Advisers will begin taking appointments for scheduling summer beginning March 24, so students should make appointments before then. Registration for fall 2020 starts April 14.

Advisers receive training over a five to six-week period. In this, they learn degree plans, day-to-day routines, policies, procedures and course sequencing. They also are given a chance to sit in and shadow other advisors in their respective offices.

“It is important for students to get advised because it provides a clear path and understanding to their ultimate goal, graduation,” Megan Kelley, freshmen and academic achievement adviser for the James I. Perkins College of Education said. “Navigating degree plans, pre- reqs and course sequencing can be confusing at times. Being advised removes the confusion and possibility of graduation being prolonged because of those lesser-known facts.”

For students who want to know information about their progress, students have access to a student degree evaluation under the “Advising” tab of their mySFA account. The degree evaluation, which is used by the registrar’s office to determine graduation qualification, will list the required courses for the major and minor, show which areas of the degree plan courses are being used in, calculate GPA in several areas and keep track of how many hours have been taken at SFA.

It is also what the Financial Aid Office uses to see if a student’s courses are counting in their degree plan.

Students can also run a What-If Analysis to explore different major options. It will show where courses would count if the student switched to a new major.

Advisers urge students to be honest with them in appointments, to ask questions and to not procrastinate making appointments.

“Advisers are here to help,” Kelley said. “We cannot fix an issue or provide resources if we do not know the problems our students are facing. While we may not know all the answers, we have connections all over and are happy to help students find the answers they need.”

Another important thing advisers want their students to remember is to schedule appointments early.

“Don’t procrastinate,” Jennifer Goddard, academic adviser II for the Nelson Rusche College of Business said. “I try to notify students early that my schedule is open for advising. If several students wait until the week of registration, my schedule is often booked, and I have a difficult time getting them in before registration. This can result in them not getting the classes they need.”

Kelley also said that advising is a way to make sure students are taken care of, offering help to pick the best classes and boost GPAs, while also making sure the student has the support they need.

“Advisers are a built-in support system,” Kelley said. “While our main objective is to aid in the completion of their degree, we do so much more than that for our students. We provide them with assistance, encouragement, advice and guidance that aids in their development as a whole. Our students are more than a GPA to us, and we want to give them the absolute best support during their time here at SFA.”

To find out who your adviser is, log on to your MySFA and click on the Advising tab.

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