Workshops, Seminars and Events
The Power of Academic Advising

Background: Academic advising is a process in which the advisor helps the students on their academic and career development matters. This process is of critical importance in affecting the potential academic growth of students. A survey on Academic advising support at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from May to June 2020 was carried out among students and teachers. The survey results indicated that there are rooms for improving the current academic advising system. The report of the Survey can be found in our website

Objectives: The primary objective of this workshop is to assist and provide support to academic staffs with the role of academic advisors to enhance their skills in carrying out academic advising tasks. This workshop also provides a platform for academic advisors to share their experience and difficulties they have faced; and to come up with possible enhancement to the current academic advising system.

Date & Time: 12 April 2021 (Monday) 9:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.

(20 min)
Professor Vivian LEE
Associate Professor, Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research

Title: “What do we observe with our current academic advising system at CUHK”

Effective academic advising (AA) is without doubt an important part for our students in their tertiary education. At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, we aim to provide excellent learning enhancement environments. Our academic staffs are committed to support our students. The current AA system in CUHK was developed a decade ago. Recently, the Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research has conducted a study adopting both qualitative and quantitative approaches to evaluate the AA system at CUHK. The findings of our study will be presented at the workshop. Five aspects of AA will be covered: (1) Definition; (2) Arrangement; (3) Content; (4) Barriers; and (5) Evaluation.

(20 min)
Professor Ian MORLEY
Associate Professor, Department of History, CUHK

Title: “Forging the Staff-Student Relationship Through the Academic Advising System”

The Academic Advisor System offers a unique window to develop relationships with students. Yet this interpersonal development process is by no means straightforward to create, design, and expand so as to enhance the welfare of students during their tenure at CUHK. In this setting, what can be done to improve the construction of the alliance between teachers and students? How as individuals, and as an institution, can we seek to utilize the Academic Advisor System in order to uplift student well-being in and beyond the confines of their scholarly studies?

(20 min)
Dr. Yang YEUNG
Lecturer, University General Education

Title: “ What my teachers didn’t teach me about academic advising, I learn from my students ”

It is never easy figuring out what actually requires attention. A student asked for an appointment about a written assignment. He ended up telling me how his friends made fun of him wanting to be president of his country. Another student said he wanted to talk about reading assignments. He ended up sharing the struggles he had been going through in his faith. There was also her email that revealed nothing but the need for a chat. She came in and broke down in tears – from anger, confusion, and sadness over a rape case and the practice of surrogacy for profits she had read about. I am not a designated academic advisor in the CUHK system, but I gather in face of students’ needs, like many colleagues, I act as one the best I can, in confidence and also managing uncertainties. The courses I teach at the General Foundation Programme are designed to encourage students’ self-reflection, and for the fact that most students are first-years, it is likely we get to witness how the intellectual challenges built into the courses translate into learning processes in their lives as whole lives, beyond what the way any one academic discipline can problematize. I still carry dearly a line my professor gave me when I was an undergraduate, “To be near enough isn’t good enough.” My relation to this line had transformed from frustration and confusion to motivation and appreciating the beauty of tenacity. Since I have been supported with such generosity and honesty, I would like to be able to support others with the same. My students have taught me when in all kinds of knots, they need not a quick fix to their problems, but first, someone to trust, someone who listens well, and someone who believes in their flourishing.

(20 min)
Dr. Isabel HWANG
Assistant Dean (Student Support)
Senior Lecturer, School of Biomedical Sciences

Title: “A personal experience sharing as an academic adviser in the medical faculty”

Academic advising (AA) is an ongoing and active process that consists of the interaction between student, academic advisors, school, faculty and the university. The ultimate goal is to provide assistance to students in developing accomplishment and suitable study plans as well as career development that are compatible with their life goals. Under the system, every student (both undergraduate and postgraduate) is assigned an academic advisor (level I) within their program. If level I advisor detects issues, he/she could report to level II advisors within the program for further follow up. Most level I/II advisors may not have formal academic advising training. It is important for our university to provide support and solutions on adjusting the current AA system for the betterment of both teachers and students. In the current presentation, I will share my experiences as a level I and II advisor in the faculty of medicine to colleagues.

(5 min)

(1 hour)
Professor Harold CHUI
Assistant Professor, Department of Education Psychology, CUHK
Associate Dean of Students at Lee Woo Sing College at CUHK.

Title: “Helping skills for academic advisors: Improving our readiness to support students in need”

Academic advisors do not only offer program-related information to students but they are also tasked with listening to students’ concerns and assessing their needs. In this workshop, basic helping skills will be introduced to facilitate advisor-student communication. Case examples will be reviewed to highlight areas to focus and relevant questions to ask. Strategies to address students’ resistance toward help-seeking will be discussed.

(25 min)
Q and A Session (Open discussion)

(5 min)
Conclusion (Prof. Vivian Lee)


Workshop will be conducted online through ZOOM

Language: English

Registration: https://webapp.itsc.cuhk.edu.hk/ras/restricted/event?id=46391

Biography: Professor Vivian Lee is an Associate Professor of the Center for Learning Enhancement And Research (CLEAR) and she was the University Associate Dean of Students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr. Lee is a registered pharmacist in both United States and Hong Kong. She is also a certified Specialist by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (US) in Pharmacotherapy and added qualification in cardiology pharmacotherapy. She is also the senior fellow of the United Kingdom Higher Education Academy. Her research area is in learning enhancement including interprofessional education, academic advising, service-learning and translational impact of education to community

Professor Ian Morley is an Associate Professor in the Department of History, and Associate Professor (by Courtesy) on CUHK's Urban Studies Programme. He has been the recipient of the Department of History's Teaching Award four times, and the Faculty of Arts' Outstanding Teaching Award seven times. He has also, since 2009, been awarded ten courseware and teaching development grants in order to develop the learning experience for students within his Department. He is also a Senior Fellow of Advance HE (UK).

Dr. Yang Yeung teaches classics in the General Education Foundation Programme, an undergraduate core texts programme, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests and publications include global learning of core texts and first-year experience in general education. Yeung is also an independent curator and writer of art. She has published widely on contemporary art, focusing on sound, listening, and artists' realities

Dr Isabel Hwang serves as Assistant Dean (Student Support) and Senior Lecturer at the School of Biomedical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine. She obtained her BSc in Biochemistry and her MSc in Chemical Research from the University of London. After returning to Hong Kong, she obtained a PhD in Physiology from the University of Hong Kong. Since joining CUHK, she has dedicated her time to teaching and has also worked in various capacities on preclinical curriculum development and design, including the coordination of multiple medical and non-medical courses. In recognition of her contribution to teaching and learning development, Dr Hwang was awarded the Faculty Education Award in 2016. She is now acting as the Year One Coordinator of the Faculty of Medicine, and as a Level I and Level II academic advisor to preclinical medical students and biomedical science students.

Professor Harold Chui is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Associate Dean of Students at Lee Woo Sing College. He obtained his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland and MSc and BSc degrees from the University of Toronto. He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in counseling and conducts research in counseling process and outcome, multicultural issues, and counselor training and supervision. He is an associate editor for Psychotherapy, journal for the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29).

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