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First-years can now access all their advising resources in one virtual location.

The Office of the Dean of the College recently debuted "The Advising Sidekick," an online resource that provides students and their respective advisors with personalized pages listing the students' academic interests and their first-year summer letters written to faculty and Meiklejohn advisors.

The site streamlines the advising process and aims to improve adviser-student communication.

"I like the new site because it keeps track of a bunch of helpful items," said Abigail Perry '01, assistant director of admissions and an academic advisor. Perry said her only complaint was that the site does not currently display class schedule information, which would allow students and advisors to better coordinate meeting times.

Introduced for the class of 2013, the project was inspired by recommendations from last year's Task Force on Undergraduate Education report, which analyzed students' "liberal learning" experience.

Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron said the site will eventually serve as an archive for students' writing and other academic work, their transcripts and concentration declarations.

At the end of each academic year, starting with members of the class of 2013, all students will be expected to upload at least one written assignment to the site, accumulating a portfolio of writing samples by the time they graduate.

"This is an opportunity for students to reflect," Bergeron said.

First-year students displayed mixed reactions to the new site.

"It's nice to have everything conveniently located in one place," said Samantha Powell '13.

"Before, I was getting all this information from different sources and had to organize it myself."

Bradley Silverman '13 said he thought the site might be a hassle. "Unless it proved really useful to others, I probably wouldn't want to deal with it," he said.

Bergeron said the site's development is still a work in progress. "We want to do it slowly and get feedback along the way so that it works," she said.


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