Essential Advising Steps

From a Student's Perspective

You’ve done a great job planning so far; you’ve decided which college to attend and know how you’re going to pay for it. The next step? Plan for your academic road ahead and talk to an advisor. Going to an advisor is important to a successful college career. They can point you in the right direction and keep you on track, even help you to graduate in a timely manner. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your meeting with an advisor:
The Right Kind of Advisor
There are many different types of advisors that can help you in college. There can be advisors specifically for a major or minor, general academic advisors assigned by the university, program advisors, financial advisors, trusted professors who are willing to assist, etc. The type of advisors at your disposal will depend on the resources provided by your university of choice. All of them can be beneficial and offer different opinions. Advisors can help you at any stage of your academic career: they can help you decide on a program, help you plan what classes to take, and even tell you your academic standing via an audit (have you taken the right classes and what classes do you still need?). Think about who would best be able to help you and contact them to set up a meeting. If you’re not sure who to talk to, just email one of them and ask. Personnel are often happy to point you in the right direction.
Ask the Right Questions
Having questions prepared ahead of time will help you make the most of your meeting with an advisor. It ensures you won’t forget anything you need or want to know. Potential questions could include: can I get this major/minor done in four years? What are the requirements? What classes should I take each semester? How many credits should I take a semester? Do I need an internship? Of course, these are just a few examples; the questions you ask will depend on your situation. Knowing what to ask will help you stay organized and keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Your advisor can only help you so much without knowing what you need. Knowing the right questions will help you get the right answers.
Follow Up
Advisors are a great resource for guidance, but it’s up to you to do the work. Take good notes so that you can leave with the confidence that you know how to proceed and follow through with your plan. Always go back to advisors and auditors to learn of new rules, ensure no mistakes were made, procedures were done correctly, and you are on track; follow ups will help you stay informed. This will give you peace of mind and serves as a gentle reminder. Don’t forget to thank them for their time!
Requirements
It is very important to be aware of the requirements involved with any major or minor. There are general requirements from the college itself but there are also specific requirements for every major or minor. It is important to know both to be successful; advisors can provide you with this information.
Advisors are great, free resources. Take advantage of them! It is their job to help students (you pay for it after all). The information they can provide you is essential to your success. Using them will help you make the most of your time in college and will help you experience a smoother journey to graduation. With their guidance, you may feel confident as you pursue your degree. So tell us, what have advisors done for you?FB SU Logo

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