Undergraduate Class Deans are associated with each cohort of Rensselaer students and follow them from their sophomore year to graduation. The Dean of the First-Year Experience maintains oversight of all first-year students. As part of Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS), the Undergraduate Class Deans mentor each cohort by providing information and assistance specific to students’ needs at that particular time during their Rensselaer journey. Specific roles of the Dean's include:
- Academic and personal mentoring and support
- Class-specific programming through the Cohort Committees
- Collaborations with departments and offices across campus
- Administrative functions for their cohort including excused absences, no examination grades, withdrawals, leave of absences, and readmission
The Class Deans assist students in crafting a holistic, personal experience spanning their tenure at Rensselaer. By creating connections between student aspirations and the wealth of available opportunities and services, the Class Deans foster full engagement with Rensselaer and beyond. They intervene with students experiencing personal or academic difficulty through the Electronic Warning System (EWS) and provide intrusive academic and social intervention and support.
All students begin with the Dean of the First-Year Experience. During their Sophomore year, their Undergraduate Class Dean is introduced and follows them through to graduation. Students are assigned by cohort, the year they began at Rensselaer, not by the number of credits attained. However, transfer students are assigned based on their class year during admission.
To make an appointment with any of the Undergraduate Deans, visit our scheduling website or use the form below.
Your Class Dean is a friendly and accessible resource for support, referrals, and information. We say, when you are not sure where to start, start with your Class Dean. We assist with academic and/or personal concerns by providing support and advice. We have deep relationships built across Rensselaer which allows us to advocate on your behalf with your faculty and various Institute offices to assist you in achieving your goals. If you are thinking of taking a leave of absence, we can plan and arrange for your time away from Rensselaer and also help with planning for your return. Since you will have the same Class Dean throughout your experience, you only have to tell your story once.
While we are under COVID-19 restrictions, we will be conducting most of our appointments online or over the phone. During the first appointment, we will get to know you and ask questions about the reason for your meeting. Together, we will strategize solutions and likely you leave with a few to-do list items. Feel free to ask any questions you have in order to make yourself feel more comfortable. Together, we may decide to schedule future meetings as needed to resolve your concerns, connect you with resources, and create steps to help you progress through the semester.
Class Deans do not provide treatment or therapy. We are academic administrators who help students deal with academic and personal issues by providing support, guidance, advice, advocacy, and referrals. You may be working through a myriad of overlapping concerns, which may include counseling services, and we are here to work closely together to assist you.
We don't want you to give up and stop attending class. There are always options, and they vary depending on your particular situation. The sooner you talk to us, the better the outcome will be. Please do not wait until the end of the semester out of fear; schedule your appointment today.
Over 3,000 Electronic Warning System (EWS) reports are sent each semester. We reach out to students who may be struggling in multiple courses or where the professor is concerned you might be failing the course. You may feel that you have it under control, but we are here to help. Respond to your Class Dean and tap into our resources and together, we can create a plan to get you back on track. We have talked to thousands of students in your situation and likely have resources and advice which may be helpful.