On-the-spot academic advising a success with York students, staff

Pop-Up Advising Fair at Vari Hall
Pop-Up Advising Fair at Vari Hall

An event designed to connect students with academic advisors on the spot was held at York University for the first time on Jan. 22 and 23. The Pop-Up Advising Fair was designed to help facilitate contact between students and advisors, and highlight the many ways advising can help students navigate their academic path at York.

Pop-Up Advising Fair at Vari Hall
Pop-Up Advising Fair at Vari Hall

Held in the Vari Hall Rotunda, the Lassonde Building and the Glendon Campus cafeteria, the event hosted advisors from nine Faculties and gave students the opportunity to ask questions without having to book an appointment. Students asked for information about topics including: how to change majors, how to add a minor, how to enroll in summer school and how to find the correct advising office. More than 800 students spoke to advisors at the event, with more than 250 students from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) alone.

The aim of the Pop-up Advising Fair was to build more awareness about academic advising at York and to remind students it is beneficial for them to use the service throughout their studies. Advisors reported the event was a success, and was valuable experience for everyone involved.

Academic Advisors Suzette Aleung, Michael Freeman and Elma Milasin

“I think being in Vari Hall, with the amount of student traffic during the day, helped to promote the message of Academic Advising. For some students, this was the first in-person interaction with an advisor,” said Ryan Bouchard, advising coordinator in the Faculty of Health. “Also, I think students have questions that pop up at any given time and to be able to stop by and get their question answered in the moment is important.”

Giving students the opportunity to access these resources on the spot, and during the course of their daily routine, was an excellent way to bring awareness to the services available to them.

“In a way, it prompted them to think ahead about their advising needs. As well, I met with numerous students who were not aware that we were available to see them for advising – they were not aware that LA&PS has walk-in appointments every day,” said Suzette Aleung, senior advisor, Dual Programs and Scheduling, LA&PS.

Organizers and participants say they hope to see Pop-Up Advising Fair events continue in the future.

“I do hope that we provide more of these events, as we can certainly reach out to more students in this way and certainly elevate our profile as partners in their success,” said Aleung.