A Look at the iSchool Advising Toolkit

iStudent Blog

Published: October 25, 2020 by Leslie Parry

Of all the resources available to iSchool students, the advising toolkit is one of the most valuable. No matter where you are in your program, the toolkit can help you plan classes, choose an advisor, track your academic progress and get ready for graduation. With new tools and features just added, it’s worth examining at any (and every!) stage of your iSchool career. You’ll find general information at the top and program-specific links toward the bottom. (You can also click on the Getting Started tab to access toolkits related to policies and procedures, career plans, and student wellness and success.) 

Here’s a look at the many ways the advising toolkit can help you succeed.

Check out the latest tools

  • Advising tools glossary. This one-page sheet is a great starting point, especially for new students. Not only does it succinctly describe the functions of each advising tool, it provides all the links you need on a single page. You can download the sheet and use it as a quick, easy reference guide throughout the program.
  • Graduation checklist. When you’re closing in on the last lap of iSchool, this checklist will guide you through the final steps and requirements.
  • INFM course load. This page provides sample course plans for MS Informatics students. 

Explore the curriculum

  • Browse class schedules and descriptions. Through the toolkit you can view schedules for past, current and upcoming sessions as well as descriptions for MLIS and MARA courses. When you’re planning ahead, it’s also helpful to check out class rotations for MLIS, MARA and Informatics
  • Look through course syllabi. This feature allows you to search past and current syllabi by course, instructor and/or semester. It’s an excellent resource if you’re looking for details about the format or requirements of a particular class.
  • Learn about iSchool faculty. Get to know your esteemed professors by reading their faculty profiles.

Customize your path

  • Chart your career pathway. With this pathway tool, students can explore descriptions and course suggestions for various concentrations in the library and information science field. While your pathway doesn’t have to be formally declared, these recommendations will help you build the necessary skillsets in the sector of your choice. If you’re interested in more than one concentration, this excellent course intersection tool identifies which courses pathways have in common.
  • Get organized with the student success planner. This spreadsheet planner, which can be downloaded directly from the toolkit, is a must-have for every student. Over the last year it’s become my roadmap, my to-do list, and a marker of what I’ve accomplished so far. Whether I’m setting goals for the semesters ahead, or checking to make sure I’m fulfilling my competencies, I rely on the planner to keep me on track. 
  • Find a faculty advisor. Whether you’re looking for an advisor with expertise in a given field or one who can offer broader academic advice, this page will help you find a mentor. To get a sense of advisors’ research interests, specialty areas and professional affiliations, you can also view their welcome videos.

Prepare for graduation

  • Make use of the unit planning tool. Even if you’ve just enrolled, it’s never too early to start planning! This form will help you plan out your semesters to ensure timely degree completion.
  • Match courses to competencies, and vice versa. This is a great tool to use in tandem with your student success planner. You can either view courses to see which competencies they support, or select competencies and match them to courses.
  • And finally, mark off the graduation checklist. Before you know it you’ll be walking across that stage (virtually or otherwise)! 

The advising toolkit will help you plan ahead, stay informed and get the most out of your time at SJSU. Go check it out now! 


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