Facts about advising

As the chair of the faculty-led Committee on Advising, Placement, and Enrollment (CAPE), which has spent the last two years designing Yale’s new advising system on the basis of extensive consultation with Yale faculty, heads and deans of the colleges, and student focus groups, I want to respond to a recent column (“BRISMAN: Advice on Advising,” August 30, 2017) asserting that college advisers are “told not to pay too much attention to what first years are studying or even to talk to them until their ways have been set under the influence of first-year counselors [and] peer opinion.”

In fact, college advisers are expected to pay close attention to how first-year students build a course of study, and to put it in a holistic context. They are also expected to meet with students multiple times per term, including at the start of course selection period.

CAPE and all the leaders of Yale’s advising systems share Prof. Brisman’s goal of connecting students with expert advice from a trusted faculty, though we may differ about how to accomplish that goal in the midst of sudden and welcome increases in the number and diversity of our students. CAPE will carefully assess the effectiveness of the new college-advising system and its implementation, and welcomes feedback from anyone involved.

Prof. Brisman is a model of faculty commitment to advising, and I hope he will inspire colleagues to reach for his level of engagement. Those colleagues and their advisees should know, however, that his characterization of the new advising system is simply wrong.

Ian Quinn
Professor and DUS of Music
Chair, Committee on Advising, Placement, and Enrollment (CAPE)