Academic Advising During the University Foundation Year:
The University organizes two events for the benefit of freshmen students in the Foundation Year:
· “Fall Orientation Week”: During this program, the students are introduced to the different university services including the Deanship of Students Affairs, Deanship of Admission and registration, library services, medical services, extracurricular activities…etc…The students are also informed about the process of application and admission to the different university faculties at the end of the Foundation year.
· “Spring Orientation Week”: During this program, the students are informed about the different university faculties. Representatives from each faculty give presentations and answer the student questions.
Academic Advising in the Faculty of Engineering:
General Academic Advising: The Faculty of Engineering organizes three annual events that provide general academic advising and career guidance to Faculty students:
· “Fall Engineering Gate”, in which the Faculty freshmen students are welcomed to the Faculty of Engineering. Presentations are given on the nature of study in the Faculty as well as advice on success factors.
· “Spring Engineering Gate”, in which the Faculty freshmen students are introduced to the different departments and programs in the Faculty. Students receive first-hand information about the engineering disciplines and the procedure of applying to the different engineering programs.
· “Engineering Day” is organized to serve as a Career Fair which lasts for three days, representatives from various companies and industrial organizations are invited to the University to give presentations about their companies and different career paths within their company. Job interviews are also held on these days. Senior students also give presentations about their senior projects.
Academic Advising through the Vice-Dean Office:
The staff at the AATU provides general advice to students concerning registration, summer and coop training, as well as advice for other student services. Moreover, the Student Counseling Unit provides advice to students facing difficulties in their studies and/or personal life. In particular, students on probation are given special attention and support.
Academic Advising in the Academic Program:
Upon admission to the academic Program, each student is assigned a faculty member as his Academic Advisor for the whole period of study in the Program. Typically, each Academic Advisor is responsible for 20 to 30 students in the program. During the preregistration period, the students meet their Academic Advisors to discuss their plan for the upcoming term. The Advisor remains in close contact with the student until he graduates, tracking the student performance and giving guidance on how to correct any deficiencies. The advisor also guides the student in preparing his curriculum plan and in selecting the elective courses to fit his desired career path.
The advising and monitoring process in the Academic Program ensures that each and every student follows his curriculum plan. The advisor keeps and updates the student advising file that contains documentation on both the curriculum plan and the current transcript of the advisee. The advisor has access, through the Student Information System (ODUS Plus) to the student transcript, current schedule as well the list of courses offered. Although the pre-registration is carried out online by the student, other registration operations such as add-and-drop, course withdrawal, registration for electives, registration for the summer/Coop training and course substitutions all require the approval of the academic advisor. Course substitutions in particular require -after certification by the course instructor that the new course is substantially equivalent to the one in the curriculum plan- the approval of the academic advisor and the department head.
Although the Student Information System (ODUS Plus) ensures that the students follow the curriculum plan of the Program, and forces them to take courses in the proper order and comply with all the prerequisites, the role of the academic advisor is essential in monitoring the progress of the students. This is especially critical for students placed on probation by the Deanship of Admission and Registration. A student is put on probation whenever his cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.75, or he has spent 15 semesters in the Faculty of Engineering without graduating. The academic advisor is responsible for helping the student overcome such critical situations.
Academic advisors also help the students in selecting their capstone design senior projects and Summer or Coop Training, and provide career guidance to graduating students.