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A Message Regarding Advising
Advising has many important features for the students and the advisors. It is a time when:
- You both can review your academic progress up to this point,
- Your advisor can determine how you are doing at this point in your semester, and
- You both can plan your courses for the next semester and those in the future.
This is a lot to do during the time allotted for advising week. In addition, remember that your advisor is doing this for 15 to 20 other students as well.
There are several things you can do to make this time more effective and productive for you.
- Sign up for an advising session. Your advisor will have a schedule on or near his/her door which will indicate the times available for advising. Of course, show up at the time you signed up for.
- Using your On-Course forms and your schedule of courses, determine which classes would be the next logical courses to take. If you have alternatives, write them down (along with their class times and days) and bring them with you.
- Your Advisor is just that, an advisor. It is up to you to pick your own courses and determine your own schedule. The advisor's role at this time is to review your schedule and determine if there are weaknesses or alternatives which may be useful to you.
- Think of questions that you can ask your advisor about the required courses (anytime), the elective courses (anytime), the Professional Development Electives (during your Junior year) and the Comprehensive Design Experience (during your Senior year).
- Your advisor can help you with issues other than just classes, such as seeking help academically, jobs and job alternatives,
- For Sophomores and Juniors, it is in your best interests to take all the 3000 level classes during your Junior year. This will give you a chance to follow up on the classes you find interesting during that time. It is always sad to hear a senior say, "I wish I had taken that class during junior year, I would have taken more courses in this area."
For those in the second semester of Junior year, it is time to start thinking about your "Degree Check". When you have 50 hours or less to complete your degree, you must sit down with your advisor and fill out the proper form. The Degree Check is a formal review of your transcript to be sure you are on track to graduate. At that time, you will need to select the courses you would like to have to graduate. This selection is up to you and your interests, and the advisor's role should solely be advisory, answering questions you have and making suggestions and recommendations, but the final courses you select are the ones you agree to use for graduation. This will represent a path required for graduation. However, it is not the only path, and if you have a reason to change your course selection in the future, it is possible for your advisor to do that with some paperwork, after your advisor has agreed to it.
Once you have completed your degree check, it is your guide for course selection in the future. Strictly, you don't need to work with your advisor beyond that point. However, it is a good time for us to talk about school, the job market and your future. Remember that you are the reason we are in this business.
Last Semester Seniors
Three last items for those students in their last semester.
- Be sure to sign up during the first few weeks of the semester for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam given in April and October. It is a requirement of your degree to take (although not necessarily pass) this exam.
- Please set up a time with Departmental Secretary to have an exit interview with the Department Head. This is an important activity for us and you as we can get your feedback about your education at a time when you have your best perspective.
- Finally, at Graduation, you will be given a questionnaire to fill out while you are waiting to go on stage. This questionnaire is used as a part of our college's accreditation evaluations and is very important for the future of your school.
If you have any questions about these guidelines and requirements, please ask your advisor, the Department Head, a member of the Curriculum Committee, or me, Thomas Edgar.