University News

Meiks may gain access to first-years’ Banner carts

The initiative is meant to help Meiklejohns offer more informed guidance to their advisees

By
Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Dean of the College initiative might grant Meiklejohn peer advisers access to their first-year advisees’ course carts on Banner, given the advisees’ consent, wrote Ann Gaylin, associate dean of the college for first-year and sophomore studies, in an email to The Herald.

“In the past, we have provided Meiks with advisee course preferences,” Gaylin wrote. “The cart would be a more detailed version of that information, in that Meiks would be able to see how course choices articulate or conflict with each other.”

Faculty advisers are currently able to view their advisees’ carts, but Meiklejohns must meet with their advisees to learn which courses they plan to take. If enacted, the initiative would allow Meiklejohns to obtain this information before meeting with advisees to technologically enhance the communication between advisers and advisees, Gaylin wrote.

The change would “make it easier to visualize what an advisee’s schedule looks like and easily get more information on their course choices,” wrote Meiklejohn Cassidy Bennett ’15 in an email to The Herald, adding she would use the ability to preview her advisees’ choices and better guide them during face-to-face meetings.

“I definitely like being able to see my advisees in person,” said Meiklejohn Fletcher Bell ’16. “That would be at risk if we were able to solve problems completely over computers.”

“Meiks tend to be very dedicated,” said Meiklejohn Erin Butler ’14, but “it’s so easy when things get too busy to say ‘I’ll just do this online.’”

The change is “not meant to replace a meeting with advisees but rather to enhance it,” Gaylin wrote. The additional access would be “in no way meant to undermine a relationship between an advisee and a Meik.”

“It’s important to keep emphasis on the social, face-to-face aspect” of the program, said Sarah Master ’17. “If (my Meiklejohn) has access to my cart, then he doesn’t actually have to see me.” But she added that the extra access would be a “nice addition” as long as face-to-face meetings are preserved.

Meiklejohn Vivian Ojeda ’16 said though she always asks her advisees to log onto Banner and show her their carts when she meets with them, having access to her advisees’ carts may resolve worries about whether they have “explored all their options” or “chosen the best English class to fulfill requirements.”

The DOC office is aware that “first-years would need to be able to opt-out (of) or opt-into allowing their Meiks to see their carts, and that such permission could be revoked at any time,” Gaylin wrote. The DOC is still deciding whether consent would be given on an opt-out or opt-in basis, she added.

“We want to be thoughtful about how and when we might implement this enhancement,” she added.

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  • TheRationale

    I agree with DOC – it must be optional. The idea of someone snooping around in your stuff is in principle weird, even in a relatively innocuous case like this. Maybe allow the freshman to send a snapshot to the adviser?

  • Alum 2013

    The Meiklejohn program really needs to move away from “class picking” because it makes the mentoring relationship sterile if not useless.