We expect that advisers will not have more than 18 total liberal arts and major advisees, even though the average load is significantly lower (~12). But large advising loads occur on occasion, so what can advisers do to not feel overwhelmed, especially during Advising Days? 

Here are some useful tips:

  • Separate advisees into class cohorts (first-year, sophomores, junior and senior majors).
  • Space out meetings. Meet with liberal arts advisees during one week and then majors during a subsequent week. Divide advisees into groups of 5-6 and meet with one group each week for 30 minutes to an hour during a common time.
  • Prepare thematic meetings that cut across cohorts (e.g., researching internships, when to Scrunch, how to balance work and academic schedules sustainably, preparing for the sophomore writing portfolio, how to make use of student health services, planning an OCS experience ahead of time, etc.)
  • Make use of the different experience levels of your advisees. Have a couple of majors in with sophomores and first-year students so that the latter might learn from the experience of the older students. This would be especially useful for helping students decide on their intended major(s).

Another point to keep in mind is that some students require more time than others, depending on where they are in their Carleton careers and how good they are at planning. Focus limited time on the students for whom you can bring the most value and farm out some of the work for other students to other resources. For example, have students with questions about internships work first with the Career Center and then have them schedule a short, follow-up meeting with you. The same idea can apply to OCS.