As advisors in a fast-paced, ever-changing university setting, we are used to learning new policies and implementing new techniques almost every semester! During Fall 2016, all Advising First advisors at Florida State University were asked to try a different approach to the first meeting with our freshmen cohorts. Instead of the typical one-on-one “get-to-know-you” meeting, we were asked to meet with our advisees in groups of 10.

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While some sites already used the group setting to disseminate information to freshmen, this was a brand new approach for most advisors at FSU. There were definitely challenges that we all faced, but there were some great success stories, as well. Below is a synopsis of the overall results collected from a Qualtrics survey that was sent to advisors after the “Nole Call” season had ended to gauge advisors’ opinions, opportunities, and successes with the new method.

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Basics:
29 advisors completed the survey

Q1: – How many students were on your personal Fall 2016 Nole Call Roster?

  • The majority of advisors (54%) said they had more than 101 students on their personal rosters!
  • Only 12% of advisors had 25 or fewer students.

Q2 – How many group sessions did you have?

  • Average: 16.79 group sessions
  • Most: 50
  • Least: 0
  • Mode: 10
  • Median: 12

Q3 – What was your smallest group size?

  • Average: 3.54 students
  • Most: 8
  • Least: 0
  • Mode: 4
  • Median: 3

Q4 – What was your largest group size?

  • Average: 10.65 students
  • Most: 26
  • Least: 1
  • Mode: 10
  • Median: 10

Q5 – Did you do an icebreaker activity?

  • 90% of advisors had an icebreaker activity in their group sessions.

Q6 – If yes, what kind of icebreaker activity was it?

  • There were 19 free response answers.
  • Common themes:
    1. 2 truths and 1 lie
    2. Basic introductions “Name, Major, Hometown”
    3. Most included a “fun fact” or something unique about each student

Q7 – What were the top 3 concerns voiced by the students?

  • Each advisor was asked to pick their top 3 choices out of 11 options.
  • The top answer was Specific Courses – 15 votes
  • There was a tie for the 2nd answer:
    • Getting Involved – 12 votes – tie
    • Time Management – 12 votes – tie

Q8 – What was most/least successful in your site? Any suggestions for next year?

  • There were 14 free response answers.
  • Common themes:
    1. Difficulty scheduling students – either due to students missing, online sign-up system not working as intended, not enough times available to work with students’ schedules
    2. Icebreakers and group dynamics varied from group to group – some were more talkative than others
    3. Sounds like majority of sites had some sort of handout, note cards, or PowerPoint to use to guide the session

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! If you have more specific questions about the results, feel free to contact Kim Lloyd at kimberly.lloyd@fsu.edu.

Content for this post was written by Kimberly Lloyd, advisor for the College of Music.