Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the Arts On Track Program different from other ways in which staff support students in Arts?

A: Staff in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are already working hard to address the needs of students who are having difficulties with their studies. The Arts on Track Program aims to complement, not to replace, these other sources of support.

This program does differ somewhat from other strategies in that it adopts a more holistic approach to assisting students. It allows us to track and support the progress of students across their entire program of study, rather than only at the disciplinary level. It also allows us to identify students in the Faculty who may be at risk of dropping out or failing to complete their degree program, and to offer timely support.

Q: What can students expect from their adviser?

A: The adviser will be available to talk with the student at the times that they arrange together and will listen to the student carefully and respectfully. It is important to note that advisers in this program are neither counsellors nor tutors; the adviser will discuss the situation with the student and offer advice and direction. S/he may also guide the student to particular services or networks of support.

The adviser will work with the student to help figure out two main things: What’s been going wrong, and what might help in this situation? Just as importantly, the adviser will also help the student to figure out what’s been going right, and give a lot of encouragement!

Q: What's the commitment?

A: We suggest that students and advisers meet initially for a face-to-face meeting that will take about one hour. Ideally, they will then organise at least two hours of follow-up over the semester. This may be two more face-to-face meetings, a number of email contacts and a chat on the phone, or whatever suits both the student and adviser best.

The commitment of both the student and the adviser is normally for one semester, but may be extended in some cases.

Q: How are advisers matched with students?

Each adviser is a member of academic staff in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The key criterion for matching an adviser with a student is that the adviser does not teach in any subject area in which the student having particular difficulty.

Students may ask to be re-assigned to another adviser at any time if they feel they may be more comfortable with someone else.

Q: Whom can I contact if I have other questions?

A: For any other question about the Arts on Track Program, please send an email to