SCCO invests itself in its students’ success! As incoming students go through the matriculation process, not only do admissions advisers help with the process but also support services through the Office of Student Affairs with its many offerings helps make the transition into both student and academic life a successful one.
SCCO’s Faculty Mentoring and Advising Program is implemented through the Office of Student Affairs’ Student Achievement Center. Each incoming student is assigned both a peer advisor and faculty advisor. What follows in this blog article is the information given to the incoming student to describe the role the faculty mentor/advisor will play:
SCCO’s Faculty Mentoring and Advising Program Through the Office of Student Affairs:
The purpose of faculty mentoring and advising is to reinforce academic excellence and provide advice to students on academic, professional and personal matters to foster professional growth.
Mentoring and advising is a shared responsibility that incorporates personal, social, academic and career considerations. It focuses on helping a student identify career and life goals, acquire skills and attitudes that promote intellectual and professional growth, and help him or her become academically successful.
Mentoring and advising supports the educational experience by equipping a student with broad knowledge, transferable skills, an appreciation of lifelong learning and a strong sense of values, ethics, and professional engagement.
A faculty mentor and advisor will assist in:
- Exploring of professional goals
- Establishing academic goals
- Creating strategies for academic success such as:
- Tips on how to study effectively and efficiently in optometry school
- Test-taking strategies
- Available resources
- How to communicate your needs with your professor
- Establishing an Action Plan for Academic Success
- How to manage one’s time in optometry school by balancing didactic study with clinical skill practice
- Self-care (e.g., sleep and exercise habits)
Developing a personal syllabus:
To measure achievement of learning outcomes of the mentoring/advising, students maintain an advising notebook. He or she will keep updated notes reflecting outcomes of the mentoring/advising process, such as action plans, self-reflection, agreements and progress toward academic and career goals. By adhering to this syllabus, a student will hopefully become an organized, informed, and professional SCCO student!
How to get the most out of faculty mentoring and advising:
Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty mentors/advisors at least once per quarter, but should feel free to meet with them at other times as well. They are here to help students succeed, guiding them to appropriate resources and establishing positive behaviors to produce a better student and ultimately a better doctor.
What a student gets out of this relationship depends on his or her level of participation. The faculty members in this group volunteer their time and do not simply sign off on some form, but rather want to assist in the student’s personal growth and professional development. Students are encouraged to keep a notebook with prepared questions or topics for discussion with their own faculty mentor/advisor.
The faculty mentor/advisor is looking forward to assisting with a variety of things: information about campus resources, extracurricular activities, getting involved in the profession, helping through a problem, or just checking in to celebrate a success. How students use this value resource is up to them.
How do I meet my faculty mentor/advisor?
Each student’s faculty mentor/advisor is listed on the Peer Advisor Program roster. While you may try dropping in to their office, it’s best to email them ahead of time to set up an appointment.
Mentoring and advising for students at academic risk:
SCCO has taken a proactive stance on mentoring and advising students who appear to be at academic risk. We understand that sometimes a student may have had a bad day, either not feeling well during an examination or perhaps some other life event interfered with his or her ability to perform optimally. When a student is asked to meet with his or her course instructor, a member of the faculty mentor/advisors or a student affairs advisor, understand that this practice is in the student’s best interest and not in any way meant to be punitive.
SCCO does require that students who perform poorly on any examination meet with the course’s instructor of record to review examination and course material. Any subsequent poor performance requires a meeting with the student’s faculty mentor/advisor. All faculty mentor/advisors are knowledgeable on the curriculum as well as the academic standing policies.