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.

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

Colleagues from Academic Advising and Counseling and Psychological Services continue their collaboration through this training which focuses on supporting Academic Advisors to approach challenging conversations with students. This session will review communication skills, managing emotionality, advisor self-care, and when and how to refer a student for additional support.


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.

Students must maintain Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to remain eligible to receive federal financial aid. This session will provide advisors with the tools needed to support undergraduate students who have not maintained SAP and may need to draft federal financial aid action plans to appeal for federal aid. Through this training developed by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, the University Advising Office, and the Office of the Registrar, participants will be provided with a SAP overview, SAP definitions, and hands on training to collaborate with undergraduate students in drafting their SAP action plans. All primary academic advisors are required to sign up and attend this session once.

This workshop 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
  • Recent amendments to FERPA
  • A review of RIT's Records Management Policy, C22.0
  • Your responsibilities in relation to records management

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

This two-hour workshop will focus on how to respond to students who are struggling, how and when to refer them, and what other options are available to RIT advisors, faculty and academic staff to support student well-being.

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 an introduction to motivational interviewing, as well as the key components of this approach towards helping students work through ambivalence around topics that could be hindering their academic performance, including low engagement, low academic self-efficacy, and poor time management. There will be a discussion of skills, how you can apply them to your work, and an opportunity to practice.

After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Identify the components of the MI spirit
  • Identify two ways you can work components of MI into your advising practice
  • Identify ways to use MI with college students

This session will provide training activities and exercises to build and develop the skills needed to effectively practice Motivational Interviewing in the academic advising setting. The skills to be covered include open-ended questions, the use of affirmations, reflective listening, and summarizing (OARS). Activities will include how to phrase open-ended questions, identifying qualities students possess encourage motivation and resilience, as well as discussion of case studies.

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.

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. 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 student outreach. Participants will learn how to track and prioritize outreach to students who have not registered for the upcoming term.  

Counseling and Psychological Services will continue to support Academic Advisors' multifaceted roles in this presentation which explores the balance between boundary setting, delivering difficult and direct messages, and managing harsh realities with students. In addition, we will explore simultaneously maintaining supportive compassion, empathy, and validation that will continue to foster effective relationships with students and empower them towards growth.

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

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.

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.


This session introduces and refreshes our knowledge about the hiring process for student employees and provides the information to become a strong and effective supervisor.  Topics include: Supervisor responsibilities, Handshake job registration and posting system, legal regulations, the use of various SEO forms, student eligibility and eligibility cards, proper training, and more.

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. Time for group discussion and question and answer will be included.

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 Success 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.  

In this workshop participants will gain information about the mission, functions and procedures of the RIT Disability Services Office (DSO). Information discussed will include the differences between K-12 and post-secondary services, how a student with a disability or medical condition requests academic adjustments and/or modifications to housing or diet, and  how adjustments are determined.  An overview of  DSO test center policies and procedures will also be presented. The workshop will conclude with an opportunity for questions.

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.

As we work with students, it is important for us to recognize the issues they face as they learn and grow. This session will offer insight from intellectual and moral student development theories to assist staff and faculty in better understanding students and how to work with them. Theories covered in this session include how students think, how they make decisions, and cognitive and emotional development.

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 will provide RIT Advisors with an overview of wellness issues that impact academic success and mental health. 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

·         Lifestyle impacts on academic performance and emotional functioning

·         What we are seeing in young adults

·         National Mental Health trends

·         Treatment Issues

·         Challenges for Advisors

Partnering with RIT Resources- how and when to access them if time permits

After completing this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize wellness issues that are often prevalent on college campuses and which may impact mental health


  • Identify contributing factors


  • Identify RIT resources to support students


  • Identify challenges for advisors and resources

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.