Advisor Training

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The University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus is committed to providing an exemplary undergraduate advisor training program. The program is proactive, creative, intentional and sustainable. It also respects the unique nature of colleges and programs and recognizes their responsibility to manage training for services and programs unique to the college or unit.

Training further elevates and develops the core skills advisors need to do their essential work. There are a variety of learning tools and resources on this website. In addition, training opportunities are available to the advising community through formats such as workshops, conferences, conversation sessions, and topic-specific trainings.

Attend a Training or Event

Onboarding & Training

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New Advisor Training

Welcome to the University of Minnesota! 

As a new advisor at the University of Minnesota, you may be confronted with a significant amount of information to absorb. Your training plan will focus on both the general tools, policies, and resources of the campus as well as information specific to the protocols and procedures of individual offices. Getting to know the campus facilities along with the technical tools available to support advisors are included in most of the training plans. 

A campus-wide advisor training initiative is also available to cover information and key processes common to the full campus.  Information about training events are available in the Events tab. 

New Advisor Group

The New Advisor Group is an informal way to meet other new and new-ish advisors while learning more about the UMNTC campus. They meet monthly and their approach is to include both group discussion and connection time, in addition to visiting many of the offices across campus to which we often refer our students. Office visit examples include: Disability Resource Center, Student Counseling Services, Student Parent Help Center, Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, and more!

Email the co-chairs if you are a new advisor and would like to be added to the New Advisor Group: Phuong Geiger, [email protected]; Kyle Kunzmann, [email protected]; Grant McCormack, [email protected]; and Adriana Taborda, [email protected].

Example Training Plan

Below is an example of a typical training plan to bring academic advisors on board. Supervisors should review, and consider what is necessary or most appropriate for the new advisor joining the staff.

Departmental Advisor Training

Department advisors are an integral part of the campus advising community.  The work of advisors in academic departments focuses on students in a particular major(s). Advisors in department settings are often a team of one and also have department administrative tasks in their overall responsibilities. 

New advisors need to focus on both the general tools and work of the department and campus as well as information specific to the policies, protocols and procedures of the individual departments. Plans for training generally fall to the department head, director of undergraduate studies, department administrator, and hopefully well-documented information from predecessors. 

Onboarding and Training Plan

This is an example of a comprehensive plan for onboarding and training a new departmental advisor. This plan also contains an onboarding checklist for supervisors. It can be downloaded and saved to use in creating a plan for new staff. Supervisors should work with their new advisor to determine which training areas are needed based upon the skills and experiences of the incoming advisor. Included in the plan are:

FERPA Training

Review this online tutorial to familiarize yourself with FERPA and the importance of protecting students' educational records. Follow the The Ledger's FERPA Q&A blog to learn answers to commonly asked questions.

Training Recordings, Presentations, and Handouts

Below is a collection of presentation slides, handouts, and resources provided by presenters at various advisor training sessions.

If you do not find what you are looking for if you have recently presented and would like to post your resources here, please contact Amy Hackett ([email protected]).

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Trainings

Series Focusing on Essential Needs

See presentations and handouts from various training sessions focused on essential needs for students.

Change of College Training

See presentations and handouts from training conversations focusing on inter-college transfer.

Zoom Training 

Access presentation materials on preparing for using Zoom during Orientation. Additionally, you can watch a video and access presentation materials from a CLA training for academic advisors.

Advising Students Identifying with Underrepresented Groups

Access presentation materials for tips on how to advise students identifying with underrepresented groups (e.g. first gen, low income, international, LGBTQIA+, etc.).

Academic Difficulty Training

See presentations and handouts from training sessions focused on working with students experiencing academic difficulty.

Financial Aid Training

See presentations and handouts from various training sessions focused on financial aid.

Mental Health Training

See presentations and handouts from various training sessions focused on Mental Health.

APLUS Training

Watch the APLUS Basics Tutorial, APLUS Refresher TrainingAPLUS Referral System Training, and access other training materials and resources. Additional resources are available in the 'Help' section of APLUS.

Transferology 101

Watch this training to learn the features and functions of the Transferology system.

Workshops

December 12, 2019 Annual Advising Workshop: Focusing on Supporting Student Resilience

See presentation and handouts from this workshop.

December 13, 2018 Annual Advising Workshop: Focusing on Wellbeing

See presentation and handouts from this workshop.

December 15, 2017 Workshop on Advising First-Gen/Low-Income Students

See presentations and handouts from this workshop.

Annual Orientation Training

2022 Advising Orientation Training

See all of the presentations and handouts from the two Advising Orientation Trainings held in 2022 focusing on first-year students and transfer students.

2021 Advising Orientation Training

See all of the presentations and handouts from the two Advising Orientation Trainings held in 2021 focusing on first-year students and transfer students.

2020 Advising Orientation Training

See all of the presentations and handouts from the two Advising Orientation Trainings held in 2020 focusing on first-year students and transfer students.

2019 Advising Orientation Training

See all of the presentations and handouts from the Advising Orientation Training held on May 30, 2019. 

2018 Advising Orientation Training

See all of the presentations and handouts from the Advising Orientation Training held on May 31, 2018. 

2017 Advising Orientation Training

See all of the presentations and handouts from the Advising Orientation Training held on June 1, 2017. 

2016 Advising Orientation Training

See all of the presentations and handouts from the Advising Orientation Training held on June 2, 2016. 

2015 Advising Orientation Training

See all of the presentations and handouts from the Advising Orientation Training held on June 2, 2015. 

Training Program Opportunities

Racial Justice Training Program

The Racial Justice Training Program (RJTP) is a cohort-based, semester-long racial and social justice education program for advisors. Participants further develop their awareness, knowledge, and skills to better serve students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), thus also enhancing support for students from other historically minoritized groups. RJTP utilizes a cohort as a critical component of its train-the-trainer learning model. Session content and activities include history lessons, contextual learning, Q&A, learning takeaways, and monthly commitments; learners engage with one another via storytelling, discussion, and breakout groups, including racial affinity/accountability groups and cross-racial dialogue. More details are available on the RJTP website or email Amy Hackett, [email protected].

Coaching Skills Training Program

The Coaching Skills Training Program (CSTP) is a professional development initiative designed to train staff to utilize coaching skills in their work with students. The program is overlaid with a racial and social justice lens. CSTP utilizes a cohort as its primary model for training; a small group of up to 9 staff from multiple campus units learn and practice together as a community. Format for the program includes lessons, role-playing, practice, homework, and shadowing. Total time commitment is approximately 25 hours over the course of 4 months. To apply, or read more about the program, including participant testimonials, visit the CSTP website or email Kai Takatsuka at [email protected].

CSTP & RJTP Comparison Chart

  CSTP RJTP
Model Cohort of up to 9 staff from varying units, identities, and professional experiences Cohort of up to 15 academic advisors from a diverse representation of colleges, campus units, and identities
Time Commitment Six half-day training sessions and homework. Approximately 25 hours over the course of a fall or spring semester Eight, two-hour training sessions and homework.  Approximately 30 hours over the course of a fall or spring semester
Format  In-person, so long as permissible by public health guidelines TBD: Either hybrid (some Zoom/some in person) or fully in Zoom
Learning Outcomes Cultivate coaching and equity attitudes, grow coaching skills through learning and practice, and build community with other university staff Cultivate self-reflection within a racial justice framework, use racial justice tenets to expand advising skills and analyze systems, build racially just community with other advisors
Emphasis Learning and practicing coaching skills, especially in service to building interpersonal relationships and shifting power dynamics as a tool for racial and social justice Expanding awareness, knowledge, and skills to better center and affirm students who identify as BIPOC, especially using interpersonal and systems work