Academic advisor

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Academic Advisor

Part one: Academic counselling

1 Objectives of the Academic Counselling

The processes of the academic counselling aims to enhance the quality level and the educational services offered by Al-kharj Community College in relation to the development and improvement implemented in Prince Sattam University and its future plans in virtue of the following subsidiary objectives:

 

1. Maximizing students’ compatibility academic mode.

2. Helping students' overcome the personal and academic problems.

3. Stimulating students' to show the best of themselves –skills, and talents – with the best quality.

4. Raising students' awareness about the importance of using college facilities and resources.  

 

2 Role and tasks of the academic advisor

 

The task of the academic advisor is principally focused on the performance of the University student since his admission to the Community College until his graduation and providing him with the care, counselling and directions which may be necessary for meeting the requirements of success in the collage pursuant to the applicable by laws and regulations in the University.   

 

A Student is supervised by a chosen group of faculty members who are highly qualified in the academic advising, the tasks of which are as follows:

1. Providing the academic advising and engineering the knowledge map which the students have to follow in order to choose the best courses and the most convenient alternatives.

2. Providing a freshman   with the available courses, levels, transferring, success and failure system.

3. Acquainting students with the assessment systems and how grades are calculated for the subjects of specialization. 

4. Familiarizing students with items of the study plan (levels, majors, basic and optional subjects).

5. Acquainting students with the titles of the subjects, their requirements, the equivalence subjects, and their order and providing them with the optimal methods for making use of such data.

6. Providing students with the dates of course registration, withdrawing (dropping) and adding course and transferring across sections in virtue with the regulations and bylaws.

7. Assisting the students in registering the academic hours that should be commensurate with their abilities and consistent with the university regulations at all levels.

8. Assisting the students in filling in the academic forms and applications in a correct manner and submitting them in the due dates and ensuring that all forms have been filled in.

9. Helping students through opening new sessions and effectively watching the classrooms and the workflow.

10. Advising the students to choose the convenient courses that fit well with their abilities and interests. 

11. Assisting the students in acquiring an increasing efficiency and effectiveness in studying the programmed course via instructing them how to understand the course and referring them to the important references.

12. Identifying the most suitable academic track for the students and setting the study plan that fits well with his abilities and enable him to complete his academic program with the best ways.

13. Advising students to how they could manage their lecture time and how to make the best use of the free time in reviewing and studying in the library and Internet halls.

14. Providing the students with the necessary support during the exam time which particularly pertains to how he could organize his time and effectively prepare himself for these exams.

15. Watching the GPAs' of the students and academically advising students with low GPAS and motivating them and drawing their attention to the followed procedures in this respect.

16. Directing the students to achieving the best possible benefit from their majors at the academic,   physical and healthy level and orient them toward the various    college facilities.

17. Advising the students to how they can make use of the summer courses and implement projects and study plans.

18. Directing students to how they make use of the Edugate in order to exploit all the services offered by the college to the Student.

19. Familiarizing students  with different websites relating to the university and college websites, the importance of which are to provide them with the news of their college and university and help them learn about the courses , lectures and tests, key answer models and questions models ,faculty members and other relevant information.

In addition, the academic advisor seeks to familiarize the students with the administrative and organizational structure of the college in line with the offered services, his rights and duties through the following: 

1- Urging the students to permanently visiting their respective academic advisors during office hours.

2- Conducting the awareness programs (lectures and seminars) in collaboration with the volunteering students to service their classmates and developing their organizational skills.

3- Organizing workshops relating to the irregular phenomena observed in the Community College with the aim of addressing them, such as smoking and wearing unfit dress.

4- Helping students with special needs to overcome their health problems.

5- Exploring the skills and the special talents of the students with the aim of improving and developing these talents.

6- Planning the advising process in terms of the advising tools such as designing questionnaires and applying the observation lists and guiding interviews.

7-Drawing the student's attention toward how to make use of the summer courses and how to conduct projects and set study plans.

 

3 Modus operandi of academic counselling

The Computer Department has an academic counselling committee. Members of this committee are faculty members whose duty it is to counsel and give guidance. In performing his duties, the academic advisor avails himself of whatever amenities are available to him in his office, such as a desktop computer hooked up to the Internet, a networked laser printer so as to print out forms if need be, a telephone to stay in touch with the head of the Department as well as the Students’ Affairs office and his fellow academic advisors. The E-register portal for entering student data is, however, the responsibility of an employee in the Students’ Affairs.

It is incontestably true that the use of E-register in academic counselling is pivotal because it enables the supervisor to get to know the student’s record in the preceding terms and his GPA, which is considered the key to academic counselling since it is the most formal way of assessing a student’s academic status and his performance.

It is essential also that the supervisor be well versed in the issues related to adding and dropping out of courses, the stipulated order of courses and course prerequisites, course equivalency, course contents, levels, number of credits to be completed according to the level in which a student is at the moment, and a whole host of other issues pertinent to academic counselling.

The academic supervisor should also be fully competent in using the services on edugate since it enables the student to perform almost all of his academic needs at the outset of each term, such as his timetable, his scores in the previous term, his GPA, finding out about all courses, subjects, sections and study plan for the current academic year, etc.

 

4 Skills of an academic advisor

The academic advisor should be able to carry out the counselling process well, and to do so he needs to have a number of qualities that help him to provide the necessary guidance to uplift the efficiency of the educational process of the student.

The successful advisor is able to communicate effectively with his students, he can identify their needs, he is good at listening to them, he understands them and cares for them, he does not attack or ridicule them, and he works with them and engages them in planning their studies, investing in their experiences and trusting their abilities. Then they will be able to take their concerns into their hands and address the obstacles they encounter during their studies. Therefore, some of the skills that should be available to the academic advisor to contribute to the achievement of the goals set for him are the following:

Leadership skill:

It is to create a positive relationship with the students to influence them and help them move towards the set goals.

Sympathy:

By this skill we mean the ability to understand the students’ feelings and emotions and to form a good relationship with them, which helps to facilitate the guidance, advice and counselling.

Planning Skill:

The ability of the academic advisor to help the students to set goals and turn them into achievable actions, for example helping a student to choose the appropriate specialization to achieve far-reaching goals related to his academic and career prospects, or helping him prepare a plan to raise his cumulative average.

Organizational skill:

It is the ability of the academic advisor to organize and arrange the work of the counselling in a way that makes the most use of it, and this applies to the organization of student files and the registration and deletion of courses and any other similar work.

Listening skill:

 It is important for the academic advisor to be a good listener to his students, to know their opinions, ideas, suggestions and problems, which enhances their self-esteem and strengthens the relationship between them and the advisor, which is ultimately for their benefit.

The academic advisor may build on the desires that the student seeks to achieve in order to try to understand the problem and identify the strengths and weaknesses in the undergraduate student's journey and begin to address what can be remedied in terms of courses, timetables or study plan as a whole.

Decision-making and problem-solving skills:

These skills are necessary for the academic advisor when he or she is listening to the views of the students to identify the problems they face. The advisor thus learns how to identify the problem and set the assumptions and then help them make the right decisions to solve their problems.

If the goal of the learning process is to determine the path that the student should follow to obtain the best education suitable for his abilities and achievement, the academic advisor is also required to try to foresee the future for all remaining courses of the student so that the student can complete them satisfactorily and as soon as possible.

Group Counselling Skills:

This skill is concerned with dealing with a group of students who share an issue, such as ignorance of the system, school delays, attendance, low cumulative rate, etc. Such issues ought to be dealt with collectively to save time and achieve goals quite expediently. This includes the involvement of students in solving their problems and access to the results, making the right decisions, and the way to gather students and divide them into groups to identify their shared problem and discuss the causes and consequences and then put forward tenable solutions and remedies.

Time management skill:

It is an important skill that includes scheduling and coordinating the work, and defining the time plan for the work of the advisor, which includes the dates of registration, course deletion and addition, scheduling and organization of office hours through which students can meet with the advisor.

 

Part two: Academic Counselling in the Community College of Kharj

The programme of study at the Community College of Kharj comprises at least five semesters, during which a student ought to complete 94 credits in order for him to fulfil the graduation requirements.

 

Pass and failure

A student passes a course if he scores 60% or more. The highest score is 100.

Grades, Semester Average and GPA

The total of marks in each course is the sum of marks for coursework (40 or 50) and the final exam mark (60 or 50). Coursework includes: first test, second test (if any), surprise tests, participation, homework, papers, and any other tasks assigned to the student prior to the final exam.

Marks for coursework are recorded regularly throughout the term, and they are calculated at the end of term. The final exam score should be recorded within 48 hours of the test. The total mark is entered on edugate, where the student can see his mark.

Semester average and cumulative average

The student receives a semester average after passing a number of courses and obtaining the results of all the courses for that semester, after the calculation of all of his ratings. The following chart elucidates this:

Score

Rating

Symbol

Grade

Result

≤95

Upper excellent

A+

5

 

 

 

Pass

90-94

Excellent

A

4.75

85-89

Upper very good

B+

4.5

80-84

Very good

B

4

75-79

Upper good

C+

3.5

70-74

Good

C

3

65-69

Upper acceptable

D+

2.5

60-64

Acceptable

D

2

>60

Fail

F

1

Fail

 

The semester average is the mean value of the scores a student receives for the total number of courses he has taken in that semester, taking into account both the number of courses and the number of credit hours for those courses. The number of units is not necessarily the same as the number of credits. Some courses for example are taught in three hours per week, but they are allocated two credit hours. It is possible to enquire about the credits for the courses in the Community College by referring to the Course descriptions available in the Department, or by going to the Department’s official website.

 

Suppose a distinguished student in level 2 in the diploma programme at the Community College is enrolled in one of the majors offered by the Computer Department, and he wants to calculate his semester average for the previous semester (level 1) after having obtained the scores for all of his courses:

 

Course

Credits

Score

Grade out of 5

Total of points

COMP 110

3

96

5

5 X 3 = 15

COMP 111

2

92

4.75

4.75 X 2 = 9.5

COMP 112

2

88

4.5

4.5 X 2 = 9

MATH 114

3

87

4.5

4.5 X 3 = 13.5

ENG 110

10

83

4

4 X 10 = 40

Total

20

 

 

87

 

His semester average then (and it is also his GPA here because he has completed only one semester) = 87/20 = 4.35

If the student continues to be distinguished, and scores the following in level 2:

Course

Credits

Score

Grade out of 5

Total of points

ENG 120

6

85

4.5

6 X 4.5 = 27

COMP 111

3

90

4.75

4.75 X 3 = 14.25

COMP 112

2

95

5

5 X 2 = 10

MATH 114

3

88

4.5

4.5 X 3 = 13.5

ENG 110

3

83

4

4 X 3 = 12

Total

2

96

5

5 X 2 = 10

 

19

 

 

76.75

 

 

The semester average for this student then (level 2) is as follows: 76.75/19 = 4.04

And the GPA for the two semesters will be:

(87+76.75) / (20+19) = 4.2

Oftentimes a student may wish to improve his GPA. From what we have seen in the Community College, it is possible to summarise the alternatives that show a student to what extent his ambition of improving his GPA is achieved:

 

Student level

Number of units

passed

Number of units in the current semester

Current accumulative average

Total

accumulative points

First option

Second option

Target average

Average required in each course

Target  Average

Average required in each course

First

0

17

0

0

4.5

B+

3

C

Second

17

15

3.6

61.2

4.0

A

3.80

B+

third

32

15

3.0

96

3.63

A+

3.3

B

Graduation semester

47

17

2.76

129.72

3.22

B+

3.08

B

 

Transfer and dropping out of a semester

Transfer
1. Any student can transfer to any of the specializations within the college in the qualifying programmes provided that his/her secondary school specialization accords with the specialization he / she wishes to join.
2. Any student of Prince Sattam University can transfer to any of the specializations of the College in the Transitional Program provided that:

 He / she is a regular student at the university.

His / her specialization in secondary school accords with the specialization he wishes to join.

His/ her accumulative average should not be less than 2.

To transfer from the specializations in the qualifying program to another in the transitional program, the following conditions are required:

The accumulative average (GPA) should not be less than 2.

The student has not been transferred from the university to the qualifying program

 The student has not been transferred from the transition program to the qualifying program.

The students are chosen according to their accumulative average and the available seats in the required specialization.

To transfer from the specializations in the transitional programme to the specializations in the qualifying programme, the following conditions are required:

The student's specialization in the secondary school should accord with of the specialization which the student wishes to transfer to.

Students are chosen according to the accumulative average and the available seats in the required specialization.

Dropping out of a term
A student can apply for an apology for the term without any effect on his or her undergraduate course or cumulative average. The student may obtain permission for dropping out twice during the period of his / her study in the College (five terms for qualification).

Academic dismissal, twice the period, weak cumulative average

A student will be warned automatically if his / her cumulative average falls below the graduation limit of 2. If the average is below that limit, he or she will receive another warning. A student may receive one or more warnings if he / she fails to complete his study in the assigned duration.
A student will be academically dismissed if he receives more than 3 academic warnings. He / she has the right to appeal to the Dean of the College, who considers the possibility of offering the student an opportunity to overcome the stumbled courses.

 

Attendance, absence and deprivation

The College esteems attendance of the lectures to be compulsory in the different disciplines and all sections. The student is permitted to sit for the final examination of the registered course if his absence does not exceed 25% of the total lectures during the term. The College Council has the right to take appropriate procedures for students whose percentage exceeded the percentage postulated in University system.
If a student is debarred from sitting for the final exam in a specific course, he/ she will receive zero in that course. If a student is absent in the final exams and fails in a course, then he/ she will get one point in that course.

 

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