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5 Ways To Prepare For A Meeting With Your Academic Advisor

by Emily Cassens
Marketing Assistant

April 17, 2015

No matter where you are in your academic journey, you owe it to yourself to benefit from the expertise of an academic advisor.

Academic advising is a collaborative process between you and your academic advisor that helps you create and move towards your academic goals. You’re assigned to an advisor based on your chosen degree program or exploratory track. Together, you discuss your options, design your plans, select your courses, and make sure you are staying on track to graduate.

You’ll benefit from your academic advising appointment by getting vital information on your graduation requirements, degree progress, careers, and much more.  Your advisor’s goal is to help you achieve your academic ambitions.

While academic advising may seem like a stressful process, it doesn’t have to be. Follow these five tips for preparing for your academic advising appointment.

1. Make the Time

We know you’re busy, but don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your academic advising appointment. Here's a quick guide on how to schedule your appointment and what you can expect. You should meet with your advisor each semester, scheduling your appointments at least a couple weeks in advance of your enrollment date.

2. Do Your Research

Know important dates that affect your degree progression. Enrollment dates, degree requirements and financial aid dates are all things you need to be aware of. If you haven't yet decided on a degree program, research your options and be prepared to discuss them.

3. Stay Engaged

It’s important  that you don’t leave your meeting with any confusion, so compile your questions and bring them to your academic advising appointment. Some questions you might ask include:

  • Are there grade requirements within my degree that I need to know about?

  • Are there any organizations within my field that you recommend?

  • What resources are offered for exploring internship and career opportunities?

  • What minors or certificates compliment my degree?

Be sure to take notes during your meeting with your academic advisor.

4. Bring the Right Materials

Being prepared also means bringing the right things. Here are some things you should arrive with:

  • Degree Progression Plan (think of this as your academic Master Plan)

  • Prepared list of questions

  • Pen and paper

  • Transcripts from other institutions

If you’re transferring from another institution, review this checklist.

5. Know What You Want, But Keep an Open Mind

Approach your academic advising appointment with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. If you know you prefer to learn online, consider that when creating your schedule. Be realistic about what you can handle and don't bite off more than you can chew.

Be open and ready to discuss different options suggested by your advisor. If he or she recommends something you hadn’t initially considered, consider their ideas and weigh the pros and cons together.

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