This summer, Falk College academic counselors Patty Sweeney and Brooke Tyszka traveled to the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) International Conference in Belgium and presented their innovative work advising undeclared Falk students primarily through their efforts in the Falk HSH 101 course for all first-year students.
As parents and families prepare to send their students off to their first year of college-or any year for that matter-letting go is difficult, but the Academic Counselors in the Falk College Office of Student Services are working to build a connection with each student. Sweeney and Tyszka share some ways below to help parents, families and students recognize how Falk College supports our incoming first year students, while empowering them to take ownership of their educational journey.
- We recognize that students may have had a great deal of assistance from loved ones as they navigated academics in high school. At SU, we will encourage students very early on to initiate their own discussions directly with Staff, Faculty, and their Academic Counselor. Developmentally, parent involvement with faculty and staff should become less frequent as the student builds autonomy.
- All Falk students are assigned a Professional Academic Counselor from Falk College Office of Student Services for the first year. Students will develop skills needed for class planning and registration, receive information about campus policies and procedures, and learn how to access campus resources. These are essential skills for students to learn by the end of the first year!
- First year students will complete HSH 101 in the first semester. In this course, students with a declared major will connect with Faculty and Staff from their department, as well as, their Professional Academic Counselor. Undeclared students will be taught by their Professional Academic Counselor and will have the opportunity to connect with their Counselor a minimum of six times throughout the semester in a small class setting. Building connections and offering support while encouraging independence is a Falk cornerstone.
- All students are required to meet with their Professional Academic Counselor in 300 MacNaughton Hall (Falk Complex) individually at least one time each semester. However, students are encouraged to reach out to their Counselor as often as needed. Students can discuss any and all needs with their Academic Counselors, who can provide referrals to additional campus supports.
- Falk College offers a multitude of activities that meet academic and social needs. We encourage students to take time daily to read through all emails sent to their syr.edu account as we don’t want any opportunities or important information to pass them by!