The Advisor’s Role in Schedule Planning

Ultimately it is the student who is responsible for scheduling the classes that are needed to fulfill graduation requirements. However, advisors are responsible for verifying that the advisee has made appropriate choices. Advisors are expected to provide accurate information and good counsel and are expected to help students keep track of what graduation requirements remain. Advisors should make sure that each course a student selects will fit into the academic program and that the students have the proper prerequisites for the courses they have selected.

Advising styles vary and some advisors choose to play a more directive role than others. In general, younger students need more direction than more advanced students. A goal of the advising process should be to help students develop toward taking more and more responsibility for their own schedule planning as they advance through their program.

Many advisors ask students to bring a draft of a possible schedule to the advising meeting and review this before providing the registration information. Some advisors like to have a preliminary meeting during each Initial Registration period to review the advisees’ progress through the program and discuss a general plan for the coming semester and then a second meeting during which the specific schedule is reviewed.

Long-term schedule planning is a critical part of the advising process for students with declared majors. The best time for long-term planning is as soon as the major is declared. The Catalog specifies all the requirements of the major. The advisor and student need to make a semester-by-semester plan for how these will be fulfilled in order for graduation to occur on time. Many courses are not offered each semester; some are available only on alternate years. Most majors include some series of courses that must be taken in order. These are the sorts of matters that are considered in long-term planning. Each should keep a copy. The initial investment of time required for this sort of planning is well compensated by time saved in future semesters.

Degree Planning: In an attempt to help students be on track for graduating in a timely manner, students who have reached junior status receive a degree review from the Undergraduate Advising Center outlining outstanding coursework. A copy is also sent to the student’s academic advisor. The student’s major, minor and discipline average calculations are also included in the review. Additionally, students who come to the office to meet are told about any outstanding paperwork that needs processing (i.e., student request for course substitution, change of catalog form, minor form, undergraduate degree request, etc.).

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