When a student is struggling in college, it can take a lot of courage to ask for help. It’s not easy to overcome insecurities and self-doubt to admit that their grades are suffering. Financial difficulties, mental health struggles, and family problems can leave a student feeling vulnerable. Whatever the challenges they are facing, their college success advisor may be the first person they are willing to talk to about what’s keeping them up at night.
Now, let’s imagine that this student calls back a few days later. The advisor they had spoken to is out of the office and there aren’t any advising notes on file. That means they will have to repeat all the same information to someone else, confronting all the same struggles and insecurities over again. Needless to say, this student probably won’t be feeling great when they get off the phone — and they may not be willing to open up again next time.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, imagine that the student calls back and connects with an advisor who knows their whole story. With just a few minutes to review the student’s file, the advisor is prepared to pick up the conversation exactly where it left off without needing to re-hash all the same details. Not only does the student avoid a disheartening exchange, but they likely feel heard and supported, and their advisor is also better equipped to provide meaningful and consistent coaching.
When students reach out for support, it can be scary, but it’s also a huge relief to know that someone is listening and there to help. For students who have navigated their struggles without any support system, having someone to call can be hugely encouraging. By taking detailed advising notes, advisors can demonstrate that this level of trust isn’t taken for granted. The more an advisor knows about each student, down to the small details, the better they can support the path to college graduation.
Learn more about how to put your advising notes to work. Click here to access our guide on “How to Write Effective Advising Notes.”