Supporting Students

At RIT, are students are our top priority, and we have many opportunities to offer them our support. Sessions in this category focus on the many ways we can help our students, both academically and professionally.


The Center for Professional Development and the University Advising Office have collaborated with the RIT Advisors Council to offer an exciting series of professional development workshops for faculty and staff with advising responsibilities. These workshops will offer interactive opportunities to learn more about our students and RIT services to better support our advisees. All workshops will be facilitated by RIT professionals with expertise in the workshop topics.

In-Person Courses

This workshop is part of the Professional Development for Advisors' series and introduces advisors to the cultural, communication and advising differences they might encounter when working with a deaf or hard-of-hearing student. Specific strategies and tips are shared during this session.

This session is open to the RIT community and all level of faculty and staff advisors who are interested in learning more about working with deaf or hard of hearing students.

Academic strategies are an essential piece of student academic success. Many of our students are not aware of the most efficient ways to approach studying. This session enhances our understanding of the study process and enables faculty and staff to encourage their students to utilize academic techniques and strategies to increase their ability to be successful. It also promotes the numerous resources and services that RIT has to offer to students to further their understanding of academic strategies and the study process.

Student athletes manage many competing priorities: academics, athletic schedules, and personal responsibilities.  This workshop will provide an overview of RIT student athlete trends and discuss successful strategies academic and faculty advisors have utilized to support these students.  Student athlete advocates will be available to share their personal experiences and the student perspective.    
After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Have a greater understanding of the competing priorities of athletes and how to manage, mentor, and support this special population.
  • Have a greater understanding of the resources on-campus for student athletes
  • Identify and apply different support tools to help guide student athletes, specifically geared toward the academic struggles identified to this population.
  • Maximize the experience with student athletes who can serve as natural leaders for other students and programs when given the tools needed to be successful. 

This session will explore the often uncertain and uneasy territory that comes with working with the parents of our students. We will explore the roles of students, parents and advisors in these relationships, discuss generational differences, offer guidance about how to coach parents and students to have adult conversations vs. parent/child conversations. In addition, specific topics such as handling email from families, having successful parent phone calls, how to handle student/parent meetings and ideas about how to document and follow-up on these interactions will be discussed. Advisors will have a chance to practice their skills through the use of case studies.

This session will offer strategies for maximizing the use of degree auditing in academic advising. Participants will learn how to incorporate this advising tool in their daily work with students. This session is ideal for primary academic advisors and support advisors.

 A shared understanding of what is expected between student and advisor is key to building an advising relationship that is effective. This workshop will help you clarify what is optimal in a relationship and will focus on communication skills, active listening, appropriate referral, and follow-through.

After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define their role and responsibilities as an academic advisor
  • Identify and describe advisor's expectations of advisees
  • Be able to define and describe the ideal advising relationship
  • Describe and communicate their role and expectations for students
  • Learn and demonstrate active listening skills, appropriate body language and basic counseling skills
  • Identify resources and learn useful referral skills

Case Management: A Lean Approach for Complex Circumstances

This interactive workshop provides an opportunity for professional staff advisors, both those new to academic advising and seasoned professionals, to discuss the value, characteristics and complexity of case management in an environment where’s there’s a lot to do and not enough time. The purpose of the discussion is to identify and anticipate obstacles to student success and generate strategies and resources for a lean case management approach that serves students and stakeholders in a professional manner. Participants will share their experience and best practices, and engage in a dialogue that will inspire them to apply a lean case management approach in their work with students.

Participants should bring a specific student situation and be prepared to discuss the challenges and triumphs of applying a case management approach.

This training will introduce the Starfish Early Alert system. The training is designed for both undergraduate course instructors, academic advisors, faculty advisors, and support advisors. The session will take an in-depth look at the process for sending an academic alert to a student and the follow-up process that occurs with students. This one hour session allows time to answer questions and provide hands-on guidance.

This workshop is new this year and has been designed especially for RIT advisors.  Both FERPA and RIT's Records Management policy are reviewed and the following topics are covered:

  • An explanation of FERPA, (Family Education Rights Privacy Act)
  • Situations which allow for the disclosure of educational records without consent
  • Practical applications of FERPA
  • Recnet amendments to FERPA
  • A review of RIT's Records Management Policy, C22.0
  • Your responsibilities in reation to records management

Advisors who have completed FERPA for Advisors are welcome to, but not required to complete this class for the certificate.

This session refreshes our knowledge of general characteristics about our students and provides information on being a strong supervisor; beginning with the interviewing and hiring process, through the training period and continuing to motivate your student employees to be long term, strong members of your department. Topics covered in this workshop include the use of various forms, what employer responsibilities are, new social security regulations, proper training, eligibility cards, and more.

This workshop provides a general overview of the Honors Program, with a specific focus on the program’s academic requirements. The workshop’s goal is to familiarize academic advisors, faculty advisors and staff with the requirements students need to fulfill in order to graduate from the Honors Program.
After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Identify honors students whom they are advising
  • Assist honors students in developing a plan to meet the Honors Program requirements
  • Identify when honors students are not on track to meet program requirements

With the rise of internet, gaming, and social media use and the availability of connected devices at our finger tips, there has been an increase in Internet and Video Game addiction throughout our society, and more specifically in teenage and college aged adults.  Many studies show that adolescents and adults are more likely be become addicted to these video games and often play on a daily basis.
Is technology at the forefront of your degree program?  Have you noticed changes in sleep schedules with your students?  Do you see a change in appearance with your students?  Have you noticed your students withdrawing from friends or not attending classes frequently?  These might be indicators of a student with an addiction.  Could that addiction be an Internet or Video Game addiction?
In this presentation we will discuss the warning signs of an Internet or Video Game addicted student, ways to guide them through their academic curriculum, resources for Advisors, students, and families, and how to better advise these students.

This session will provide RIT Advisors with an overview of national mental health trends and precipitating and contributing factors to mental illness in college students.  The following will be discussed: 
·         The advisor’s particular point of view and role
·         Challenges for Advisors
·         What we are seeing in young adults
·         Treatment Issues
·         Partnering with RIT Resources- how and when to access them
An opportunity to review case studies and ask questions will be provided.  

Have you ever wondered where to send your students for extra academic help? Do you want to know more about the support programs offered through Student Affairs? Come and learn about what, where, and how students can receive extra academic support in a resource fair format. This will include departments such as the Academic Support Center, TRiO Student Support Services, CRP, HEOP, Disability Services, AIM Program, and FYE.

The session will provide an opportunity to learn how to use the Non-Reg Tracking page and the My Advisee list in SIS for the Non-Registered Student Outreach project.  This session is targeted at primary academic advisors and support advisors for undergraduate students as well as graduate program directors and graduate program support staff that manage the non-registered project.  Participants will learn how to track and prioritize outreach to students who have not registered for the upcoming term.  

This session will provide advisors an overview of the general education guidelines for the university. 

After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Explain the role of General Education in the undergraduate degree program
  • Understand and explain General Education requirements including Perspectives and Immersions
  • Know how to identify General Education Course attributes in SIS

This session will help you explore the diversity of our student population at RIT. You will learn the benefits of having a globally diverse student population and learn how to become more involved with them through communication and understanding.

You will be introduced to some of the areas of compliance that surround international students and learn how the International Student Services Office can offer you support. This session will include a narrative from one of our international students describing their experiences at RIT.

This session will provide advisors an opportunity to learn new ways to communicate with students to gain an understanding of the cause of the student’s academic difficulties.  Participants will be exposed to strategies that will help them have conversations with students about motivation and self-awareness and how they affect their academic progress.  
After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify best practices in working with students with academic difficulties
  • Understand motivation and self-awareness and its impact on academic performance
  • Draw on specific language that will assist in conversations with students
  • Challenge students in their academic efforts

How can my advising be multi-culturally inclusive when I only have 10 minutes?

This program can help us re-think how to be effective advisors for students of multicultural and demographic backgrounds, when the realities of time constraints can sometimes prevent us from effective interaction or intervention. The program will provide practical tools to help advisers consider possible assessment, interaction, application, action and referral (AIAAR), and heighten sensitivities to students of different races, gender, ethnicities, physical abilities, sexual orientations and other demographic differences that distinguish them from other mainstreamed students…10 minutes at a time.


The RIT student conduct process addresses student misconduct in an educational manner.  This session focuses on educating staff and faculty on how they can assist students as advocates and mentors throughout this process. A description of the conduct process is reviewed throughout the session, along with expectations and self-care for advocates.

Motivation has a significant impact on student success.  However, the components and ways to impact motivation remain elusive and ambiguous, making it one of the more difficult subjects to address with students.  In this session, participants will be exposed to theories that identify a variety of factors impacting student motivation.  Then, through active discussion, participants will list and develop strategies that can positively influence motivation.

In this session, participants will learn tips on how to bring up study abroad opportunities with their advisees, as well as some of the major barriers that keep students from studying abroad and how the RIT Global Office can help overcome them.  Through group discussion, participants will be given the opportunity brainstorm ideas and detail best practices.

Students often use their new freedom at college as a doorway to experiment. This session focuses on both national and RIT trends in alcohol and drug use. The session will explore how faculty and staff can support students who may be using substances and will offer resources for referral.

This workshop will offer advisors an overview of the history of the GI bill, including recent updates, and will share information and strategies to support students who are also veterans.
After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Understand the history of the GI Bill
  • Understand the new Post -9/11 GI Bill
  • Identify the different levels of issues that veterans returning to campus may face
  • Identify resources available for veteran students (on campus and in the greater community)
  • Identify strategies to support veteran students
  • Understand and identify components of a “vet-friendly” campus
  • Identify ways to welcome and include veteran students at RIT

With the incidence of autism rising, a growing number of college students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are choosing to pursue their college degree at RIT.  We value these students as part of our diverse community and acknowledge that some individuals may need additional support in transitioning to college.   This workshop will discuss the strengths and challenges students with ASD bring to the college experience and some strategies that can be used to support their collegiate success. 

The Academic Support Center (ASC) provides a variety of individual, small group, and classroom programs and services to assist and empower RIT students along the academic success continuum in reaching their academic goals. Students along the academic success continuum may be “B” students striving for an A or students at risk of being suspended, and everyone in between.
This session will focus primarily on defining and discussing warning signs of students whose academic performance is concerning, and the programs and services that would be especially beneficial for this population.  

Even though we work with students every day, it is not always easy to understand why they act the way they do or make certain decisions.  This session will offer insight from psychosocial student development theories to assist staff and faculty in better understanding students and how to work with them.  Psychosocial theories include how students define themselves, their relationships with others, and what they want to do with their lives.

In this workshop participants will gain information about the mission, functions and procedures of the RIT Disability Services Office (DSO). Information discussed will include how a student with a disability requests accommodations, how reasonable and appropriate accommodations are determined, as well as how the DSO test center works. The workshop will conclude with an opportunity for questions.

This workshop will shed light on the challenges facing first generation/low income college students; in particular, it will help increase your awareness of these students at RIT.  This workshop will provide you with helpful strategies and useful tools to use in your work with first generation/low income students, as well as the larger population of students we serve.

After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Understand the strengths of and challenges facing first generation/low income students
  • Understand the barriers to education for this population
  • Know national trends in higher education relating to this population
  • Learn concrete tips and tools for working with this student population
  • Be involved in case studies and role plays involving issues facing this population

This session explains the importance of student engagement in the formula for student success and retention. The understanding of how to identify a student who is not engaged in the campus community, resources to assist in introducing the student to opportunities on campus and contacts for advisors to use if they have questions is focused on throughout the session.

After completing this workshop, learners are able to:

  • Have a basic understanding of engagement theory and the importance of students being engaged
  • Begin to identify students who aren’t engaged in the campus community
  • Refer students to engagement opportunities
  • Identify campus partners who can offer assistance if needed
  • Discuss resources available in each college

This course provides an overview of relevant student development theories and offers application to everyday interactions with students. If you've ever wondered why students act a certain way, make poor choices, or how to explain behaviors, this introduction provides you with a tool kit to enhance your future interactions with students.

After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Trace a wide range of student development theory throughout the lifespan
  • Articulate how student development theory can inform everyday practice in higher education
  • Gain awareness of the developmental issues associated with students
  • Recognize the role of student development theory across campus including in and out of class

This workshop introduces RIT Advisors to the tools and processes used to coordinate the effective delivery of access services to RIT classes.  Participants will also have the opportunity to have questions answered and learn where to go for assistance when issues arise.

After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

1)     Understand the scope and complexity of access services at RIT and the approaches taken to maximize success for students within resources available.

2)     Understand the methods used to plan and deliver services more efficiently, including

  1. Reserving seats
  2. Early enrollment
  3. NTID sections

3)     Locate and use on-line tools that provide information helpful to the advisement and placement of NTID-supported students in courses of other RIT colleges and programs including:

  1. LCBQ responses on communication
  2. SIS display of planned services

4)     Understand the dynamic processes used to respond to requests for services and how best to assist students in navigating a process which is very unlike their pre-college experience with services. 

5)     Meet members of the DAS staff who coordinate and manage the services to different colleges and academic groups

This class is most appropriate for all levels of faculty and staff advisors who are interested in learning more about supporting deaf or hard of hearing students.

Details about where this class is located can be found here


What do you want to be when you grow up? For some students, this answer comes easily. Others may need more guidance and support in finding the path that is best for them. This workshop will describe strategies for advisors to encourage students’ self-exploration, understanding of their career and/or major options, and to become aware of the campus resources available to assist them.
This workshop will provide information and resources for participants and will include a fun, interactive activity.

Additional Resources


Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is a web-based communications tool that allows you to quickly and easily share presentations desktops and other materials over the internet using the familiar PowerPoint application and Adobe Flash format.  Connect has robust collaboration tools for discussion, whiteboard and text chat.

For current documentation, tutorials and best practices, visit: Adobe Connect Wiki.

Program I:

Provost Summer Intensive American Sign Language and

Deaf Culture Experience

June 16 to 27, 2014

This program is now closed to applications.

Program II:

Provost’s Development of ASL Communication Skill at RIT

August 4-8, 2014

This program is now closed to applications.

The aim of this program, sponsored by the RIT Office of the Provost, is to enhance interactions among deaf and hearing members of the RIT community through development of participants’ ASL skills.  The program is administered by the office of ASL Training and Evaluation (ASLTE) at NTID.