Faculty Advisor Handbook
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Registration for new freshmen begins in May. All departmental changes to requirements, advisor assignments, and personnel should be submitted to Academic Support Services by the end of April.
Freshmen are registered by the Office of Academic Advisement and receive their fall schedules at Orientation (mid-July). Students are registered on a first come/first served basis. Program plans and any special instructions from departments are used as guides to making the initial schedules. Students may make changes to the schedules but many classes are closed. Placements (MTH, CMP, Modern Languages) may be appealed through appropriate departments.
Transfer students are generally registered by a faculty member in the department of their chosen major. Appointments for this are made by Admissions with specific faculty.
Placements: (guidelines determined by departments)
Changes in initial registrations:
Students sometimes change majors between the time of application and the time classes begin.
AP scores, official transcripts of prior college coursework come at or after Orientation and necessitate changes in schedules. This is particularly difficult as many classes are closed by the time this information is received.
Registration Mechanics - WebAdvisor: (basic steps, in order)
- Student or faculty advisor can put courses on student's program.
- If faculty puts courses on program, they are "approved."
- If student puts courses on program, faculty must "approve."
- All courses must be approved on WebAdvisor by a faculty advisor in order for a student to register for them
- Student must select sections at the time they register (they cannot earlier in the process)
- Student must register - approving courses does not register the student
- Remember – after initial registration any/all new courses to be added must be approved by faculty advisor. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students be advised to add additional backup courses at the time they request their initial approval. This will eliminate the problem of having to re-evaluate their plans every time they request a new course.
Depending on courses selected, student may need to put alternative courses on program. Faculty approval is needed for registration.
Academic Advisement does not register students after their first semester with the exception of Undeclared. All other students must register through their advisor or department.
How to Register Using WebAdvisor: Instructions for Students
Selecting Courses for Registration:
Question to ask: What requirements remain?
- For Core:
- Any remaining competencies to fulfill?
- Is the core completed? (45 credits)
- Do any other requirements remain?
- Upper division?
- Modern Language? (major or degree specific)
- Writing Intensive?
- Has the student completed Service Learning? (Form)
- For Major:
- Required courses?
- Elective courses?
- Some departments have cum gpa requirements for upper division and/or graduation.
- Other Questions:
- Is this course part of a sequence?
- What are the prerequisites?
- Does it have a competency?
- Is there a grade-level requirement?
Factors to consider in course selection (discuss with/recommend to student):
Total Work Load:
Recommend minimum of 15 credits per semester (16 or 17 with lab). Reason: provides fallback to 12 if needed. No consequences for housing or financial aid. Keeps student on track for timely graduation if they complete at least 30 credits per year. Some program plans suggest heavier loads.
Check Program Plans
*Remind students that they MUST average at least 15 credits per semester to complete a 4-year program in 4 years (8 semesters). Summer courses and intersession courses may be used to meet that. A number of majors require more than 120 credits. This increases the average credits per semester that a student must complete.
Are there outside obligations to schedule around?
- Sports team
Times of day of classes:
Freshmen do not do well with once/week and on-line courses.
Encourage students to spread courses out and avoid back-to-back classes. This enables them to review material right after class and gives them time on campus to attend to other academic matters. Cautionary note: This may not work well for students whose jobs or other circumstances require particular hours. Commuters often want courses that are back-to-back.
Consider balance in the course load.
It is ideal to have a balance between major courses and electives each semester.
What are the previously demonstrated academic strengths and weaknesses of the student?
These should be considered when choosing classes.
What is the current academic standing of the student?
- Probation? (what are the risks?)
- Deans List? (discuss taking advantage of opportunities)
- Grades in current semester?
- Course sequences: When should the student plan to take sequenced courses?
- Does the student have GPA requirements (in particular courses, in the major, and overall)?
- International Study
- (refer Global Programs for information on programs & discuss relationship to degree progress)
- CIEL participation
- (refer to Professor Mary Fox)
- Courses elsewhere (summer, intersession, etc.)
- Washington Internship Institute (WII) in Washington, DC
- (Refer to Director of Career Services)
- Ask the student about summer course plans and/or intersession course plans.
Can a student take more than 17 credits?
Students are generally charged more for each credit over 17. Make student aware.
This may be permitted without additional charge If student is on Deans List
If student's program plan permits it
Students must have faculty authorization if above conditions not met. Click here for the required form.
Where are the forms students may need?
- International Students
- Students with Accommodations/Disabilities
- Leaves of Absence
- Withdrawal from the college
- Withdrawal from course(s)
- Withdrawal from all courses
Assignment of Advisors/Advisees:
Advisees are assigned to Faculty Advisors based on instructions received in Academic Advisement from the chair of the department.
Students requesting a change of faculty advisor are not permitted to make the change unless there is a written (e-mail) request to Academic Support Services for the change from the faculty member who the student wants as an advisor.
More Advising Information:
The Advisor/Advisee Relationship – interesting sites at other places: