My advisees are primarily IMA POE or IMA Secondary Emphasis students seeking career advising from someone with creative industry experience. I have a busy and active advising schedule each semester given that I am one of the only solely IMA-focused faculty who has industry experience on campus. My open-door policy means that I advise not only my actual advisees but also students I have had in class, may have in class in the future, and have just met during the office hour appointment.
In IMA, advising is more than planning courses over four years. It is planning internships, practicum experiences, research projects, and the very personalized statements representing the student in their first introduction as a creative professional online. As an advisor and design professional, I find that an open-door policy works best with students. I have maintained office hours and appointments and created a professional yet personalized relationship with the students so that they feel comfortable asking for help when needed. Meeting frequently and consistently also helps me understand the students more personally and helps me guide them as they grow and learn their personalized path.
In my advising sessions, I meet with students in my office, in a classroom to work together, or on Zoom if that is easier for the student and their busy schedules. In my group advising lunches, I enjoy seeing peer-to-peer advising and mentoring. While course and advising discussions may not occur in the classroom, the lunch advising sessions allow for the range of class levels present in the classroom to give advice to one another based on their own experiences. Yielding a more dynamic audience, with each student at their own place in their Juniata journey, these advising sessions in Baker allow me to facilitate advising discussions that are more impactful than I could otherwise I encourage all advisees, both GEN and POE, to design their Juniata degree with courses in general education and their POE that they are passionate about and engaged in. If the only course available for a Gen Ed credit is a subject the student is not interested in, I advise them to wait to take a course until another semester.
For study abroad advising, I focus on meeting with the CIE office either in person or on Zoom each semester to ensure I understand the upcoming deadlines and which programs are IMA specific. Some art and design programs require additional submissions and reviews, including student portfolios and letters of support. I work with the students individually for these locations to ensure they are ready for the strict application requirements.
Just like in my classroom, I find it very important to motivate students through advising to make a difference in something they find passion in. Internships in IMA allow students to learn about various work environments and styles. Each internship is unique, and every student is advised and mentored to choose a location that is fitting to their skill set and goals.