How to Get the Most Out of Advising
Your Start Center Advisor Will
- Communicate Westminster's curriculum, graduation requirements and academic policies and procedures
- Explain your academic progress by reviewing degree audits
- Assist you with planning educational programs consistent with your abilities and interests
- Listen carefully to questions and concerns
- Match your needs with available resources and make referrals
- Encourage regular appointments
Start Center advisors want to get to know you as an individual and will be asking questions about how you're doing, how you like Westminster, what your academic plans are, etc. Your answers let us know what is important to you and how we can help you as an individual.
During your advising appointment, your advisor will ask you about your current classes (how you like them, how you are doing in them). If you are having any difficulty, we want to discuss some of the reasons for this and what action you can take to improve your grades. Your advisor may refer you to services and resources on campus designed to help you with these challenges.
Prior to your appointment, your advisor will have reviewed your academic file and your current Degree Audit. The Degree Audit is a summary of what courses you have taken and what courses you have left to complete.
You can expect your advisor to be knowledgeable about degree and major/minor requirements. To help keep you on track, your advisor will discuss next semester's options and your long term academic plans with you.
Your advisor will answer your questions about the registration process and explain how to use WebAdvisor. Expect your advisor to answer your questions or know who to ask!
What Your Advisor Will Expect From You
- Become knowledgeable about Westminster's curriculum, graduation requirements and academic policies and procedures
- Accept responsibility for academic decisions and performance
- Participate actively in the advising process and making decisions
- Prepare a list of questions or concerns before each advising visit
- Follow through on suggested actions, resources, or referrals
- Make on-going advising appointments
You will accomplish much more in your advising appointments if you prepare in advance, just as you prepare for a class. This is your chance to get your questions answered, share your thoughts with a peer, staff, or faculty advisor who will help you with information and advice so you can make an academic plan leading to graduation.
- Please make an advising appointment by calling the Start Center at 801.832.2280.
- Carefully consider your academic and career goals and share this information with your advisor.
- Review your Academic Catalog, the Class Schedule, major/degree requirements and read about academic/college policies, procedures and requirements.
- Prepare a list of questions before meeting with your advisor and bring a proposed schedule.
- Ask questions! If you are unclear about what classes you need or want information about a college policy or procedure, your advisor will help you.
- Know the academic calendar and be aware of important deadlines.
- Know your academic requirements and keep track of courses completed by reviewing a copy of your degree audit with your advisor. You can obtain a copy of your degree audit online by using WebAdvisor or in the Start Center.
- Contact your advisor at times other than the official advising/registration periods. Advisors are available year round. It is important to inform your advisor about any academic or personal problems as soon as they arise. Your advisor can refer you to any needed campus, academic, and/or personal resources.
- Adding or dropping classes without consulting with your Start Center or faculty advisor may result in a failure to satisfy degree requirements and may also delay graduation. Dropping courses may also have an impact on your financial aid package.
- Make an advising file and keep copies of all your academic documents so if questions arise you have documentation.
- Advisors expect you to make your own decisions. Advisors can provide you with advice and options, but you must ultimately choose what is best for you.
Advice From Advisors
- Get to know your instructors/professors. Visit with them periodically to ask questions about material you find difficult or to pursue ideas in depth.
- Meet with a Start Center or faculty advisor each semester (dependent on class standing).
- Create an advising folder to organize your advising-related materials (e.g. degree audits, schedule plans, notes from advising meetings).
- Read your Westminster College email regularly. This is how the college communicates with you.
- Keep your address and phone information up-to-date in WebAdvisor.
- Review your grades and degree audit in WebAdvisor at the end of each semester.