Mount Vernon Nazarene University: Life Changing

Academic Advising

Students are assigned an academic advisor to assist in developing educational plans, choosing a major, and scheduling courses. The advisor, assigned by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration, is a faculty member in the department of the student's major. Although the University provides assistance in course scheduling through the academic advisor and other staff, it is the student's responsibility to see that graduation requirements are met.

The academic advisor is from the academic department of the student's first major. The advisor will assist and advise, but will not make career decisions for the student. The advisor is a disciplinary specialist, not a career counseling specialist. Academic Advising: A Joint Responsibility

Academic advising is a JOINT RESPONSIBILITY between student and advisor. Good academic advising always flows in three sequential steps:

1. Life and career planning;
2. Selecting courses; and
3. Scheduling courses.

The first requires good thought by the student and extensive discussion with the advisor. As an adult, it is the student's responsibility to initiate this contact. Selecting courses, determining load and scheduling times is straight forward and simple, if the life and career goals are known.

During the normal academic year, an academic planning and advising period occurs several weeks prior to a scheduling period. That does not happen at summer orientation. Summer orientation scheduling is for fall and January courses only. The student's schedule usually involves general education courses and a course in the major. Advising and scheduling for spring occurs in the fall semester for new students. After the first year, academic planning and scheduling are done each spring for the next entire academic year.

Academic advisors cannot (a) do "goal transplants" for, (b) nor read students' minds. Students need to communicate on a regular basis with advisors.

Student Responsibilities in Academic Advising

1. Work on life and career goals

2. Share interests, values, goals, and plans with advisor

3. Read Catalog requirements for:

     a. General Education core
     b. Major
     c. Minor

4. Read instructions and registration material in Course Schedule Book

5. Ask questions of advisor and appropriate University staff

6. Make appointment with advisor via telephone or email

7. Go prepared to the advisor with some preliminary ideas and plans on what courses to schedule

8. Double check advisor's work against published materials (Course Schedule Book and Catalog)

Advisor Responsibilities in Academic Advising

1. Be available with posted office hours

2. Know University course requirements

     a. General Education core
     b. Major
     c. Minor

4. Interpret requirements to the advisee

5. Share information about the discipline and employment opportunities within that discipline

6. Assist the student to make a good decision about academic load considering ability, extracurricular activities and employment

7. Assist student to anticipate program completion date

8. Double check the student's plan against published materials (Course Schedule Book and Catalog)

Change in Major

To declare a major or change a major, the student initiates the change in the University Registrar's Office in Founders Hall. The student must complete the Official Declaration of Degree Program Form to make any changes. A change of major will likely precipitate a change in the academic advisor.

Change in Advisor

As stated in the previous paragraph, a change of major may precipitate a change of advisor. In other cases, the student must contact the Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration in the Academic Affairs Office in the Lakeholm Administration Building to ask permission for a change of advisor.

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