Advising Practicum Recap


Last Wednesday, March 21, students and professors alike put classes on hold for a second Advising Practicum Day. The daylong event was designed to guide students on an academic path, allowing them to attend a number of departmental and non-departmental sessions. Each session offered students the chance to ask questions and learn how-to-survive-college-tips as well as how to begin choosing a major.

Advising Practicum held events geared towards first years and students who have not yet declared a major. First years got up early to meet with their FYI group and advisors at 9 a.m. There, they discussed the essays they had completed—most the day before—reflecting on their first completed semester at Beloit and their goals for the future.

Morning sessions began soon after, with topics including graduate school, the importance of a major, how to build a resume and deal with stress, personal budgeting and how to plan an off-campus academic venture.

In the pamphlet that students received  days prior to Advising Practicum, a guide to suggested sessions for each graduating year was laid out, and students could choose to go to the sessions that corresponded with their grade or make their own schedule. At any rate, sessions included students from all graduating years.

Afternoon sessions abounded in a number of different meetings held by each academic department consisting of “meet and greets,” informational panels and Q&A sessions where students could learn about departments and how to go about declaring a major.

There were two evening sessions students could choose to attend, both of them lectures.

One at 7:30 p.m. in Porter Brown Auditorium in the Center for the Sciences was presented by Eric D. Isaacs ’79, professor of physics at the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago, and Director at the Argonne National Laboratory. The lecture was titled “Gamechangers: How Our National Laboratories are Working to Help Solve America’s Energy Challenge.”

The second session at 8 p.m. in Moore Lounge in Pearsons Hall, was headed by David DeLong, best-selling author of “Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce,” and a fellow at the MIT AgeLab. The session was called “Living in the Multi-Cultural Workplace: How Changing Demographics Will Shape Your Life.”

That evening’s stuboard brought a surprise letter from President Bierman telling of the success of Advising Practicum Day.

“It was inspiring to see our incredible faculty engaged so enthusiastically in this work; to see the alumni on campus giving liberally of their expertise and energy; and to note the impressive visitors descending on campus to do likewise (including a Nobel Prize winner piped in via Skype). Equally impressive: the number of students who took this opportunity to reflect and learn about new opportunities and new courses of study.”

The president also emphasized that the success of the day promises more to come.

“We will, I assure you, continue to hold [Advising Practicum Day] up as proof of Beloit’s distinctiveness in the world, and its commitment to the liberal arts and living lives of real consequence.”



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