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Academic Advising

Initial advising is done upon seeking entrance into the program and involves a preliminary transcript review in order to adequately project the time and courses necessary for graduation. You will be given an unofficial degree plan at the outset. After beginning classes, you will be given access to your official degree plan using DegreeWorks, which outlines the list of courses needed to receive your degree from the University.

Ongoing advising, especially before registration periods, is important to your success in the program and the elimination of "surprises" at graduation time. It is suggested you see the same advisor each time you need assistance. Also remember, you are the one who is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all graduation requirements.

Student/Advisor Roles and Responsibilities

Students entering the School of Professional Studies are assigned an advisor who is available to offer them individualized assistance in planning their educational program. They will assist you in many ways including: helping you register for the correct courses each term; maintaining a check-list of your progress for graduation; referring students for needed services; and problem-solving student concerns.

The Advisor's Role

  • Maintaining times when he/she is available for advising.
  • Helping to plan the student's academic program, particularly during pre-registration and registration periods.
  • Empowering advisees to explore and make their own decisions regarding academic, career and lifelong goals.
  • Maintaining a checklist of the student's progress and monitoring his/her progress toward satisfactory completion of all graduation requirements.
  • Giving information on institutional policies, and procedures.
  • Helping students understand the University policies and procedures.
  • Knowing where to find answers to questions about requirements.
  • Assisting students in choosing educational and career objectives commensurate with their interest and abilities.
  • Modeling appropriate professional behaviors.
  • Helping students see the possible short and long range consequences of their choices.
  • Informing students of the wide range of services and educational opportunities that may be pertinent to their educational objectives at this college.
  • Knowing all general education/professional education regulations and requirements.
  • Keeping a written record of all substantive advice for the student's file.
  • Making sure the student has a copy of the written advice.
  • Making the student aware of the student's responsibility in the advising process, and confronting unprofessional behaviors appropriately.
  • Explaining to the student during the advising session how the graduation requirements are related to the student's chosen professional and educational goals.
  • Referring students for appropriate services.
  • Problem-solving personal academic concerns while encouraging the student to be self-reliant by making informed and responsible decisions.

The Student's Role

The advising process depends on thoughtful participation of the student. Each student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all graduation requirements.

Students should:

  • Read the UIW Bulletin and other materials upon entering the University and seek out explanations for any policies/procedures that seem unclear or confusing.
  • Know and meet graduation and other requirements contained in the Bulletin, class schedules, and other college publications.
  • Maintain your own personal academic record. It is recommended that the folder include:
    • unofficial transcripts,
    • program requirement check list,
    • semester grade reports, and
    • schedule worksheets.
  • Develop plans for achieving academic, career and personal goals.
  • Regularly schedule appointments with your academic advisor. There should be no less than one meeting during each trimester to review course of study and register for classes.
  • Consult with your academic advisor if making major changes in your class schedule or when dropping courses during the semester.
  • View the new student orientation.
  • Seek advisement when in academic difficulty (e.g. when cumulative GPA is below 2.0, doing poorly in a course etc.)

It is very important for the student to note and understand that the final responsibility for meeting all academic requirements, as well as institutional requirements, ultimately remains with the student.

Meeting with your Advisor

  • Meet with your advisor early in the registration period or at least once every trimester (fall, spring, summer).
  • Bring your Registration form with you to the advising session.
  • The Bulletin and the Schedule of Classes are available on the main UIW website and SPS website respectively, as well as at each learning center.
  • Talk with other students to find out about particular courses (e.g., difficulty level and instructor's teaching style).
  • Take a tentative schedule to your advising session.
  • Make a list of alternative classes because you may not get the classes you want.
  • Be aware of any course prerequisites and be aware of courses that are not offered on a regular basis.
  • Note the sequencing of courses you must take. In general, you take 2000 level courses before 3000 level courses.
  • Note conflicts. Make sure the classes you sign up for do not conflict with each other or with your work or your schedule.
  • Inform your advisor of work hours or any obligations you may have.
  • Discuss your grades with your advisor. Think about where your academic strengths and weaknesses are found and discuss them with your advisor.
  • Discuss career goals with your advisor.
  • Know academic policies found in the Bulletin. Remember, UIW requires a 2.0 cumulative GPA in order to not be placed on Academic Probation status. If you are having academic problems, discuss them with your advisor.
  • When you graduate, you may need to ask your advisor for a letter of recommendation. Start forming a relationship with your advisor early in your college career so they can write a terrific letter for you.


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