Academic advisors transition to remote appointments amid campus closure

Due to COVID-19, all classes have been moved to an online-only format. Advising appointments are also being done remotely. (Illustration by Julie Freijat | Collegian Media Group)

After Kansas State moved to online-only classes for the remainder of the spring semester, all advising appointments followed suit. Students now have the option to schedule a meeting with an advisor via Zoom or email.

Jeannie Brown Leonard, vice provost for student success, said it was clear from a public health perspective that in-person advising was no longer an option. Despite the new obstacle, she said everyone was on board with the change.

“There was not a moments hesitation from the colleges about having confidence that we could do this,” Leonard said.

In addition to their eagerness for adaptability, Leonard said a new faculty member stepped up and made a video to teach advisors the best way to use Zoom.

“This member made a video actually helping advisors learn how to leverage their personal Zoom account and use it effectively,” Leonard said. “There has been a lot of creativity and information sharing across the community to help.”

Students are encouraged to contact their advisors if they need to schedule an advising appointment. Jennifer Moore, junior in marketing, said she had an in-person meeting with her advisor planned before campus was closed.

“I met with my advisor via Zoom instead of in-person and it went smoothly,” Moore said. “It was a little unusual at first because I am used to meeting in her office but she shared her screen with me so I could see my 4 year plan and she answered all of my questions and was very helpful.”

Courtney Carlton, academic advisor for journalism and mass communications, has adapted to remote advising fairly well. She said Zoom has some helpful features that make the virtual advising meeting similar to the in-person appointments.

“I do a lot of screen sharing so students can see the same thing they would if we were face-to-face,” Carlton said. “At the end of the day, after I meet with all of my students, I send them an email with their classes listed out and their class codes just so they have our meeting and an email with an overdraft of what we talked about.”

On Tuesday, university officials announced that students will have the option to opt into an A/pass/fail grading system. If students choose this option, they must contact their advisors for this change.

“The office to the registrar’s website has a link to the form for this,” Carlton said. “They will fill that out and send it to me to sign before it’s turned in.”

I'm Monica Diaz and I graduated in May 2020 with a degree in broadcast journalism and Spanish. I severed in several roles while working for the Collegian, but most of my work focused on rebuilding the Collegian digital brand with an increased social media presence. I also worked on KKSU-TV and appeared as an anchor on MHK All Day in my last semester on campus. In my spare time, I enjoy a good cup of coffee and spending time with family. I have a passion for journalism because I believe that everyone deserves to have their voice heard.