This week is part of what is known as academic advising on campus. To upperclassmen, this may seem like a routine part of every semester, but for first-year and transfer students, the process may seem overwhelming.
Advising primarily serves as the time, set out each semester, for students to figure out what courses to enroll in for the upcoming semester. During advising, you meet with your advisor to discuss course options, such as what classes you need to take to complete your major and your general education credits. Advisors are either professors within your major or, in the case of first-year and undeclared students, the professor connected to your First Year Seminar class.
What many students don’t know is that advising is also a great time to discuss future plans with your advisor, such as graduate schools and potential career paths. Keeping your advisor updated on any plans for after college can help them steer you in a direction that best suits your goals. For example, many graduate schools require certain classes as prerequisites to even apply, so it’s helpful to know what classes you may need to enroll in if that is your goal. If you are unsure about your future, your advisor can also provide you with potential directions and opportunities to explore through academics, extracurricular activities and internships.
To register for classes, you will first need to schedule a meeting with your advisor. It is best to schedule this meeting prior to your assigned registration date and time, or the earliest time you can register for classes. This information can be found on your MyWitt portal under “Student Academic Info” and “Registration Priority and Holds.” If you don’t meet with your advisor, you will be unable to register for classes. It’s also extremely important to register as early as possible because seats quickly fill up, and upperclassmen get first-pick, so waiting too long might affect your course options if you’re a first-year student. Many advisors have sheets you can use to sign up for a meeting time on their office doors or send out an email for advisees to sign up using an online system, so be sure to look out for these if you haven’t already.
As a junior, the best tip I can offer for a successful advising meeting is to be prepared. Use the open course listing, which can be found on the registrar’s webpage, to see what courses are being offered in the upcoming semester. Get a copy of the general education requirements from the Compass webpage, or in person, and see what you need to take to graduate. Go to the department office of your major or intended major and pick up a copy of your major requirements. I have always found that after consulting all these resources, writing down the classes I am then interested in taking serves as a great way to keep everything organized for my advising meeting. You can easily compare your choices against your advisor’s advice. Also, remember to choose a few alternate classes in case your preferred classes fill up before your registration time.
After figuring out what classes you want to take, use the MyWitt portal to create a “preferred course section” list. This way, when its time to register, you will just have to click “submit.” You can use the “search and register for courses” option to easily look up course numbers and add them to your list. Once your date and time for registration arrives, simply set all your classes to “register” using the drop down boxes to the left of each listing, click “submit,” and you have easily registered for classes. The advantage to preparing your list of courses ahead of time on MyWitt is that you will have a better chance at securing a seat if a class only has one or two spots open by the time you can register.
Academic advising doesn’t have to be a stressful time of the semester if you remember to prepare early and utilize the resources available to you. Wittenberg offers a number of services besides just meeting with your advisor such as the COMPASS and Career Services that can help streamline the process. Remember that part of advising is intended for students to get to know professor on a more personal level outside of class, so never be afraid to ask for help. Happy advising.
Academic advising doesn’t have to be a stressful time of the semester if you remember to prepare early and utilize the resources available to you. Wittenberg offers a number of services besides just meeting with your advisor such as the COMPASS and Career Services that can help streamline the process. Remember that part of advising is intended for students to get to know professor on a more personal level outside of class, so never be afraid to ask for help. Happy advising!