition Day, during which students are transitioned from OASIS to a professional or faculty advisor in their major departments. OASIS will identify students prepared to transition to advising in major departments and then will include these students in the Transition Day process so that each student gains a thorough understanding of the transition process and how to proceed through advising in the major.
The Role of Advising
Advising provides a means for faculty and professional advisors to communicate information to students, including department/program requirements, course sequencing, and overall student performance expectations, as well as career prospects and opportunities. It can help students achieve personal, professional, and career goals, and it can play a direct role in student persistence and completion rates. For the department, advising can play a vital role in information gathering for curriculum review and evaluation, course design, and student placement. Advising can also contribute to excellence in teaching by strengthening ongoing program evaluation and assessment, and by encouraging professional development. Finally, successful advising involves cooperation and support from the entire campus community. Additional information on advising can be viewed at the OASIS website.
Documenting Advising Performance
The UIS Faculty Personnel Policy emphasizes student advising by faculty. Article 3, Section 2.A. explains that “Advising of students is a critical component of faculty duties, and advising activities and outcomes are an important consideration in the evaluation of faculty. As such faculty shall be prepared to demonstrate that they are actively and effectively engaging in academic advising of students on an ongoing and consistent basis.” Quantitative measures of advising effectiveness, such as numbers of advisees, should be used in relationship to qualitative measures, such as comments by students, reports on activities, advising syllabi, information from institutional retention/advising software, and other relevant materials. Article 9, Section 3.M. of the Faculty Personnel Policy indicates that full-time faculty should be available to students for advising at “mutually convenient times and places” The Portfolio Guidelines for faculty, as explained in Appendix 10, Section V.1 of the Faculty Personnel Policy provide examples of activities that can be documented to support narratives of advising effectiveness. For further information about advising, contact the chair, head, or director of the appropriate department or program.
Professional advisors in the academic colleges or in the Office of Advising Services, Information, and Support are classified as Academic Professionals and are evaluated each year through the campus Performance Evaluation Program. Measures of advising effectiveness and documentation of advising performance may be established by the units to which the advisors are appointed.