February (2014)
November (2013)
October (2013)
June (2013)
May (2013)
April (2013)
March (2013)
February (2013)
January (2013)
December (2012)
October (2012)
May (2012)
Four Year Plans
Over the past two weeks advisors have spent time with their advisees completing four year plans as a part of the long-term academic scheduling process. While four year plans lay out desired courses and potential terms off campus in order to ensure students meet graduation requirements, they are far from binding.

The purpose of this backward planning session is to look at a student's time at Proctor, his or her desired experiences, and how to best fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. As our last post explored, the more intentional we can be with our planning, the less hurried and frantic we will feel in the moment.

From Academic Dean Doug Houston's perspective, four year plans serve a valuable role in curriculum planning and staffing as student demand for various courses often shifts academic offerings. Houston notes, "Four year plans provide a blue print for what each student wants his or her academic path to be at Proctor. They often change, morph, and take completely different directions as students find new passions or are turned on to a discipline by a certain experience, but this process provides a starting point for both advisors and students to plan their time at Proctor."

For many students first arriving at Proctor, the plethora of academic options are mind boggling. To plan out the next eleven trimesters seems like an impossible task, however, it is our hope that this process helps open students' eyes to the possibilities of a Proctor experience. With appropriate planning, each student's path can be truly unique. Our admissions slogan, "Which Path Will You Choose?" is a serious question; one that we want each student to take time to think about with parents and advisor, explore, alter as necessary, and then pursue with passion.

Four year plans serve an equally important purpose in the college counseling process as well. For juniors and seniors engaged with the College Counseling Department, having a clear four year plan is an absolute must. College Counselors Michael and Michele Koenig believe four year planning is an incredibly important process for our students and advisors to engage in from the moment they start at Proctor. While our college guidance process focuses heavily on finding the right 'fit' in a post-secondary education, being sure each student keeps as many options open as possible is critical. Similarly, coaches of college-bound student-athletes also play a critically important role in this planning process as they communicate with advisors of scholarship level athletes. Meeting NCAA Clearinghouse requirements is an absolute must for student-athletes and the 4 year plan helps ensure we are giving students as many options as possible as they pursue their academic and athletic careers at the next level.

Perhaps more than anything, the four year planning process affords students and advisors yet another opportunity to have structured, concrete conversations about the goals of each student's Proctor education. As I completed engaged one of my sophomore advisees in this process last spring, I learned more about his academic desires than any other conversation had ever yielded. This student is now forging his own path at Proctor; one I would have never planned for him and one that has him thoroughly excited about the next two years.
For students new to Proctor, the curriculum options can be overwhelming. 139 academic courses, 39 art electives, 39 afternoon activities is a lot to choose from!
For advisors, taking time to talk specifically about each student's goals for his or her Proctor experience is important.
Four year plans allow for students, like these ninth graders above, to think about which off-campus programs, classes, and overall experiences they hope to have while at Proctor.
We know that plans change, passions are discovered, and growth occurs that allows for the consideration of experiences never thought possible, so these four year plans are far from rigid.
From a college counseling perspective, four year plans serve a very practical purpose: meeting graduation requirements and NCAA Clearinghouse eligibility.
As Fall Family Weekend approaches, we hope all current parents check in with advisors about their son or daughter's four year plans so they, too, can get a sense of what their child's goals are for their Proctor experience!