Individual advising during Orientation is a great opportunity for you to begin establishing a meaningful relationship with your new advisees.
Your engagement with and interest in who they are, why they're at Kenyon, and what they want to get involved in academically and otherwise will be important in setting the tone for their Kenyon experience.
To get started, take a look at information available in Personal Access Pages and Nolij. Reading through their Common Application will give you a sense of who your student was when they submitted their application. Reading through their Personal Data Form will give you an updated snapshot from more recent months. Additional information, such as AP/IB scores, SAT I/II scores, and high school/college transcripts, will provide you with information on academic strengths, weaknesses, and trends.
Consider these pieces of data together and make sure to ask questions that will allow your student to share a fuller story of their life before Kenyon. Where did they grow up? Where did they go to school? What brought them to Kenyon? What are they seeking to do based on what they've done? How are they hoping to challenge themselves?
Find out what their priorities are in their first semester. Do they have any idea what they want to take? Have they bookmarked classes in the Searchable Schedule? Have they gone through the First-Year Students section and checked out the recommendations there? (NOTE: Have you? If not, it'd be helpful for you to know what's there so you can direct them accordingly.) All four subsections offer unique value in helping students think through their course selections.
If they've submitted their test scores, taken their placement exams, and attended department presentations, they should have some idea what they want to get started with. The key is to help them find balance in terms of disciplines, diversification, timing, workload, etc. They may want to do too little or too much, or they may have no idea what they want to do, so help them pull together classes that will push them appropriately. Emphasize exploration and flexibility. Emphasize choice.
You'll have about 30-45 minutes for your individual advising appointments on Tuesday, but also additional time on Wednesday should you wish to be available. Based on what happens with course registration, students may want to make some adjustments. Flexibility is key.
Once classes start on Thursday, students will have 7 class days to make enrollment changes. They'll need your advisor signature on any changes, so be prepared for them to reach out for your availability. Make sure they understand that you're not perpetually in your office to sign forms.
As you're discussing course selections, make sure to listen carefully to what students are telling you. Sometimes it takes a good listener -- and a good follow-up question-asker -- to ensure that students have the necessary information to make informed decisions.