Montana State University

Education

Advising Goals

To provide the information and guidance necessary for our students to be successful, not only in completing the academic requirements of this program, but to also be amply prepared to pursue a career in teaching.

Elementary Education

For elementary education majors, this process includes:

Professional mentoring at all levels of the program.

The thorough dissemination of academic advising information through the use of academic advisors, peer advisors, newsletters, fall orientation meetings, and a Student Survival Guide (which students buy at the MSU Bookstore).

Availability of a HyperCard program through the Education Computer Lab which provides information about the majors/options in elementary education plus the requirements for admission and progress through the program. The program also provides access to required forms and makes completion easy for students.

Taking time to advise students who, after several semesters, find themselves unsuited for a career in elementary education.

Advising students on the steps necessary to be admitted to the Teacher Education Program for their professional course work at the junior level.

Giving students enough tools to be successful during their college years, but also encouraging them to become increasingly self sufficient in planning their course work and meeting their requirements for entrance into their professional programs.

An advising coordinator (.80 FTE) disseminates academic advising information to all academic advisors, peer advisors, and students, keeping them up-to-date in all changes in program requirements and other changes in academic policies related to advising. The advising coordinator also works with classified staff to insure they have up-to-date information on policies and procedures.

Secondary Education - General Science and Social Studies Broadfields

For secondary education students in the general science and social studies broadfield programs, this process includes:

Dissemination of academic advising information through newsletters, summer orientations, and academic advising by specified faculty members.

Giving students enough tools to be successful during their college years, but also encouraging them to become increasingly self sufficient in planning their course work and meeting their requirements for entrance into their professional programs.

Advising Policy

Elementary Education

Students are assigned to faculty alphabetically by last name. Attendance at an advising orientation during the first semester of the freshman year is mandatory. Advising is recommended on a semester by semester basis, or as needed. The Department of Education's Peer Advising Office is open 10 to 15 hours per week to advise students who have just a quick question or who can't contact their advisor. Students are required to meet with their advisor for the completion of their application to the Teacher Education Program at the sophomore level, their student teaching application and application for Baccalaureate degree at the junior level.

Secondary Education - General Science and Social Studies Broadfields

Advising is required during summer orientation sessions, and recommended on a semester by semester basis. Students are required to meet with their advisor for the completion of their application to the Teacher Education Program at the sophomore level; in the junior year prior to student teaching; and at the time of completing an application for a degree.

Recent Changes and Future Plans

To Improve Quality of Advising
Elementary Education

The most significant change in advising since fall 1995 has been developing a Student Survival Guide for use by elementary education majors. This guide contains:

  • The Department's philosophical statement relevant to the curriculum
  • A series of informational documents
  • A list of referrals for students with personal issues
  • A list of referrals for students with concerns about the major
  • An advising checklist
  • All the requisite forms necessary to the successful matriculation of all elementary students

Secondary Education - General Science and Social Studies Broadfields

At present, peer advisors are being trained to work on a limited basis with secondary education majors as well as elementary education majors. An "Advising Hot Line" is available for student use and can be utilized by both elementary and secondary education majors.

A Secondary Education Newsletter containing relevant advising information and deadlines is sent to all advisors each semester. This includes secondary teacher education advisors in other departments on campus.

To Improve Accessibility of Advisors

Nine out of the 11 faculty advisors for elementary education are now on-line with e-mail and have access to SIS. Students are also free to use voice mail in order to set up appointments, ask questions, and receive a response in return. It has been most helpful when students have answering machines.

Students have had access to the peer advising office for the last three years. There is also an "Advising Hot Line" so students and faculty can leave a message. Peer advisors return these calls on a daily basis.

It is important to note that peer advisors go through an intensive training yearly with updates throughout the year. They are trained to model professionalism and to relinquish their rights to talk about the Department or the University as a whole in an unprofessional manner with their fellow students.