Students face many choices in college – finding the right major (or more than one), minor, concentration, clubs, sports, activities, friends – the list goes on – to choose?

“An advisor can make a critical difference for students,” said Rachel Holloway, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs. “A well-trained advisor can help students to look beyond just their degree requirements to build the whole person, contributing to their success here at Virginia Tech and when they go on to further their education or join the workforce.”

The Office of Undergraduate Advising and University Academic Advising Center/University Studies provides resources for faculty and staff who work with students in advising roles – whether academic, personal, professional, or other areas where a student may want or need guidance.

One service the office provides is the Afternoon Chat Series throughout the fall and spring semesters. Each session includes a speaker on topics pertinent to advising, with plenty of opportunity for discussion and application following the presentation.

“Our hope is our seasoned advisors, those new to the role, and those in between will attend these sessions so we can all grow and learn together to better serve our students,” said Kimberly Smith, director of Undergraduate Advising and University Academic Advising Center/University Studies.

“Advisors have an important and sometimes challenging role to collaborate with students to find their best path which is as varied as the students themselves,” Smith said. “The Afternoon Chat Series gives the opportunity to look at advising overall as well as some more specific topics. In addition, when advisors from different colleges and units can attend, we can share ideas and solutions that have worked in some areas that may prompt considerations for others.”

Four Afternoon Chat Series sessions will be held during fall 2013.

  • Sept. 23, 1-2:30 p.m. in Room 345 of Squires Student Center located at 290 College Ave. “Using an academic coaching model to improve student retention” webinar with Jennifer Bloom, clinical professor and director of the higher education and student affair’s master’s degree program, and Claire Robinson, coordinator of academic success initiatives, both at the University of South Carolina.
  • Sept. 26, 2-3:30 p.m. in the Museum Room, 1100 Torgersen Hall, 620 Drillfield Dr. “Advising for student success” session with Jayne Drake, vice dean for academic affairs and associate professor of English at Temple University.
  • Nov. 14, 2-3 p.m. in Room 300 of Squires Student Center. “The peer advising advantage: Creating meaningful connections” webinar with Kathy Stockwell, National Academic Advising Association past president and retired faculty advising coordinator at Fox Valley Technical College.
  • Dec. 11, 2-3 p.m. in Room 300 of Squires Student Center. “Developing intercultural communication skills for academic advising” webinar with Tyann Cherry, senior academic advisor at Webster University; Kathy McKeiver, coordinator of international student academic advising at Northern Arizona University; Luiza Dreasher, multicultural liaison officer at Iowa State University; and Yvonne Halden, graduate student advisor at University of Manitoba.

Anyone at Virginia Tech is welcome to attend the sessions. RSVP via email.

For more information about the series or advising at Virginia Tech, visit the University Advising website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.