What is Academic Advising?
Academic advising plays an important role in the faculty-student relationship. In the College of Arts and Sciences, it is stressed that an effective advising relationship is based on joint participation from the advisors as well as the students. Advisors assist students in planning a program of study that properly sequences courses and supports the interests and career goals of the student. They offer insights into career opportunities as well as refer students to appropriate campus resources. Advocates for the students, the advisors often provide letters of recommendation for petitions or prospective employers.
As students, you also have a role in building effective advising relationships. Check the office hours posted and initiate contact with your advisor. Keep appointments as scheduled (or notify the advisor if cancellation is necessary) and be prepared for advising appointments. You should not rely on the advisors to inform you of degree requirements, academic policies, etc. Rather you should know the requirements specific to your program, seeking the advisor's input when clarification is needed.
The Office of Student Services in the College of Arts and Sciences provides the overall direction for the advising process in the College. Students are assigned to advisors in the department of the selected major. If you do not know the name of your advisor, you should check Wingspan or call the Office of Student Services at 323-2183 or come by 106 Kinard.
An Advisor's role is:
- To assist students in making appropriate and satisfying decisions regarding academic programs and life/career goals.
- To assist students in clarifying requirements for their specific degree program.
- To help foster in each advisee the ability to make informed choices concerning alternatives, limitations, and consequences of academic decisions (selection of courses, major declaration or change, dropping courses, etc.)
- To know each student well enough to be aware of individual academic situation or educational needs.
- To help the student to become involved in the total learning experience of Winthrop University by suggesting appropriate involvement in on-campus, off-campus , and experiential opportunities.
To make the most of an advising relationship you should:
- Take responsibility for knowing your degree requirements, making course selections, and monitoring progress toward the degree program you have selected.
- Prepare a trial schedule for the upcoming semester and take a copy with you to the advising session.
- Develop your social, academic, and career goals and examine how these goals can best be enhanced by the resources of Winthrop University.
- Maintain personal copies of your records and bring these with you when you see your advisor.
Be conscientious and thoughtful. Keep scheduled appointments or call if you need to cancel. Stay long enough to get the help you need, being aware that your advisor is probably busy preparing for class, etc. Learn your advisor's office hours; this would be a good time to see him/her and get quality time.
You should contact your advisor at the beginning of the advising period to schedule an appointment for advising. Many advisors will post sign-up sheets outside their offices to allow students to select appointment times. Check regular office hours when you need to schedule an appointment at times other than the advising periods. Be sure and leave a message for your advisor if you are unable to make contact initially.
In preparation for an advising appointment, you should review your Degree Checklist to determine the courses you want to take, check Wingspan to be sure the courses are offered, plan a trial schedule noting the times and section numbers of courses, and write down any specific questions you may have for your advisor pertaining to your major, possible career path, etc.