Working with Academic Advisors
Western Michigan University uses an advising system to assure students meet graduation requirements. There are two (2) types of advisors and it is important that students take advantage of both resources.
College Advisors assist students working to meet all university requirements. These advisors will help you choose general education distribution area courses and electives.
Faculty Advisors assist students with the requirements for majors and minors through specific academic departments. They will complete the necessary major/minor slips and will help plan the courses required for that particular program. Some courses have prerequisites/corequisites so must be taken in a particular sequence.
Used together, both types of advisors will assure students are making the best progress toward graduation.
Advisors have very limited time to work with the number of students in each college and department, so it is best to be prepared when meeting with advisors. The following are some suggestions to help you make the best use of the time.
- Use the advising process. While friends are a great source of information, they may not be aware of specific programs or requirements when different from their own and graduation may be delayed from incorrect advice.
- If possible, make an appointment. Some college and department advisors schedule appointments on certain days and have walk-in times the rest of the week. Appointments assure time for questions and concerns.
- Schedule appointments early in the semester, preferably 2-3 weeks prior to the next semester's registration period. This will allow enough time to then search for the classes desired.
- Take a list of questions, but know the university/program requirements before the meeting. Ask why a specific course is recommended over another. Ask about specific course descriptions. Voice concerns about skills and abilities for specific courses. Advisors are there to help, but can't if they are not made aware of any issues.
- Be advised. Take advantage of the various advisors and their roles as often as needed, not just before registration for another semester. If a particular program of study is of interest, make a point of meeting with an advisor from that department. Advisors will have information beyond course requirements which could help in deciding on majors and minors.
Registrar's Advising Manual
If you cannot find information on the website, please feel free to email Jen Lawson-Steeves with your questions.