A look at advising week at KSC

Keene State College just wrapped up their scheduled advising week with currently enrolled students, but the college wants to remind students that their planning process isn’t set in stone.

The last week of October was the scheduled course registration and advising time for KSC students. With help from the Student Academic Support Services (SASS) office, the upcoming semester is planned and ready to go. The SASS office consists of several departments that work together to support all students in their academic and professional endeavors.

Lisha Hunter, Academic and Career Advisor, and Kristin Sweeney, Executive Director of Student Academic Support Services, shared that the collaboration between staff and students during the registration process is a thorough and ever-changing affair that is flexible to every student’s needs. In-person and virtual appointments were offered to students during their registration process. This semester, walk-in advising appointments were brought into the mix as well, allowing students who need some quick help to get the guidance they need to accomplish their goals.

Although the advising schedule looked like only one week, Sweeney explained that schedules are always able to be changed. “Advising is not just one week. We work on schedules now… [Students] can come [to the SASS office] the first week [of the semester] and make changes. We try to help students understand that lifecycle of course registration,” Sweeney said. There is time to alter schedules even after the registration week, allowing students to make changes later in the year.

Hunter expressed that with course selection, it is important to keep an eye on the trends of what courses may need changing. Sweeney expressed that advisors most often see courses being over registered to the point where they open new sections of a course for students to be in. Sweeney expressed that students registering at their given time is key to the SASS staff and being able to gauge how they need to make changes in their course availability. “It’s strategic… Behind the scenes there’s a matrix of ghosted [course] sections that suddenly come to light in student planning that students can jump in,” Sweeney said.

Hunter also said, “Faculty got creative about how to offer some of those classes where it might have been real easy to say, ‘It’s going to be really hard to do this class because of COVID-19’. [Faculty] really thought creatively about how to deliver [the courses] so that the course offering wasn’t impacted [negatively].”

Hunter said that the registration and advising process is very collaborative and hands-on. “Advisors are here to support you on your journey. That relationship you build with your advisor is one of the most important relationships you can build [at KSC] while working towards your goals,” Hunter said.

Sue Castriotta, Associate Provost, explained that the college’s growth is always occurring. She also said the goal of the Provost’s office is to always make improvements to the academics of KSC. “We’re always trying to improve, but we have to make sure that we can operationalize. If we can’t pull it off, we’re not going to attempt it… We are going to try to do better… When we find the hiccups, we try to address them,” Castriotta said.

Academic optimization and change is the current foreground of KSC advising and course registration.

Abby Provencal can be contacted at aprovencal@kscequinox.com

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