It is ultimately the student advisee’s responsibility for meeting all graduation requirements of the College. A student should:
- Be prompt and prepared when meeting with advisors. Preparation for an advising appointment means having reviewed the current course schedule and course catalog, and having thought about options ahead of time and bringing any relevant paperwork to the meeting
- Share with advisor information about interests, activities, and ambitions
- Seek advisement in a timely manner and try to schedule appointments in advance with advisor
- Be proactive with regard to the advising process; ask questions about curriculum, courses, college programs, and career advice
- Become familiar with common curriculum requirements, graduation requirements, and program requirements
- Consult advisor when making schedule changes such as adding/withdrawing/dropping classes
Tips By and For Union Students
We asked Union Juniors and Seniors to talk about their experiences with advising at Union: what they did right, what mistakes they made, and what advice they would offer incoming Union students. Here’s what they had to say:
Working with Your Advisor
“Try to build a relationship with your advisor. I meet with my advisor at least once a term, and sometimes I’ll pop in to say hello throughout the term. When your advisor is more familiar with your interests, he or she can better assist you. Respect the advice of your advisor but always remember when choosing classes, the final decision is your own.”
“Be completely honest, because they are there to help you. For example, I needed to take a math course for my Gen Ed but I hate math, so by telling my advisor this, she was able to help me find a Gen Ed course that was offered that wasn’t too intense.”
“Advisors have excellent insight on course choices but it isn’t their job to walk you through college. Your advisor is not your only source of advice. Sit down with any professor and they will offer a new opinion. Also, if you don’t get along with your advisor, or they aren’t a good fit for you, change your advisor. It’s important that you are happy and have a great advisor relationship rather than staying with the same advisor to avoid an awkward conversation.”
“My advice would be to take the classes that interest you and some others that are a little out of your comfort zone and you’ll stumble upon what you’re looking for eventually.”
“Talk to the professors beforehand to get a good sense of what the class is like – they like telling you all about it. I always tried to take one class that would make me comfortable, one class that interested me that might also make me feel out of my element, all the while keeping an eye on Gen Eds.”
“Don’t choose based on what your friends do, and choose times you know you’ll make it to class for. Take your time when picking classes!”
“If you try to add a course and the class is closed, e-mail and go talk to the professor and see if they will be willing to make room for you on their roster. Just try to e-mail and talk to as many professors as you can; showing real interest really gets you places.
“Remember to do a couple of petition courses in case you don’t get in.”
“Be nice to everyone at the registrar. It is very stressful getting all of our issues settled and they will help you, but be nice.
Deciding on a Major
“Don’t freak out if you don’t know what your major is going to be your first year, but if you try a course and really like it, try taking another one. A lot of people stumble onto their majors that way.”
“Choose what interests you the most – not necessarily the easiest, or what you’re best at, but whatever subject you don’t mind reading 200 pages for or writing a 10-page paper for because you’re truly interested in the subject matter. And don’t let your parents influence your decision; they’re not the ones taking the classes.
“I would be careful not to settle too quickly and really explore your options. Since Union has a general education requirement, you have the ability to take courses in a variety of subject areas… Before ultimately deciding, you should be sure to take a few introduction classes in order to get an idea about a specific major. I found this helpful as I was able to sort out what my strengths were and what major I believed I would excel in.”