Conveying the purposes of PolyU - includes advice and consultation with regards to the aims of higher education, the reasons for the academic requirements, expected standards of achievement, etc.
Information giving - includes advice and consultation about registration, course offerings, areas of staff interest and expertise, educational opportunities, degree programmes and requirements, educational policies and regulations, as well as administrative procedures.
Short-range programme planning - includes advice and consultation on scheduling sequences and course planning, registration and schedule adjustments, etc.
Long-range planning - includes advice and consultation about educational and professional objectives consistent with the student’s demonstrated academic abilities and interests, as well as identification of the relationship between courses, programmes, majors, and occupations.
Student referral - since advisors cannot possibly meet the needs of all students, specialized campus services at the Student Affairs Office and Office of Undergraduate Studies are available for advice and consultation that are complementary to the knowledge and skills of the advisors.
Facilitating student development - includes interest in the student’s goals and problems, establishment of rapport, development of the student’s self-awareness, etc.
It is believed that the current academic advising system provides students with the opportunity to plan, discuss, and review academic progress, as well as enhances student satisfaction with their academic experience, better self-understanding and a sense of success in the achievement of personal and academic goals. To achieve these aspects, the terms of the academic advising system is outlined below.
- The First Year - The first year is generally a time of exploration for students. The undergraduate degree structure at ITC is offered as a scheme in Fashion and Textiles, which comprises 5 specialisms in the areas of technology, business and design. In taking a current and flexible admission approach, students who are being admitted to the new 4-year curriculum do not have to decide on a study specialism in advance. They can map out an individual study path that suits their interests, abilities and learning needs so as to enable them to realize their academic aspirations and develop to their full potential. During the first year of study, a series of broad discipline subjects are offered to all students to build comprehensive basic knowledge in the fibre based industry. Students are encouraged to engage in various co-curricular activities so as to widen their horizons, particularly with regard to acquiring a global perspective.
In considering the diversified learning backgrounds of school leavers (due to a wide choice of core and elective subjects and applied learning courses) under the new secondary school curriculum and the flexible approach of admitting students to the new 4-year curriculum, all first-year undergraduate students will be assigned to an Academic Advisor. Each student will have a single Academic Advisor throughout his/her entire study at ITC to strengthen his/her connection to the Department and the University. Students are required to meet with his/her Academic Advisor once every semester to discuss different academic issues. Academic Advisors can use one or more of a variety of delivery options, e.g. face-to-face, small groups, email, telephone, Blackboard, social media, etc. so as to maintain a suitable connection with students. Suitable records of the student’s progress upon each meeting should be kept, including the academic planning profile, academic results, schedule of classes, etc. Students can also contact ITC General Office and/or seek advice from the Undergraduate Secretary on academic rules and regulations of the University, programme requirements, definitive programme scheme, up-to-date academic advising information, etc.
Moreover, the 4-year curriculum offers a mandatory 3-credit Freshman Seminar for students who are studying in the Scheme of Fashion and Textiles. To encourage student engagement with the Department and the University, the subject offers an array of learning enrichment activities for first-year ITC students that will familiarise them with the workshops, studios, facilities and academic culture at ITC, as well as the support services of the University. It also provides an accurate prospect of different majors under the Scheme of Fashion and Textiles, as well as the importance and relevance of fundamental knowledge in textile technology for career development in the industry so as to ensure student success under the new degree curriculum.
- The Second Year - Under the new 4-year curriculum, the streaming into different specialisms will take place during the second semester of Year 2. Students often face the challenge of deciding their specialisms according to their particular intellectual and post-graduate goals. In this period, students may continue to consult with their Academic Advisors or other academic staff from their first year of study. In addition, they can also discuss with Discipline Leaders who are the coordinators of the 5 majors in the Scheme. The Discipline Leaders can provide a full perspective that a student requires for specialism selection.
Apart from academic planning, students are encouraged to engage in various co-curricular activities so as to widen their horizons, particularly with regard to acquiring a global perspective. Students can seek advice about student exchange programmes and possible internships from different sources, such as the Departmental Student Exchange Officer and Career Officer. Hence, they can develop their own self-development plan and/or short-range programme planning based on their own interests. Nevertheless, students are encouraged to take the responsibility and initiative for their own academic direction. During the advising process, students must assume the primary responsibility for final decisions on subject scheduling and programme planning, particularly when these are inconsistent with the requirements of the chosen specialisms.
- The Third Year - Once a student identifies a specialism, his/her academic direction becomes clearer and more focused. In the third year, students are asked to select elective subjects and prepare for the Final Year Project. Some students may even enrol in a minor programme so as to explore alternative avenues of interest and career paths. At this stage, the Academic Advisor and Discipline Leader will serve as the sources of direction and help students to make connections with staff members who have relevant experience and can give guidance, and/or specialized campus services.
- The Fourth Year - At this juncture, students are working to complete their specialism study, the General University Requirements, and Final Year Project. Also, most students are thinking about what to do after graduation. At this stage, the Academic Advisor, Career Officer and Discipline Leader will serve as the sources for direction, perhaps advising a student for postgraduate studies or directing students about graduate work in their own field. Students can therefore prepare a long-range self-development plan to facilitate their choice of career and/or pursue further study.