Getting Started with Advisor/Coach Assignments

Schools can make staff assignments based on a variety of criteria (for example: declared major, class standing, or athletics). The automatic assignment of faculty or staff to students happens in Slate through rules. Before creating these rules, work with your team outside of Slate to create a complete list of advisor assignments. 

Assignments in the Rules Editor are based on the active user list. Make sure all staff and faculty members have been added as users in Slate.


  Best Practices

Listing rules on index cards lets you visualize your staff assignments. It's also a great opportunity to rethink an older process and introduce simplicity.


Ordering Staff Assigned Rules

Once you've listed a complete set of assignment rules on index cards, you must order the cards. There are two important factors to understand when ordering:

    1. A student record can only match with one rule (for example, one counselor type per student record).
    2. Once a student record matches with a rule, that record can no longer match with any other rules.

Therefore, it is critically important that rules are ranked in order of priority. Determine which rules should take precedence over other rules.

Consider the following example table. The first rule could run assign an academic counselor to students without a declared major. Staff assignments for those who have a declared major can then be matched to an advisor by an individual major, or by groups of majors.

Think of this ordering process as a flowchart that asks big questions first, then gets progressively narrower.

Order Index Card
#1 Undeclared Major
#2 Declared Major - Biology
#3 Declared Major - English or English Literature
#4 Declared Major - Computer Science or Computer Programming
#5 Declared Major - Performance Art


Assigning Priorities to Staff Assignment Rules

Once cards are ordered, define which advisors are impacted, the rule filter, and assign a priority number for each item. We recommend leaving a gap within the Priority listing (10, 20, 30, etc.) in case you need to add rules in the future without needing to re-prioritize multiple rules.

Index Card Rule Staff Filter Priority
1. Undeclared

Sally Smith

Major = Undeclared


2. Academic Counselor - Biology

Phil Johnson

Major = Biology


3. Academic Counselor - English Rudolph Muller Major = English or English Literature 40
4. Academic Counselor - Computer Sciences Julian Bellingham Major = Computer Science or Computer Programming 50
5. Academic Counselor - Performance Art Abigail Williams Major = Performance Art 60


Creating a Staff Assignment Field

Slate includes a Staff Assigned field by default. You can use this field—or a custom field (or fields) of your own design—to add advisor assignments.

To create a custom assignment field:

  1. From the main navigation, select Database.
  2. Under Records and Datasets, select Fields.
  3. Click Insert. A pop-up appears.
  4. In the pop-up, enter the following configurations:
    • Status: Active
    • Scope Category: Records
    • Scope: Person
    • ID: Enter "user"
    • Name: Give the field an internal name. Feel free to change this name, even if data already exists for the field.
    • Folder: Organize your fields by keeping them in a clear folder structure. Create a new folder by selecting Other.
    • Field Type: Single Value
    • Prompt: user
  5. Click Save. 
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