Advisor Information and Resources
For Advisors and Departmental Advisors in the Dietrich School, the International Studies Co-Major is a chance for you to truly let your students personalize their degree, and tailor their choices to their broader course of study. Your role is to bring your expertise to the meetings with students, and to listen to their interests and help them navigate the varied options they can choose from in a way that supports the rest of their plan. This section gives some guidance to new advisors who are working with their first International Studies Co-Major students, or have a student who is going outside of path that you’ve seen before. Students have access to the fillable PDF major planner [Link to that durable PDF mentioned in the student section gets added here too] and you can ask that they bring the completed form to your meetings to help with smooth discussion.
Advisors in the Dietrich School Advising Center, you are ready to give students insight into the way that all the majors, minors, certificates, and even schools in the University of Pittsburgh can be combined. Students pursuing the International Studies Co-Major early in their academic career will be exploring their options, and you can bring their attention to the connective tissue between majors and programs as you see them. Whether that means listening to a few options that the student is considering from the co-major categories, or giving the recommendation when it’s time to declare the major about how other departmental offerings might connect in interesting ways. You’ve got a host of students who you’ve worked with in the past who have taken every track imaginable at Pitt, so your willingness to share those pathways with new students also helps complement the personalization process.
Departmental advisors in the Dietrich School play the critical role of bringing their expertise in the subject area of the linked major to the International Studies Co-Major. That may be topical in some subjects or career-based in other subjects - often both and more. You’ve seen your students in the past develop their international interests, and you know what other courses and departments might offer that sync up with the topics in your discipline. Departmental advisors in the Dietrich School are varied in their own studies and experiences too, and even the action of encouraging students to explore linkages and using professional expertise to help them decide fits our mission. We encourage departments to keep an informal list of linkages that they can share with students, suggestions of pathways that are more commonly connected to the major. We encourage you to share them with the Dietrich Undergraduate Dean’s Office as example pathways and stories of student success, which we will in turn highlight as the Co-Major grows. The example pathways section will gradually grow to include a listing of all the sorts of tracks students have pursued in the course of the Co-Major, and can serve as an additional reference to the conversations with students. As a final technical note, Departmental Advisors will be the ones who certify the co-major’s completion at the same time as graduation certification for the major, so keeping an eye on that progress in Peoplesoft and Navigate (the University’s student information systems) as you work with your majors is a good thing. The Dietrich School Undergraduate Dean’s Office is working to make certain the process is as simple and smooth as possible (e.g. check the box that it’s showing as complete). Departmental Advisors can also note that student appeals for different courses will be handled through the Dean’s Office, so that the same courses are consistently available for all students. You or your advisees can contact the Undergraduate Dean’s Office for more information.
Personalizing the Pitt Experience
For the student who is doing something novel or ambitious, going outside of the paths that are normally seen in the departments, that’s an opportunity for the advisor to listen to the students’ story and preferences. Ask what they’re seeking, and then use your expertise to help them recognize which options they might be missing that could also complement their novel path down the International Studies Co-Major. For every student who is taking a path familiar, another will be charting their own route. The University of Pittsburgh’s commitment to Personalized Education is why we can support them all. Personalizing a student’s degree is about the combination of the requirements of the field of training and their own vision of what makes them successful. The International Studies Co-Major is a great way to do that, and advisors fill the key role of asking the student those critical thinking questions that can give them guidance to really assemble something special with their overall degree.