Advisory Classes

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Student Advisory

Many schools with advisory programs are relieved to discover School-Connect. For schools without an advisory curriculum, School-Connect provides structure, fun activities, and a foundation for sparking meaningful conversations and relationships. Because all students and most teachers are involved, advisory models, when done well, have a significant impact on the overall school climate and student motivation.

Advisory models are most effective if the class meets at least two to three times a week. School-Connect lessons are timed for 40 minutes. If advisory classes meet for less time, we recommend focusing on one lesson per week, following up on Reflection/Application activities, and using the Lesson Extensions to dig deeper into the topic. Some schools choose to cover one module per grade level. For instance, freshmen would cover Module 1, sophomores Module 2, and juniors Module 3. A fourth module for seniors is currently under development.

School-Connect training is especially important for the advisory implementation model. Because advisory classes include teachers of all disciplines, the advisory teachers may have more or less experience in facilitating student-driven, interpersonal conversations. We recommend that advisory model programs seriously consider onsite training or sending a team of teachers to a School-Connect Institute. Advisory teachers can greatly benefit from ongoing implementation support from a program coordinator who functions as a master teacher.

SEL from a Student’s Perspective

Daniel McCutchen

Hear from Daniel McCutchen, a student who went from “at-risk” to Harvard after starting high school in S-C Co-Author Keeth Matheny’s freshman seminar class.

CLICK for Daniel’s Key to Success: SEL

CLICK for Tch Talks: A Student’s Perspective on SEL in the Classroom Podcast

CLICK to watch Daniel in TEDxYouth Talk: It’s Okay to not be Okay

Tips for a Successful Student Advisory:

  • Provide School-Connect training for advisory teachers.
  • Recruit a coordinator for the advisory program.
  • At a minimum, schedule advisory to meet twice a week if sessions are 20-30 minutes long and once a week if sessions are 45-50 minutes long.
  • Keep classes small: 10-20 students.
  • Assign homework activities and discuss real-life applications.
  • Keep parents informed about the skills taught in advisory.
  • Provide regular opportunities for advisory teachers to share ideas and experiences, and address challenges.