Checking In With Your Student: What to Discuss?

MIAD Advising supports the personal and the academic growth of each student, new and returning.

Director of Advising, Alea Cross

This semester, all advising communication and appointments are virtual. Students should plan to optimize Google chats and Hangouts with their advisors for academic planning and questions.

Now is a moment for students to reflect: How am I adjusting to college? While some may be adjusting seamlessly, others may need to make adjustments to be more successful while navigating homesickness and other anxiety-producing uncertainties. MIAD’s Advising Office has tips for supporting your student at any level:

Check in: Ask questions like 

  • “What are you doing to manage feeling isolated during this time?” 
  • “What are the joys and woes of college right now?” 
  • “What do you think you’re doing successfully?” 

These questions allow your student to reflect. Pay attention to the focus of their answers. Follow up with, “Who can help support you on campus?” to remind them of campus resources.

Anticipate some anxiousness: For seniors, reality sets in that graduation is soon and they will enter the professional world. To lower anxiousness for seniors, please have them consider what kind of budget they want to set for Senior Thesis that happens in spring and connect with Drew Maxwell, who is the executive director of the MIAD Innovation Center. Sophomores and juniors may question their major or begin searching for a professional experience opportunity. First-year students may just be finding out that college is quite different from high school. 

Suggest your student contact the following staff on campus, depending on their needs:

  1. Emotional/mental health support: Associate Dean of Students, Jennifer Crandall (
  2. Advising support: Student should contact their specific advisor or the Director of Advising, Alea Cross (
  3. Tutoring: Learning Resource Center (LRC) or Coordinator of Learning Services, Cathryn Wilson (
  4. MIAD Housing Support: Housing Coordinator, Matthew Stricker (
  5. Career Development: Executive Director of Advising and Career Services, Duane Seidensticker (
  6. Diversity Concerns: Director of Inclusivity, Richard Anderson-Martinez, ( 
  7. Accommodations support: Student Accessibility Coordinator, Becky Skupien (
  8. Technology support: Online Learning Partners ( 

For any reason, feel free to refer your student back to MIAD Advising. We are here to support students and want to be a part of their holistic success.

Family support is key. Thank you for your investment in and support of your student!

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