Two types of advising are currently provided formally to students: academic advising, and professional advising. Academic advising is provided to the student mostly through the department’s Academic Advisor under the supervision of the Department Head. Professional advising is provided by the department’s faculty.
Academic advising is mostly seen as an administrative issue. Students are guided through their curriculum complying with all the requirements and university regulations in a reasonable amount of time. The basic academic advice includes the recommended course load, sequence, and the available elective courses. Academic advising starts as soon as students enter the program as freshmen.
Every year, usually during the last week of July, orientation sessions are held for entering freshman students. There they are given basic information regarding their curriculum and course sequences, university regulations, and administrative procedures. After that, and throughout the student’s academic career, the office of the Department’s Academic Advisor is available for students to just walk in or make an appointment for obtaining individual advice.
At the request of the student, the Academic Advisor evaluates the progress made toward the degree and gives the students advice as to how to best handle deviations from the recommended course load or sequence.
There is always a one week period before registration dedicated to academic advising. The Academic Advisor sends e-mails to each student at the IE Program every semester, one month prior to registration week. The purpose is to invite students to academic advising. It is not required for the Academic Advisor to be an Industrial Engineer.
Professional advising is seen as a career planning issue. It is considered that this type of advice is best given by an Industrial Engineer. This is why this matter is handled by the department’s faculty. Professors make available their regular office hours for students to walk in and request professional advice.
Students are provided help dealing with issues related to possible career paths and professional interests within the Industrial Engineering Profession. This way, students get advice as to their choices of professional and free electives, professional experiences, projects, and so on. A “One-on-One” activity is held in the IE students’ study room (II-222) prior to registration where professors give academic as well as professional advice to students.
Also, all Industrial Engineering students, including freshmen, are distributed evenly among professors based on their last name. A poster is posted in several places motivating students to visit their professors. An application was designed through the university web page to facilitate accessing students. The application is accessed through www.uprm.edu > Mi Portal > login > My Programs > Consejería Académica > Bulk Mailer. The last screen shows the last four digits of the student’s number. Through this screen professors can send e-mails to all students at once or to a selected group of students.
Other professional advising activities going on are:
- “Orientation on Opportunities for Graduate Studies” given to graduating students.
- Individual orientation with the Department Head or the Associate Department Head.