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Academic Advisory System

Faculty of Science Academic Advisory System for Students


Abstract

The Faculty of Science introduced the common admission policy coupled with the reform of the curriculum in 2007. Under this new policy, students who wish to take any of the Science majors only need to put 6901 in their application. Once students are admitted, they can take a range of subjects in Science before making a decision and declare their major at the end of the first year. With this flexibility in curriculum choices, it is important and necessary for the Faculty to set up an academic advisory system to advise students on the choice of major, course requirements, and possible major-minor combination to suit their interests, ability, and career aspirations. The objective of the project is to develop an academic advising system in the Faculty of Science to provide appropriate and timely guidance to optimize student learning in the Faculty. An Academic Advisory Office headed by the Associate Dean (Student Affairs), supported by a full-time Student Advisor in the Faculty and departmental Course Selection Advisors and Faculty Advisors, was set up in 2007.

Principal Investigator

Professor S. Kwok, Faculty of ScienceContact

Project level

University-level project

Project Completion

October 2009

Deliverables

The Academic Advising System consists of two tiers of advising: Information-based Advising and Personal Academic Advising.

Information-based Advising provides all sorts of academic information related to syllabuses, major and minor information, course descriptions, and regulations. A handbook for BSc students (hard-copy) are provided to all freshmen at the time of registration and a booklet on “Tips for Choosing your major” is produced to offer suggestions to students on when, what and how to choose their science major as well as a minor and a second major. An interactive online tool “Major Selection Assistant” was created in 2007 to allow students to explore different science major/minor combinations and is subsequently upgraded to a new online syllabuses and regulations system in summer 2010 in which the curriculum details are linked to the SIS to facilitate students to select courses and check their requirements. A Handbook for Academic Advising (for teachers and administrative staff) which outlines the principles of Faculty academic advising and the operational procedures is produced and updated annually for internal use.

Tier 2 advising is Personal Academic Advising and it comprises two teams of advisors: the Course Selection Advisors (CSAs) are responsible to advise students on major-minor and course selection, in particular before the start of each semester; and the Faculty Advisors (FAs) provide intensive academic advising to students with unsatisfactory academic performance. All CSAs and FAs are teachers from our six departments/schools and the Department of Biochemistry who have shown strong support and commitment on advising our students. A group of 38 CSAs, which represents more than 30% of the teachers in the Faculty and 14 FAs are appointed in 2010-11. It is compulsory for each freshman to meet, in person, with at least one CSA to discuss their course selection in the first course selection period prior to the commencement of the first semester.

Induction Day is the first event for our academic staff to meet with the freshmen and to introduce the Faculty academic structure and is also an important channel to facilitate students’ transition to university life. The Faculty has expanded its Information Session to a one-day compulsory Induction Day since 2009-10. Activities of the Induction Day include an induction seminar, small group discussion, major/minor talks, Q&A counters and a general talk on course selection, curriculum and graduation requirements. The 2010 Induction Day was well attended by 90% of the new students. A total of 47 teachers and over 20 student helpers helped out in the Induction Day.

All relevant information for students about curriculum information, graduation requirement, examination and academic advising is maintained online at the Faculty of Science website (http://www.scifac.hku.hk/ug/current).

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