Academic Advising Syllabus

Purpose of Academic Advising

Our goal is to help students get the most from their college experiences. We believe academic advising is a partnership between the advisor and the student. The advisor assists undergraduate students in making responsible and informed decisions about educational plans and professional and life goals. Together we can address challenges, identify opportunities, and establish goals.

Academic Advising

Meet with your academic advisor often throughout your academic career to make sure you take the right courses at the right time, are connected to opportunities such as internships, study abroad, and other activities of interest, and stay on track to graduate. Academic advisors help you develop a plan of study and can meet with you in person, over the phone, through video conferencing, and email.

Success Coordinating

A success coordinator is a central point of contact for any questions or concerns you have, especially if your advisor is not at your USU location. A success coordinator can help you understand campus resources as well as help you with localized tutoring, campus events, the financial aid office, our wellness psychologists, finding your major advisor, and more.

Preparing for Your Advising Appointment

  • Be on time for appointments. If you need to cancel or reschedule, do so in a timely manner.
  • Review your semester-by- semester plan in DegreeWorks. For new students, a semester plan will be discussed in the first advising appointment.
  • Think ahead about what you want to discuss during your appointment, write down questions.
  • Take notes during the appointment to help you remember what was discussed.
  • Bring relevant documentation with you to the appointment.
  • Accept responsibility for your academic plans and be proactive in making decisions. Follow through on your plan designed with your advisor.
  • Increase your network of support; connect with faculty, staff, and fellow students.
  • Inform your advisor of a change of major, academic, health, and financial challenges, or other issues that affect your ability to complete your course work.
  • Educate yourself on campus resources that will help improve your educational experience.
  • Read and respond appropriately to all university correspondence sent via email.

Services Provided by Academic Advisor

  • Advising  on degree/major requirements.
  • Co-create semester-by-semester graduation plans (or plans to declare a major).
  • Evaluate and approve graduation applications.
  • Provide students with college or departmental information (scholarships, seminars, internship opportunities).
  • Sign academic forms (Change of Matriculation, Registration Options, Request for Graduation Application, etc.).
  • Provide referrals to campus and community resources.

Student Responsibilities

  • Schedule and keep regular advising appointments. We recommend meeting once per semester to discuss the next semester. Cancel ahead of time when necessary.
  • Become knowledgeable about college programs, policies, and procedures. Retain important university and program documentation.
  • Come prepared to the appointment with a purpose (questions, concerns, issues, etc.). Be ready to share your strengths, interests, and goals. Reflect on your responsibilities and be realistic about what you can balance.
  • Keep your contact information in Banner updated, including preferred email address, current home address, and phone number.
  • Accept responsibility for your academic plans and be proactive in making decisions. Follow through on your plan designed with your advisor.
  • Increase your network of support; connect with faculty, staff, and fellow students.
  • Inform your advisor of a change of major, academic, health, and financial challenges, or other issues that affect your ability to complete your course work.
  • Educate yourself on campus resources that will help improve your educational experience.
  • Read and respond appropriately to all university correspondence sent via email.

Advisor Responsibilities

  • Be accessible to meet in person, by phone, or communicate by email.
  • Support students in making responsible and informed decisions impacting academic progress.
  • Provide accurate information related to curriculum, graduation requirements, and university policies and procedures.
  • Counsel and guide students as they define and develop realistic goals.
  • Coordinate semester-by-semester plan in DegreeWorks and monitor the student’s progress toward their intended major.
  • Assist students to understand the purpose of higher education and its impact on life goals.
  • Discuss strategies to utilize available campus resources and services and provide referrals.
  • Encourage students to build a learning community, network and support system among peers, faculty and staff.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
 
Tips for a Successful Student/Advisor Relationship
  • Recognize that appointment times are limited during peak advising weeks (pre-registration, etc.). Please plan ahead.
  • Remember important paperwork and deadlines.
  • When communicating by email or phone messages, include specific information about yourself and your concern (A#, name, situation, preferred contact method, etc.).

Student Success and Advising Checklist

Student

Before School Starts

  • Attend Aggie Orientation in person or online.
  • Take the ALEKS math assessment (if needed.)
  • Explore resources like DegreeFinder, USU General Catalog, Aggie Handshake, MyUSU, Academic Success Center and other student resources.
  • Familiarize yourself with USU policies and important semester dates.
  • Submit a complete academic record to the Admissions Office, including results of AP exams and grades of concurrent enrollment courses.
  • Feel free to reach out to the academic advisor of your intended major or your USU campus success coordinator for more information about your campus.
  • If you are interested in scholarships and federal financial aid, submit your fafsa.gov application and contact your financial aid counselor.

In First Semester (or within 0-29 credits)

  • Refine a tentative semester-by-semester graduation plan.
  • Interact with your peers, get involved in a club or study group.
  • Take advantage of student resources such as Student Wellness, Disability Resources Center, Veterans Resources Office, Inclusion Center, etc.

After Declaring a Major (or within 30-59 credits)

  • Contact academic advisors as needed to revisit your graduation plan. 
  • Continue to explore career options and make use of Career Services.
  • Consider study abroad and other opportunities for learning outside the classroom.

Early/Mid-Major (or within 60-89 credits)

  • Check in with academic advisor each semester to revise academic plan. 
  • Pursue honors or research opportunities with faculty members. Make connections with students and faculty within your major.
  • Meet with your career coach to update your resume and apply for internships.
  • Continue making post-graduate plans and developing marketable skills.

Final Semester(s) (or with more than 89 credits)

  • Check in with academic advisor each semester to revise academic plan. 
  • Pursue honors or research opportunities with faculty members. Make connections with students and faculty within your major.
  • Meet with your career coach to update your resume and apply for internships.
  • Continue making post-graduate plans and developing marketable skills.

Advisor

  • Advisors will be available for appointments year-round at advising.usu.edu.
  • Advisors will help you develop and finalize a graduation plan, including pre-requisites.
  • Advisors can help you understand DegreeWorks and how to keep track of your requirements and progress.
  • Advisors can also direct students to campus resources as needed.
  • Advisors can also help with major exploration and identify if the current major matches the student’s strengths and interests, or if a change of major needs to take place.
  • Advisors help explore courses, update plans, and meet individual advising needs.
  • Advisors direct students into minors, study abroad, internships, or research opportunities depending on their interest areas.
  • Advisors provide information regarding post-graduate plans and options for higher education within the major.
  • Advisors will help you complete your graduation application and prepare you for graduation.