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Academic Advising in the School of Communication

The School of Communication (SOC) uses an Appreciative Advising approach. This approach is built upon the framework of partnership where both the advisor and student collectively work to build a positive relationship where they get to know each other and explore interests and goals. It includes asking open-ended questions, developing short-term and long-term plans, monitoring academic progress, and empowering students to take ownership of their education. We find that this holistic, student-centered approach really works and we are truly invested in partnering with students to achieve academic and personal success.
 
Through the academic advising process SOC students are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes: 

  • Assess their personal and professional interests
  • Assess their academic abilities
  • Create an academic plan that fulfills all University and program requirements
  • Develop specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals
  • Identify and utilize appropriate campus resources as needed

Meet Our Team

Kayla Reid, Advises SOC Students with Last Names A-G (kaylaf@american.edu)

Kayla has been an Academic Advisor at AU since October 2017. She has a BA in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh. As an Advisor her goal is to help students fully explore their educational interests and get the most out of their time at AU. When she is not in the office she enjoys reading, running, hiking, and traveling. Her advice for all AU students is to take advantage of all of the amazing student organizations on campus - you never know what new interest or hobby you may find!

Tara Flakker, Advises SOC Students with Last Names H-M (flakker@american.edu)

With formal training as a Social Worker, Tara is in interested in the improvement of human connections both individually and collectively. One of the things that attracted her to higher education from social work was her interest in working with college age individuals. She describes the age as a wonderful time of new beginnings, autonomy and self-growth that occurs in college. Tara finds much joy walking along side students as they move through this time. Outside of work, Tara’s interests include running, gardening, hiking and paddling. She has teenagers who keep her busy and a sweet 10-year-old dog who also enjoys their adventures. On the weekends, she can be found volunteering in her community, spending the day at her son’s sailing regattas and creating new vegetarian recipes. Fun fact about Tara: She was bit by a shark when she was nine years old and almost lost her foot!

Andrew Hoffman, Academic Advisor, Advises SOC students with Last Names N-Z: (hoffmann@american.edu)

Andy is incredibly excited to begin working with you, and he can’t wait to get to know you and hear your stories! Andy brings an eclectic background that includes time spent as an English teacher, writing tutor, safari guide, and student success advisor. Being a firm believer in the transformative power of studying and living abroad, he spent nearly a decade living across Asia, Australia, Southern Africa, and the Middle East. Currently, he spends most of his free time chasing after his toddler, finger painting, and experimenting in the kitchen. One piece of advice he has: You can never have too many kinds of hot sauce!

Schedule an Appointment

From registration assistance to academic planning to learning about opportunities or just wanting to seek guidance or support, our Academic Advisors are here to help! Please note we are here throughout the summer months.

You provided us feedback and we listened! We have moved all our advising appointments to zoom. Once you schedule an appointment through the You Can Book Me portal, your advisor will convert your appointment to zoom which will generate a confirmation email with a personalized zoom link.

Did you know that our office has extended our appointment times? All advising appointments are now scheduled for a full thirty minutes so that students have more time and space to discuss interests, goals, and questions.

Feedback is important and we want to hear more from you! Please tell us how your advising experience is going by completing an advising survey after your appointment. You will receive an email from us shortly after your meeting. Please take a few minutes to help inform our work so we can assess that our services are meeting your needs. Representation matters and your input is needed and valued!

August 2020 Newsletter

Dear Students, 

We hope you are doing well and staying healthy and safe. Where did the summer go? As you start to reorient yourself with the start of the semester, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide you with some tips and resources to better help you prepare. Think of it as an Advising Checklist filled with tips, advice, and information to help you prepare for a successful start to the semester.

Review your Schedule for the Fall Semester. Do the courses satisfy requirements needed for your major or minor? Do the days and times work with your schedule?

Our office is continuing to provide advising appointment via Zoom. Please schedule an appointment with you advisor if you have any questions about your schedule, degree progress, or any other academic matters. We will continue to serve you via scheduled appointments and emails throughout the Add/Drop period (August 24-September) and the semester. We encourage you to schedule an appointment as early as possible.

You have worked hard to get to where you are today and have laid foundations to make the upcoming year a success.  Despite the circumstances we are in right now, what you signed up for at AU and in SOC hasn’t changed. We are here to support you!

Take breaks 

Whether it is exploring nature or dancing to your favorite song, develop them in your routine, whatever that looks like to you.

Reflect

Be careful of just checking the boxes. Take time to reflect on the experience you have had or want. What do you like, dislike, and what are your goals when it comes to choosing a major, minor, internships, student organizations with which to get involved? All of these decisions will collectively create a path to your dreams. 

One of our Academic Advisors offers this piece of advice on opportunities: When considering a new opportunity, don’t ask yourself, “Should I do it?”  Ask yourself, “In 20 years, will I regret not doing it?”

Read your course syllabi to get a better understanding of the expectations of your class.

Contact you professor if you have any questions about the learning outcomes or need clarification on the course expectations. The earlier you do this, the better it will be to help you manage expectations.

Talk to your Professors

Ask them about their career path and what steps they took to get them there. Reflect on what might work or not work for you. 

Be transparent in your experience in their class and identify specific information such as challenges with specific concepts or wanting to further discuss a topic that sparks your interest.  

Keep Your Advisor in the Loop

In reflecting about your goals and interests, staying in touch with your advisor about challenges and dreams is the best way to know about opportunities and get help with difficulties.  

Utilize Campus Resources

There are campus resources that offer a variety of services. We all work here at AU to support the life and health of students as they grow and engage. We hope you will access us all.


Refer here for a variety of Academic Resources including ones specific to online learning, academic strategies, download planners and calendars, and other tips to navigate online courses.

Whether it is exploring nature or dancing to your favorite song, develop them in your routine, whatever that looks like to you.

Be careful of just checking the boxes. Take time to reflect on the experience you have had or want. What do you like, dislike, and what are your goals when it comes to choosing a major, minor, internships, student organizations with which to get involved? All of these decisions will collectively create a path to your dreams. 

One of our Academic Advisors offers this piece of advice on opportunities: When considering a new opportunity, don’t ask yourself, “Should I do it?”  Ask yourself, “In 20 years, will I regret not doing it?”

Contact you professor if you have any questions about the learning outcomes or need clarification on the course expectations. The earlier you do this, the better it will be to help you manage expectations.

Talk to your Professors

Ask them about their career path and what steps they took to get them there. Reflect on what might work or not work for you. 

Be transparent in your experience in their class and identify specific information such as challenges with specific concepts or wanting to further discuss a topic that sparks your interest.  

Keep Your Advisor in the Loop

In reflecting about your goals and interests, staying in touch with your advisor about challenges and dreams is the best way to know about opportunities and get help with difficulties.  

Utilize Campus Resources

There are campus resources that offer a variety of services. We all work here at AU to support the life and health of students as they grow and engage. We hope you will access us all.


Refer here for a variety of Academic Resources including ones specific to online learning, academic strategies, download planners and calendars, and other tips to navigate online courses.

Ask them about their career path and what steps they took to get them there. Reflect on what might work or not work for you. 

Be transparent in your experience in their class and identify specific information such as challenges with specific concepts or wanting to further discuss a topic that sparks your interest. 

In reflecting about your goals and interests, staying in touch with your advisor about challenges and dreams is the best way to know about opportunities and get help with difficulties. 

There are campus resources that offer a variety of services. We all work here at AU to support the life and health of students as they grow and engage. We hope you will access us all.

Refer here for a variety of Academic Resources including ones specific to online learning, academic strategies, download planners and calendars, and other tips to navigate online courses.

Feel free to contact us with any questions at communication@american.edu.