St. Lawrence University’s First-Gen Initiative (FGI) was recently featured by the NASPA Center for First-generation Student Success on its blog that features new and innovative approaches from partner institutions.
At St. Lawrence we see academic advising as part of our teaching mission––to inspire students to reach their fullest intellectual and personal potential. We assist students in understanding the curriculum and exploring their academic and co-curricular interests, and offer support for students to improve their academic performance, develop skills, and connect with the many resources and opportunities at St. Lawrence to find their paths toward productive and meaningful lives.
In working with Academic Advising, students should increase their ability to do one or more of the following:
Reflect on their own learning process and make adjustments leading to deeper learning and greater academic success
Act as agents in their own learning, taking responsibility for their education and seeking needed support from faculty and staff
Develop long-term academic goals and formulate plans to achieve these
Understand university policies and procedures and navigate these in a professional manner
Develop organizational, self-regulation, and communication skills that will allow them to thrive in professional environments
A liberal arts education demands from students active engagement in their learning. The focus of a St. Lawrence education is the cultivation of broadly applicable skills (critical thinking, written and oral communication, research, problem-solving) and engagement with the world through a variety of perspectives. This kind of education helps students prepare themselves for the worlds of work, civic engagement, and ongoing personal development. It helps them to become dynamic and flexible employees and citizens, who know how to learn to learn, how to engage with others in a diverse world, and how to advocate for their own beliefs and perspectives. All of a student's coursework--whether fulfilling general education requirements, the requirements of a major or minor, or simply courses undertaken due to a student's excitement about the course content--contribute to honing an alert and critical mind that will be well-prepared for the world beyond college. Co-curricular activities also contribute to the strengthening of students' interpersonal skills and ability to participate as productive members of diverse communities.
To be an active participant in one's learning means thinking intentionally about one's academic trajectory as well as opportunities for co-curricular development.
Taking advantage of the many available opportunities and navigating what is usually a non-linear path through college requires students' commitment to ongoing intellectual and social exploration, aided by strong advising from faculty and other mentors. The office of Academic Advising Programs serves as a hub for such activities, helping to connect students to the many kinds of opportunities that can help with their academic and personal growth. We work with academic departments and programs, Student Life, Athletics, the First-Year Program, the Sophomore Success Initiative, the Center for International and Intercultural Studies, Community-Based Learning, Center for Career Excellence, Career Connections, and others across campus, seeing the student experience as holistic and interconnected.
Our staff also offer specific support services to help students develop their skills and potential: Academic Support, Peer Tutoring, Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Our office also houses the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), as well as the CSTEP and McNair programs.
We invite all St. Lawrence students (and their families) to explore our web pages and to contact any of us to learn more about specific opportunities and services, to find solutions to problems, and to engage in an ongoing conversation about the myriad possibilities open to students.