Advising and guidance

Advising/guidance refers to all activities aimed at enabling the future student or current student to plan and manage their learning in a manner consistent with personal life goals and making full use of individual skills and interests in order to achieve personal fulfilment.
Depending on the moment in the university course when these activities are implemented, a distinction is made between: advising/guidance carried out before choosing a degree course, iaimed at prospective students and offers support in identifying the course to be undertaken on the basis of individual interests, expectations and aptitudes. In this phase, the various possible scenarios are presented to the future student and the alternatives of the university pathway are illustrated; advising/guidance carried out during the university career, this is aimed at enrolled students and is designed to guide them within the courses of study already undertaken, enabling them to establish a better interaction with the structures and the university context; guidance carried out close to or after graduation, it is aimed at graduates or graduating students and aims to facilitate their introduction into the working environment.
Delegates for academic and career guidance:
Prof. Aderville Cabassi

Prof. Stefano Guizzardi

Academic advising/guidance

In the specific case of the Degree Course in Medicine and Surgery, academic advising/guidance is carried out by reference professors/instructors, through seminars at High School Institutes in Parma and its Province and neighbouring Provinces. The calendar of meetings is agreed upon by the Schools with the University's "Welcome and guidance" Unit.

The Degree Course is also presented at "OpenDay" events (three consecutive days in April) and "InfoDay" (one day in July), organised each year by the University.

The dissemination of information to prospective students on how to access degree courses is carried out through projects in collaboration with upper secondary schools as part of induction advising/guidance activities, support for structures involved in 'Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro' programmes and information and guidance interviews for students and families.
In connection with high schools, the university has launched a series of specific projects involving school teachers in coordination with UNIPR professors/instructors with a view to supporting the preparation of school students for university enrolment.

These projects specifically are:

-CORDA Project, established in 2001 as an guidance initiative for students in their last year of some high schools who intended to undertake studies at the Faculty of Engineering in Parma, now extended to all the University's scientific courses; - Scientific Degrees Plan (PLS), established in 2004 with the aim of combating the growing disaffection of young people towards scientific disciplines. At UNIPR, PLS is divided into different subject areas:
-Biology and Biotechnology ;

- Chemistry ;

- Geology ;

- Physics ;

- Mathematics.

The activity of welcoming foreign students and refugees deserves particular attention: over the years it has become increasingly important within the objectives that the University has set for itself, also from an administrative point of view, especially with regard to the evaluation of foreign qualifications that students submit upon enrolment and which, in some cases, they send before arriving in Italy for prior evaluation for admission to degree courses. With regard to the delicate and current context of the refugee situation, the university recently joined the National Coordination on the Evaluation of Refugee Qualifications (CNVQR) with which the MIUR, with the support of the CIMEA, has set itself the objective of providing universities with useful tools to proceed with the recognition of the qualifications of refugees with little or no documentation. The University of Parma, within the framework of this project, which is also part of the University Plan for Refugees, was able to receive precise notions on the procedure to follow in cases of poor or absent documentation, establishing important contacts with other universities and with the CIMEA staff, for fruitful cooperation. Based on this protocol, the Unit Careers and Services for Students provides accommodation for refugees with confirmed status, as well as asylum seekers. For everyone, i.e. both those with recognised refugee status and those with a status that is not yet final and with partial or deficient documentation, the qualifications submitted are assessed. In this context, numerous discussions are scheduled, both with students and with the mediators of the associations, as well as with the Presidents of the Degree Councils to which the students approach, and with ERGO for possible benefits.
In addition to all these centrally coordinated activities, there are other actions implemented on the direct initiative of individual departments, degree courses and their delegates. These initiatives take the form of internships activated at individual departments by the guidance delegates of the various degree courses and take place over one or more days; the relevant information is collected in a digital brochure published annually on the website; the same brochure is sent by email, through direct contact with school guidance directors and teachers, to all schools in the interested area (Parma and neighbouring provinces as well as other provinces in which guidance meetings are organised in schools or where student fairs are held).
In addition to internships, it is worth mentioning the more specific initiatives organised directly by professors/instructors (not necessarily delegated for guidance). These actions are thematic and are once again aimed at high school students in order to provide them with further information on study paths leading to more or less 'canonical' professional profiles.
In addition, it was also intended to conceive entry guidance as a function of the choice of a degree, so as to orientate it, favouring vocation and talent, through more intensive contacts with students enrolled in first-level degrees.
Lastly, it seems appropriate, in this context, to mention the Customer Satisfaction project undertaken by the University of Parma, capable of allowing, among other things, the assessment of the effectiveness of advising/guidance actions, an open issue and not entirely resolved in the national panorama, in order to allow a more conscious and targeted choice by students and, in particular, to verify that guidance actions are productive, not so much in terms of attractiveness to the University, but in terms of improving the performance of students who then entol in the University of Parma.


Guidance and tutoring

The service is intended to support the proper integration of students into the degree course through, in particular, specific tutoring activities aimed at students enrolled in the first year of the course, as well as to encourage effective career progression by students through, in particular, assistance in the compilation of individual programmes of study, ongoing guidance activities aimed at encouraging students to choose the degree course most suited to their characteristics, as well as through remedial activities for students experiencing difficulties.

In parallel to strengthening the tools for assessing students' incoming skills, and in particular for those with a high dropout rate, the university provides remedial teaching actions and ensures adequate tutoring services throughout the university course, calibrated taking into account the assessment mechanisms of the degree courses, in order to pursue the result of improving their quality, by providing tutors for each individual degree course.

Guidance and tutoring and in itinere tutoring, therefore, take on particular significance in view of the growing importance of the improvement and success, from an educational point of view, of regularly enrolled students, an aspect that cannot, however, disregard the initial level of basic skills of incoming students, which contributes significantly to the underperformance of matriculated students. In order to improve specific performance, the university has set out to develop a series of actions aimed at integrating and strengthening the core subject areas, as well as implementing supplementary preparatory and preparatory courses for examinations. In this sense, didactic tutoring can facilitate the completion of studies on time and, in particular, reduce first-year drop-outs. The aim is to guide and assist students throughout their studies, to make them active participants in the educational process, to remove obstacles to successful attendance, including through initiatives tailored to the needs, aptitudes and requirements of individuals. The in itinere guidance and tutoring service, therefore, takes the form of support and assistance to students enrolled in courses of study, diversified according to the needs of the users and adapted to changing needs. In particular, the activities implemented, carried out by professors/instructors embedded in the courses of study, concern the dissemination of information, reception, support and tutoring to help students during their education. More specifically, the activities carried out include advising on the drawing up of programmes of study and on issues relating to propaedeuticity, how to attend courses, tutorials and laboratory activities, the cultural and professional advising/guidance of students, the promotion of their participation in national and international exchange or mobility programmes, as well as the referral to appropriate support structures in the event of any difficulties or situations of psychological distress.

In this context, services to students that contribute to their cultural and scientific education and facilitate their entry into the world of work are favoured and strengthened, with the aim of offering students the opportunity to acquire certified supplementary skills during their chosen training pathway.

In connection with high schools, the University of Parma has launched a specific project involving school teachers in coordination with university teaching staff with a view to supporting the preparation of students enrolled in the first or second year who need disciplinary reinforcement. The IDEA Project ( and, aimed at Didactic Integration through Assisted Exercises, is in fact an initiative that aims at the realisation of an operational link between high school and university, for a profitable connection between secondary school didactics and university didactics, as an effective means to reduce students' difficulties and drop-out phenomena and is operational in various mathematical, scientific and humanistic fields.

Tutoring and tutorials also make it possible to support both the process aimed at increasing the number of students who enrol in the second year of the same degree class or single-cycle degree having acquired an adequate number of ECTS credits in relation to the cohort of enrolled students in the previous academic year, and the process aimed at increasing the number of graduates who obtain their final degree within the normal duration of the degree course.

In addition, it was intended to design the mentoring also in the light of the choice of a degree, so as to orientate it, favouring vocation and talent, through more intensive contacts with students, school heads and the guidance delegates of upper secondary schools.

The professors/instructors of the degree course in Medicine and Surgery collaborate with the university bodies, particularly in the fundamental phases of a student's university life (choice of degree course, training pathway and direction towards future specialisation).

Tutoring is carried out in pursuit of indispensable course objectives:

- acquisition of a methodology of reasoning and a logical path, rather than of notions; - links with other areas of the three-year period and/or links with subsequent areas; - acquisition of manual skills or live experience (workshops, semeiology, etc.)

- facilitation of an early relationship with the patient.

In the first three-year period, tutorial teaching activities are mainly expressed through the possibility of integrations between several integrated courses with a perspective and interdisciplinary view.

In the second three-year period, it has some peculiarities that can be identified as follows: finalisation of the knowledge of the subject areas and of the integrated basic courses to the performance of institutional tasks; development of relational skills in the relationship with the patient, with colleagues and with other social and health workers; acquisition of the ability to manage available resources; acquisition of a 'reference model' as a professional figure.

In addition to the figure of the tutor-professor/instructor there is that of the reference professor/instructor represented by the Integrated Course Coordinators.

In addition to the tutoring provided by the lecturer, the student may benefit from the assistance of other students carrying out this task in the department.