Dear Case Western Reserve University Faculty and Staff:
I would like to communicate the expectations on the advising landscape for the 2023-24 academic year.
After several years of consideration, we will implement the Unified General Education Requirements (UGER) for all incoming students, starting in the fall 2023 semester. This curricular milestone will better serve our students in their academic exploration and academic preparation for promising futures.
As part of a faculty-driven change in curriculum, we adjusted how we provide academic advice under the new Unified General Education Requirements (UGER). Starting in the fall of 2023, new students will have a pre-major faculty advisor who will welcome new students into our academic community. The pre-major faculty advisors replace the first seminar advisors under SAGES. As is current practice, once a student declares a major they will be advised by their major advisor.
A few months ago, I announced changes to offices that support and advise students. A new Undergraduate Advising Support Office has been created, replacing the functions of the Student Success Initiative and Office of Undergraduate Studies. Four-year advisors from the support office will provide students with connections to academic and other resources, help students understand policies and meet requirements, and offer advice that will promote student thriving. These four-year advisors play a role that combines the best of the former Navigators and undergraduate deans, and they share—but do not replace—the important role of pre-major faculty and major advisors in the intellectual, professional, and personal growth of our students.
To provide clarity in advance of this first year of the new supportive framework for students, let me be specific:
- Four-year advisors will assist incoming students over the summer to create appropriate and balanced schedules for fall 2023. Course selection will reflect the student's intended major and will be guided by departmental recommendations.
- During Discover Week (orientation), students will meet with their pre-major faculty advisor, who will review these schedules to assure they are suitable to the students’ goals. In this early stage, the pre-major faculty advisor will help students explore possible majors and minors and mentor students on career pathways.
- In advance of registration for spring semester, pre-major faculty advisors will review and approve student’s course plans and release advising holds allowing students to register. In this team-based approach, four-year advisors lend support to students and pre-major faculty advisors in course planning based on the student’s goals.
- Once a student declares a major, advising responsibilities will shift from the pre-major faculty advisor to the major advisor. The major advisor will provide more specific information on the major, its requirements and experiential opportunities, preparation for a career, assist with course planning, and release advising holds allowing the student to register. As with the pre-major advisors, the four-year advisors will continue to be available to lend support to students as well as major advisors, with a specific eye on ensuring the student is meeting all degree requirements.
I communicate these expectations and this framework after preliminary consultation with Faculty Senate leadership, who have agreed to these interim policies and will ask the Senate to assess and discuss further recommendations in the fall, so we can be aligned in our communications and in our welcoming of students in just a matter of weeks.
I am confident that this new ecosystem of academic advice and support will help us help students to flourish.
Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President