It seems like it was just yesterday you were arriving on campus for the fall semester, but now spring is looming on the horizon. As your enrollment date draws
near, you might be thinking you can just wing it. But hold your horses: it might be a good idea to have a plan in place before climbing Mt. Ever-Successful.
Luckily, we’ve got your back! So grab your mountain boots, your climbing gear, your academic courses—and some granola for good measure. Here are some items you should consider packing as you look towards graduation and the summit of your college career.
Before you even take your first step, it’s a good idea to take stock of what you have. What cores and major requirements have you already completed? Which ones do you still need to complete? Are there any prerequisites for those courses? You can find the answers to all of these questions and more by accessing your Academic Requirements Report on Towson Online Services and the Course Catalog for your academic year on Towson’s website.
Undergraduate students begin registering for spring semester courses on November 8, but you should note your specific enrollment date and time by looking on Towson Online Services under your student services page.
If you have 45 or more earned credits, you need to complete a Degree Completion Plan. Think of the plan as a map of the mountain; you can change your route along the way, but the plan at least starts you off on the right foot as you navigate the path ahead. If you haven’t completed a Degree Completion Plan yet, your advisor can help you map out the courses you still need to take in order to graduate.
If you are below 45 credits you still might consider starting a Word document or spreadsheet to organize the classes you need to take/are interested in taking in future semesters. Please note that some courses have prerequisites that must be completed before enrolling in the course.
Some students see their advisor as merely the person who lifts their advising hold; but they’re so much more than that! Advisors are here to guide you in knowing what courses you need to take in order to graduate. They can also be a sounding board for brainstorming and exploring new interests, new majors, and even a new career! Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, a TU native or a transfer student, advisors genuinely care about your success—both at Towson and beyond—so check in and say “hello” to them once in a while.
For general questions, you can also call, chat online or visit the Student Academic Advising Office in the Academic Advising Center (located in the Lecture Hall above Freedom Square) to talk to a Student Academic Advisor about your academic plans, questions and/or concerns.
It’s great to map out your future, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. That’s where Plan B (or C, D, E…) comes in. Depending on your enrollment date, classes may fill up quickly. When adding classes to your shopping cart, consider including alternative times/sections of classes, as well as alternative courses, just in case one of the classes you want isn’t unavailable.
Knowing your limits
It can be wonderful to challenge yourself, but you should also know your limits. It’s okay to ask for assistance or to lighten your load. Your advisor can help you assess whether your academic load is too heavy or if there is a recurring issue in your classes. You might also visit your professor during office hours or the Academic Achievement Center to receive additional assistance on coursework so those issues don’t continue.
If you do choose to take fewer courses, it is best to meet with your advisor before finalizing that process. Full-time students must take at least 12 credits per semester. Dropping below that 12 credit minimum could jeopardize your scholarships, financial aid and/or housing.
Registration may seem intimidating, but a proper plan can set you up for success. So get out there, start planning, and climb to the peak of your academic dreams!
Betty Kabtiymer, Student Academic Advisor
Marcus Dieterle, Student Academic Advisor
Academic Advising Center