What is Academic Advising?
Academic advising plays an important role in the faculty-student relationship. In the College of Visual and Performing Arts, it is stressed that an effective advising relationship is based on joint participation from the advisers as well as the students. Advisers 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 advisers 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 adviser. Keep appointments as scheduled (or notify the adviser if cancellation is necessary) and be prepared for advising appointments. You should not rely on the advisers to inform you of degree requirements, academic policies, etc. Rather you should know the requirements specific to your program, seeking the adviser's input when clarification is needed.
The Office of Student Services in the College of Visual and Performing Arts provides the overall direction for the advising process in the College. Students are assigned to advisers in the department of the selected major. If you do not know the name of your adviser, you should check Wingspan or stop by or call your departmental office or Office of Student Services at 803-323-2465.
To make the most of an advising relationship the student 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 adviser.
- 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 adviser is probably busy preparing for class, etc. Learn your adviser's office hours; this would be a good time to see him/her and get quality time.
An Adviser'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.
You should contact your adviser at the beginning of the advising period to schedule an appointment for advising. Many advisers 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 adviser 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 adviser pertaining to your major, possible career path, etc.