The Key to Student Success
Academic advising is key to students’ success at UMN Crookston. In choosing courses each term, every degree-seeking student is assisted by an assigned faculty adviser. The adviser guides the student in program planning, course selection, and progress toward graduation. Adviser changes must be approved by the student's academic department or program director's office.
Both adviser and advisee have responsibilities toward themselves, each other, and the advising process. The University of Minnesota has many tools available to assist with the advising process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Adviser?
When you first enroll in college, your academic adviser is going to want to get acquainted with you, your goals, and your expectations for your college experience. Discussions about what you hope to do in the future, which programs of study will best prepare you to meet those goals, what you see as your strengths and weaknesses, and any other issues or concerns that you may have can be discussed. There are no "dumb" questions. If there is something about being in college or preparing for a career that you want to know, then your adviser is a great person to ask.
In addition to the "big" questions like careers and life goals, you and your advisor will probably also talk about other things like what clubs or organizations you might want to join, whether you plan to work while you go to college, and certainly which courses you'll need to take each semester.
What can I do if I'm having academic problems?
If a student is having academic difficulty, the adviser will be informed, and the student will be asked to contact his/her adviser to discuss the situation. At times like this, an adviser is a great resource for information on where to get help, and how to get back on track. Your adviser may recommend a tutor, a certain course, a counselor or any number of other resources both on and off campus. The bottom line is that your academic success is important to your adviser, too, and then take their commitment seriously!
I'm getting ready to graduate, what are the next steps with my adviser?
As you approach the completion of your degree or time of study at UMN Crookston, your adviser will be one of the people that you will want to keep informed about future employment or your intention to continue your studies. Whatever the "next step" may be for you, your adviser can help you work through those transfer issues or serve as a reference in the placement packet that you prepare to help you in your job search.
I forgot who my adviser is. Where can I find their information?
Once in a while, a new student will "forget" who his or her adviser is. If this happens to you, just go to your academic department office and check with the Administrative Specialist or log in to MyU > Academics > Classes. Once you know who it is and where the office is located, you'll need to check the schedule on the door to find out about "office hours" and when you may have an appointment. Once you make an appointment, try hard to keep it. These are people with many responsibilities. Be sure to call to reschedule if you know that you will not be able to make that meeting.
How do I change my adviser?
Students have the freedom to choose advisers. Students need to contact the Administrative Assistant for the department holding the major to change advisers.
I changed majors, do I need a different adviser?
When students change majors or program areas, it is expected that students will change to an adviser in the new major. The forms are available in department offices and are to be submitted back to the department office upon completion.
What responsibilities do adviser and advisees have?
Both adviser and advisee have responsibilities toward themselves, each other, and the advising process. The University of Minnesota has many tools available to assist with the advising process. Faculty and students are encouraged to become familiar with these tools and take advantage of the wealth of information available to you in your academic planning. Training sessions are usually offered each fall semester.
- Know your adviser (phone number, location of office, office hours, how to make an appointment).
- Read your course catalog; be familiar with program requirements.
- Be aware of important dates on the academic calendar; e.g. course cancellation and add deadlines.
- Schedule appointments in advance of important deadlines such as registration. Keep your appointments!
- Bring a tentative class schedule to pre-registration advising sessions, as well as a printout of your APAS report.
- Prepare specific questions for your adviser and ask for contact persons on questions the adviser cannot answer.
- Gather information needed to make academic and career decisions. Career Services can assist you.
- Accept responsibility for informing your adviser about you and your interests and needs. Be prepared to discuss personal, educational, and career goals.
- Seek help from your adviser when needed, and ask about other ways that you can participate effectively in the advising process.
- Post and maintain regular office hours; notify advisees of hours at the beginning of the semester.
- Inform advisees of their responsibilities.
- Get to know your advisees.
- Maintain records of advisee’s educational progress. Use APLUS to make notes, send reminders or messages to students, and keep on top of any notifications or alerts.
- Help advisees to develop a course of study that takes into consideration their personal, educational, and career goals.
- Answer advisee’s questions about academic policies, registration and class schedules.
- Approve advisees’ course selections.
- Provide information about programs in adviser’s department and about college and University degree requirements.
- Inform advisees about academic assistance, career services, or personal/social counseling that is available through the University.
- Discuss transfer, graduate, and professional school options with advisees.
- Write letters of recommendation for advisees.
More for Advisers
As an adviser, you are often the first person students go to when they have questions or problems.
Although advising encompasses a great deal more than planning next semester’s classes, it does begin with academic planning. Advisers are expected to help students plan and select academic programs that are consistent with the student’s interests and abilities, and to provide information about courses, majors, the registration process, and available support. Students are assigned to an adviser by the department head, and only full-time students are assigned. Part-time students (enrolled in fewer than 12 credits) may request a faculty adviser from their program director or department head.
In addition to the academic programs they advise, faculty advisers should also be aware of the many support services offices available to assist both adviser and student in academic, career, and personal/social counseling.