FAQ for Duke Kunshan GLS Advisors

Q: When should professors seek the help of student advisors?

A: If a professor has attempted to address an issue with a student such as absences, poor work quality, lack of communications, etc. and has reached an impasse and needs support, the professor may then contact the advisor for further support.  If the advisor cannot address the issue with the student, he or she should then contact the Associate Dean.

Q: If a student would like to discuss a teacher and the teacher is the student’s advisor, what should he or she do?

A: The student should meet with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs.

Q: Do advisors have access to all the forms that students will need to fill out and get their advisor to look over and sign?

A:  Yes, the Registrar’s web page on the Duke Kunshan website will provide advisors with access to forms for policies including:

Q: Who makes the policies regarding absences, missed assignments and so forth?

A: Absences and missed assignment policy should be embedded in the text of the course syllabus and followed accordingly. While the professor has some leeway in making decisions regarding individual student cases, there are certain standards that should be met by the community as a whole.

Q: What role does the advisor play in disciplinary procedures e.g. for academic dishonesty?

A: The advisor’s role is to advocate for the student and do what can be done to ensure success of student in our program. However, advisors may only play a consultative role for students during the GLS Judicial Committee Review Process – see our Academic Policies for details.

Q: When should the advisor refer a student to counseling?

A: In case of signs of mild adjustment problems or mental health issues, the advisor should refer the student to DKU’s counseling psychologist (Penny Peng, LAMFT, 3665-7211, located in the Campus Health Clinic, Rm. 1024 Services Building #6). We suggest that the advisor offers to make the call on the student’s behalf, or even walk over with the student to the Campus Health Clinic.  

For more information, please check out the “Counseling and Psychological Services” page.

Q: Can an advisor give permission for a student to drop a course?

A: No. In the case of a student dropping down to 3 courses, the program Associate Dean must give the final okay and sign the form.

Q:  Is there a date for the final day a student can drop a course and earn a W (withdraw) rather than an F?

A: According to our on-site Registrar, "After the Drop/Add period, students can withdraw from courses with the “W” designation on their transcript until two (2) weeks before the last day of classes for seven-week courses and four (4) weeks before the last day of classes for full-semester courses. "

Q: What does a W mean? How does a student get a W?

A: If a student wishes to drop or withdraw from a course resulting in less than 3 courses, the student should first consult with the teacher then bring the teacher’s comments to the advisor and the advisor should then consult with the program dean.  The dean then reserves the right to make the final decision in each case.

Q: What role does advisor play in supporting students during session in terms of low or failing grades? Should the advisor have the right to get information from the professor about students’ grades? Should the professor report low-performing students to their advisors?

A: We suggest as a best practice that the professor notify the student advisor and dean if the student is performing poorly in the course (C level or below).  The advisor should follow up with a meeting with the student.  Student should know in advance that advisors may be given information about their performance by their professor.

Q: Are we budgeted for one or two advisor-advisee dinners?

A: One for each semester. Each student is budgeted at around 100 RMB per dinner.

Q: Should we document our meetings with students and how?

A: Yes, it is important to document meetings with students.  The advisor should create a file for each advisee and continually update it with notes from each meeting.  These can then be stored in a Box folder that only the advisor and the program Associate Dean will be able to access.

Q: Should the advisor be able to see student transcripts?

A: Yes, advisors should be granted access to student grade reports (also Duke policy).  After the first session, each students’ grades will be sent to the appropriate advisor by our on-site Registrar.