It’s Registration Time and Your Advisors Miss You!

server.npThe falling of the leaves, the drop in the temps and consuming warm beverages can mean only one thing…registration is here! Registration for spring classes begins November 7 and continues through the end of the month.  Registration dates and times are listed on your Online Student Center and are based on the number of credits you’ve earned.  Registration time also means it’s time to meet with your Academic Advisor so open your planners, get on your iPhones or Galaxies and schedule a time now!

Just like there are different registration dates by credits, the things you can discuss with your advisor vary by stage in your academic career.  Yes, you will talk to your advisor about what classes you should take next semester, but your advisor can give you more than just permission to register.

First-year students should meet with their First-Year Experience (FYE) Advisor.  Your first year in college is all about transition and exploration.  You are learning about how college works, meeting new people (#roommates), deciding what activities appeal to you (#clubs), and figuring out how to balance your time.  You may or may not have decided on a major.  Your advising sessions should focus on completing some of your requirements in a way that will help you learn about different departments and majors.  Not sure if you want to major in Business?  Take Micro or Macro Economics to fulfill your Social and Behavioral Science Core requirement.  Thinking about majoring in English?  Take British Literature to fulfill your Arts and Humanities Core requirement.  Not sure what Metropolitan Studies is?  Take an introductory course to find out. Talk with your advisor about how s/he chose a career in higher education.  Did they know what they wanted to major in when they were freshmen?

Second-year students should have an advisor in a declared major.  If you are a second-year students without a major, contact the Academic Advising Center to request an appointment with an Academic Advisor to talk about all your options.  Make sure you understand the pre-requisites for some major classes.  Check your progress on completing the Core requirements.  Start considering the possibility of studying abroad, taking part in a National Student Exchange, or look into internship opportunities.  Your advisor can give you a hand with all of these things.

All students need to have declared a major by the time they’ve earned 60 units (credits), so by your third year, you should be meeting with your major advisor.  Review your progress toward completing your major and progress toward graduation.  If you are studying abroad, make sure you know how those courses will fit into your major requirements.  Start talking with your advisor about all the career or graduate school opportunities for your major.  Think about things you can do – by taking specific courses or doing an internship – to learn more about your chosen field.

By your fourth year, graduation is near!  Talk with your advisor about capstone experiences in your major.  Find out about major-related associations and organizations you can join.  Learn about graduate school programs, think about an additional internship, and explore jobs.  And be sure you’ve reviewed all of your graduation requirements:  completing your Core/General Education and major requirements, have at least 32 units (credits) of upper-level coursework, have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, and have at least 120 total units.

Wherever you are on your road to graduation, make sure you meet with your advisor well before your registration day.  Bring a copy of your Academic Requirements report and think about (and write down) all the questions you want to ask.  Your advisor in an invaluable resource – take full advantage!

In summary, yes this time of year can be a stressful one with mid-terms coffeeand planning for the next semester, but the registration process does not need to be.

Keep warm, drink lots of tea/coffee/hot cocoa and enjoy this time of the year! After all Spring is right around the corner. Right?

Vicki Cohen
Associate Director
Academic Advising Center


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