© 2016 Joseph Heathcott

Advising Overview

The most important part of my work as an educator is advising students, and I take the process very seriously.  My approach to advising is one of co-learing, where the student and I are working together to figure out the world.  Some professors, unfortunately, see advising as a way to clone themselves--to disperse their views through a kind of master-apprentice relationship, like some medieval guild. This is not only antiquated, it is potentially harmful and unjust.  Instead, it is our job to help students define their own pathways, nurture their own talents, and realize their own aspirations.

The only thing that I ask of students, beyond an abiding commitment to learning, is to regard both their time and mine as valuable.  Students have busy lives, with work and family obligations, not to mention the stress of juggling all of these things in New York City. I do my best to bear this in mind and to provide what support I can to students in managing their academic obligations.  For my part, since I work with so many students from bachelors to masters to PhD, it is imperative that advisees observe a few simple courtesies: showing up to appointments on time, sending work for me to read well in advance, and giving plenty of lead time for things like letters of recommendation. Following these basic precepts will ensure that our work together is efficient and productive.