The first couple months of school came and went in the blink of an eye and now in addition to thinking about impending term papers, you also have to think ahead to classes for next semester. Given the nature of this time of year it’s no surprise that things are falling through the cracks, emails are going unread, and you’re a half-cup of coffee away from losing your sanity. As the days tick down and you see a lot of little blue boxes telling you that the class you absolutely had to have is full and your student center tells you that you still have a hold that only your faculty advisor can take off, it’s easy to feel like the entire world is caving in around you in a dramatic, apocalyptic fashion. Is it? Absolutely not! Will you have classes for next semester? Yes, you will. Take a deep breath, and get ready, because you’re about to go into class registration crisis management mode.
Here are all the obstacles that will stand in your way, and the action game plan for combating all of them:
THE CHALLENGE: “Um… what’s a faculty advisor and how do I get one?”
THE PLAN: Well, better late than never. Check your emails to see if any faculty has contacted you this semester saying something along the lines of: “Hello I am your advisor.” If not, no problem. You’ll just have to do a little digging yourself. On your student center page, in the blue boxes on the right hand side (under where it says you have this advising hold) is a box for advisors. In it is the name of the magical person, and the only person, who should take off your hold. If you have not contacted them before, you can find their email address and office phone number in the faculty directory on the Towson University main website.
THE CHALLENGE: You have emailed your advisor and a couple days have passed… no response. Time to freak out?
THE PLAN: No. Just as it is a busy time for you, it’s busy for faculty members, too. It’s important for you to be persistent but flexible in making a meeting time and to leave yourself plenty of time between the initial scheduling of the appointment and your registration date (just so that there’s no banging and screaming on office doors on the morning you’re supposed to be polishing up your future schedule). Just work with your advisor, and leave plenty of time to do so. They are the only, I repeat ONLY person who should take off your hold. If you walk into the advising center or your major department demanding your hold be taken off, you will automatically be told to go to your assigned faculty advisor. If both you and your advisor are as busy as it seems like so far, you don’t have to schedule a long “pour your heart out” advising session. It can be as brief as a five minute meeting. Sometimes an advisor will have the conversation over email and will take your hold off after a few emails back and forth. Either way, it’s in your best interest to do your own legwork.
THE CHALLENGE: Your advisor will take your hold off but you need to know what classes to take and you’ve been staring at the catalog so long you’re pretty sure it’s written in Spanish now. How do you get someone with advising knowledge to sit down with you at a time that is flexible and works in your schedule?
THE PLAN: So now is the time to take advantage of the general advisors at the Academic Advising Center. More specifically, Student Academic Advisors who will take walk ins—no appointment necessary. Go to the Lecture Hall anytime between 9:30 and 4:00 Monday through Thursday. Stay for as little or as long as you’d like, there’s no set times and the informal setting will allow you to get all of the information you need—with none of the stress. The student advisor can go over with you your requirements for your major and for the core, how to navigate the online system, and anything else that your regular advisor would go over with you, just in a more personalized manner. By fitting this into your schedule wherever it is most convenient for you, you can now roll into your five minute faculty advisor meeting ready to wow them with your scheduling knowledge and get that hold taken off. Also, for any extra questions and some good interactive tools about transferring credits, your GPA, and core requirements, use the advising website: http://www.towson.edu/advising
THE CHALLENGE: So the day is finally here and you’re keeping your eye on your shopping cart. Unavoidably, the number of green circles is depleting and you fear that despite all of your successful missions, this might be the downfall.
THE PLAN: Make sure that you have a lot of different sections of the same class in your shopping cart, making different hypothetical schedules in your head or on paper. That way when one section closes you still have others of the same class (go ahead take that MWF 8am—it won’t kill you). Another important thing is to not underestimate the power of the wait-list. If you’re getting down to the final semesters in your major and it’s very specific exactly what classes you need and when in order to stay on track, it’s important that you do whatever it takes to get these classes. If every single section is closed, put yourself on the wait list if it’s an option and email the teacher listed for the class explaining to them your situation. Usually, professors will be very accommodating and can give permission to add you to the class. Also, if you’re on the wait-list, when the class starts next semester make sure you go to the class and speak with the teacher after class. If they hadn’t already moved you from the wait-list to enrolled there’s a good chance they will once they talk to you in person and see your commitment.
Press enroll and CONGRATULATIONS! You did it!
Hopefully you feel like “Success Kid” or perhaps not.
Either way, you have classes for next semester so you won’t have to do this again… for a few months at least. Now stop stressing about this and worry about something else like the quickly approaching finals you remember vaguely hearing about during syllabus week. I know at this time of year you feel like you can’t seem to catch a break, but for anything advising related the advising center has your back. Stick to the game plan and if you have any questions feel free to visit, call, or email us.
Your pals in the lecture hall.
Student Academic Advisor
Academic Advising Center