The Department of Theater and Dance informs and advises students in several ways:
After freshman students are assigned to a major department, usually in their second semester, they are assigned advisors in their major. In Theater and Dance, theater students are assigned to theater faculty, and dance students are assigned to dance faculty. If students know what area of the field they intend to pursue, the department tries to assign them to a faculty member specializing in that area whenever possible. Advising assignments are posted near the department office. Students may request a change in advisor, but may not ask for a specific advisor.
The practices of each advisor vary, somewhat depending on the number of advisees one is assigned and the amount of time one is able to commit to advising. All provide for extended office hours during the advising period after schedule booklets come out, typically at the end of October and the end of March. Some advisors work individually with students, while others find group advising more effective.
A typical advising session includes a review of progress toward the degree, using a "degree audit" provided by the Registrar's Office. There is discussion of options, an opportunity to clarify student concerns, and review of the student's intended courses. When satisfied that the student has been advised and understands his or her situation, the advisor will sign the registration form and remove the electronic block for the student to register on the Web.
Students are urged to prepare for this advising session. They need to sign up or make the advising appointment early, and be careful to arrive on time. They need to review their own degree audit through InfoBear, and they need to come prepared with a planned registration, including some alternative courses. Students approaching their senior year, in particular, need to be very careful that they will be able to complete all requirements before their planned graduation.
In January, June, and August the college provides for orientation and registration for admitted transfer students who began their programs at other institutions. During the day, group advising sessions are scheduled for each major department. In the Department of Theater and Dance, the department chair or representative meets with the transferring students and helps them select courses for the following semester.
The Department prepares advising folders for each student known to be attending. Typically, the session begins with a review of the programs in the department using handouts that clarify the requirements for each. Students are given general information about the Department's programs and opportunities, along with some general guidance for course selection. They are taught how to read the General Education Requirements in the schedule booklet, and how to read their transcript evaluations for equivalencies to BSC courses and requirements. They are then assisted in selecting course from those available with open seats.
When students have completed their course selection and the transfer advisor has signed, they are assigned to a regular faculty advisor and their folders are collected for department files. They then proceed to registration.
The transcript evaluation provided by the Admissions Office deals only with equivalencies to General Education courses. Transferred courses that may be applied to the major must be evaluated by the Department. Typically this requires completion of an equivalency request form and descriptive information about the course completed at the other institution. At the least that information will include the official catalog description of the course, but a course syllabus is much better. Generally, the evaluation for equivalency to departmental requirements will not be completed during the advising session, but must be pursued later. This is particularly true when transcripts do not yet include the courses completed in the most recent semester.
The assigned faculty advisor in the department is the primary source of information and advice about academic issues and career considerations. Students should seek out their advisors at times other than for course registration for these discussions, however.
Students occasionally find that they need additional advice and support in resolving matters with a service office of the institution, with another faculty member, or with some other aspect of college life. The assigned faculty advisor is the individual that can provide guidance on how to approach the matter, direct the student to the proper individuals or offices that can help the student, or perhaps resolve the matter on the spot by making a telephone call.
Most students are unclear about their real opportunities in the fields of theater or dance, and often look for guidance in making choices that will optimize their opportunities. In most cases, the faculty advisor can offer a discussion regarding opportunities, some assessment of the student's potential in a particular area, and direction in learning more about an area. In some cases the advisor may feel another faculty member has a better perspective on the specific areas of concern to the student, and will help them get that assistance. The faculty in the Department range widely in their areas of expertise, and students are encouraged to approach any faculty member regarding opportunities in her or his specialty.
Last Modified: June 26, 2012