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Sophomores Get an Early Start on Connecting the Dots with New Advising Program

Kate Queeney. Photo by Judith Roberge.

Recognizing that the academic needs of sophomores differ from those of first-year students, the college launched this September a new daylong orientation offering, "Spring Into Fall," specifically geared toward students returning for their second year.

"The sophomore year is a really pivotal one," says Kate Queeney, director of advising and associate professor of chemistry. "Students typically declare a major, and students planning to go abroad junior year plan for that during the sophomore year. They have different concerns than first-years, and they presumably want different things out of advising."

This year, the day's schedule included a process of reflection that allowed each participating student to articulate in writing not only her choice of a major and what led her to that choice but also her vision of where the major might take her.

Students also broke into small groups with faculty members to discuss the process of choosing a major and an adviser.

Fifty sophomores participated this fall. Ultimately, says Queeney, "we'd like to run this for all sophomores. We're doing it as a pilot [this year] to get a better idea of what is most useful and fun for students in future years."

The new program for sophomore advising is supported, in part, by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. —JME

First-year students attended an orientation workshop on how to make the most of academic advising and the open curriculum. Photo by Judith Roberge.

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