Faculty conversations: Stratton Lee
Giving advice can be a difficult task. For Stratton Lee, it is a chance to help students shape their own careers at Michigan State University.
"I really enjoy seeing the students grow and transition from when they first start working as a student at State to when they graduate," said Lee, academic adviser in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
Lee, who has been with MSU for four years, said while he enjoys watching students grow, there are several things he helps them understand when they first arrive at MSU.
"The initial challenge is always just helping them understand the transition between high school and college; that they are responsible for a certain amount of the load they are going to be taking," Lee said. "We really help them understand they have to choose and select elective courses; advisers don't do that for them."
Lee said another challenge is implementing any credits students received from advanced placement courses or from other colleges or universities.
In addition to advising, Lee said advisers have other responsibilities in the summer such as helping with Freshman Seminars.
"There are 20 to 25 students per section," Lee said. "We work them through navigating the university, making that transition, making sure they understand university protocol. We work with them to basically take the skills they have been learning since elementary school and apply them to a higher academic situation."
Lee said the biggest change facing freshmen is becoming more independent with learning how to use the resources available to them, but to also know when to ask for help.
"They need to be able to support themselves as students, but they also need to get out of that 'asking-for-help-is-weak' stage," Lee said. "We give them the tools to put them in charge of their own lives and their own directions."