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Guide for Faculty Advisors on Advising Sophomores

Understanding Academic Life:

  • Discuss challenges and success of first year in college and sophomore year so far.
  • Discuss the Gettysburg College Curriculum.
  • Help your advisees craft long term academic plans.
  • Pay attention to your advisees' completion of the curriculum requirements, specifically First Year Writing, foreign language study, and any requirements your advisees tend to put off.

Choosing a Major:

  • If you still have one of your first year advisees as an advisee in his or her sophomore year, it's time to discuss major declaration.
  • Some students have declared a major in their minds but have not officially completed the paperwork. Encourage them to do this as soon as possible.
  • Benefits of declaring a major: Students are assigned an advisor within the department, students have access to "major only" communications, activities, resources, students may have access to pre-registration for courses within the major.
  • If a student can identify a few majors as possibilities, explore the required courses in each major and what types of fields or jobs that major can lead to.
  • If a student hasn't narrowed it down at all, try to help eliminate certain majors or areas the student has no interest in and see what's left. Use the list of majors and minors on the Registrar's Office website.
  • Try to explore the various academic disciplines we offer with your advisees.
  • Ask student what his or her favorite courses or professors have been. Often these courses can help identify strengths or areas of interest, or the professors of those courses can help talk students through their choices.
  • Try to dispel myths about 'default' majors that students may mistakenly see as easy.  In fact, all majors require substantial focus and effort, and several of the most popular majors require a minimum grade of C in challenging bridge courses in order for students to continue in the major.
  • If student can no longer continue in major (due to grades or GPA), ask about long term goals and discuss alternate routes for reaching those goals.
  • Use Career Development's Choosing a Major guidance.
  • Explore a self-designed major .

Study Abroad Plans:

  • The Program Finder on the Center for Global Education website allows students and advisors to search for off campus study opportunities that fit their goals and interests.
  • Deadlines: October 1 for spring Off Campus Study; April 1 for fall Off Campus Study
  • Global Leaders at Gettysburg College: A network of upper class study abroad returners who can advise and support your advisees through the study abroad process

Career Development Opportunities:

  • Visit Career Development website for information and opportunities.
  • Winter Break Opportunities: Career Immersion Trips, Job Shadowing, Networking Dinner
  • Summer Break Opportunities: Externships, Internships, One-Day Career Road Trips
  • Gettysburg Works: System for students to search for jobs, internships, and sign up for career related workshops on campus
  • LinkedIn: Professional networking tool that helps to empower students, parents and alumni to communicate with each other about job opportunities, industry trends, etc.

Co-curricular and Leadership opportunities:

  • Discuss how these opportunities are shaping the Gettysburg experience for your advisees.

                 o   Fellowships/Research

                 o   Center for Public Service

                 o   Garthwait Leadership Center

                 o   Greek Life

                 o  Clubs and Organizations

                 o   Intramurals


Other Resources:

Academic Advising Office: Advisors who need assistance with advisees or who have questions should contact Jennifer Cole, Associate Dean of Academic Advising, who primarily deals with sophomores.

Counseling Services: When students are in crisis or in need of ongoing mental health support, you can refer them to our Counseling Center.

Health Services: Students can seek various types of medical care at our on-campus Health Center.

Women's Center: Students experiencing any kind of relationship issues can seek support at the Women's Center.

College Life CARE Team: Anyone on campus who is concerned about a student's health or well-being can contact the College Life CARE team for support.