How well will my advisee understand the general education requirements?

They may have looked it over, but most will require help interpreting what is expected of them. For example, every year, I have to explain the sequence to at least one or two advisees. They understand that they must take a sequence of courses but often misread the second requirement and insist that they have to take only one additional course in the sequence. The only remedy is to open up the catalogue and point out the line that says “one three-hour course from each Humanities sequence not chosen above.”

My advisee wants to delay taking certain general education courses? Should I dissuade her?

Try to keep advisees from putting off requirements they fear, particularly those in math and foreign language. Remind them that it’s best to take such course while they still retain some of their understanding from high school. Professors from both departments tell me that students who delay these requirements don’t perform as well. English is a similar case. Once they’ve made it out of English 111, students put off taking English 112 because it’s “not related to their major.” Remind them that their professors will expect them to write well and have the research and documentation skills taught in English 112, regardless of whether or not they’ve completed the composition sequence.

On the other hand, advisees need not take every general education course in their first two years. Many juniors and seniors are glad to take a general education course to give themselves a break from upper division courses for the major and minor.

My advisee wants to take general education courses at his local community college. What does he need to do?

In their second semester, freshman advisees often share their intentions of completing general education requirements at other institutions over the summer. Tell them they have some leg work to do. They need to get a catalogue description of the course. They need to get a pink transfer card from the registrar. They need to take both to the chair of the department where the course is offered. Department chairs have discretion to approve or reject a transfer request.

A student stopped by my office panicked because he got a C on his first exam. He’s afraid of losing his scholarship. How should I respond?

Review the g.p.a. requirements for retaining a scholarship in the catalog with your student (3.3 for students with half-tuition and above; 3.0 for students with below half tuition). Many are mistaken about what g.p.a. they must earn to keep their funding. Remind him to focus on the immediate problem of improving his work in the course about which he is concerned. If it’s appropriate, point out that there is an appeals process that will keep him from losing his scholarship if he just misses the g.p.a. requirement.

My advisee wants to major in Engineering. Can she do that?

Yes, Georgetown offers dual degree programs in Engineering and Nursing Arts. Your student will earn her degree by completing its requirements during three years at Georgetown and two at the University of Kentucky. Also, make sure she is in contact with the appropriate program advisor (David Bowman for Engineering; Mark Johnson for nursing). This advisor should take over as her primary advisor as soon as possible.

My advisee placed in French 102 but wants to take French 101 as a refresher course. Should I let him do this?

Over the past few years, the Foreign Language department has experienced problems with students who insist on taking the introductory courses out of insecurity or for the sake of an easy “A.” For this reason, students who are placed in 102 or above cannot earn credit for taking the entry level course.

My advisee says she earned college or AP credit in high school, but it’s not on her transcript. Should I be concerned?

I don’t experience this too often but occasionally high schools don’t get the information about credit earned to students. Because the problem is probably not an error by the Registrar’s office, have the student follow up with her high school.

What are my advisees’ options for fulfilling the math requirement?

The core curriculum requires one math course above MA 104. The appropriate math course is dictated by the student’s major and high school preparation. Typically, students who are not prepared for calculus or are not majoring in Math, the Sciences or Business enroll in MA 107 (College Algebra), MA 111 (Statistics) and CSC 114 (Introduction to Computer Science).

Is Math 104 a remedial course?

No. Math 103 are 104 are courses for students preparing to teach in elementary schools.

My advisee is working toward certification in education. What special concerns does this present?

Education students must arrange their schedules to leave time for their TA assignments. In addition, they must complete a curriculum that often requires more courses than a stand-alone major. For example, English majors working toward certification as secondary education teachers are asked to take American Literature Survey I and II while regular majors are required to take only one course in American Literature. Make sure your advisee has a copy of the teacher certification handbook and is taking the right set of courses for her or his area of circulation. If you have trouble interpreting the appropriate curriculum contract, talk the matter over with the student’s education advisor.

Other than drafting a schedule, what should I discuss with advisees during their pre-registration appointments?

Since you will be working in this is a good time to go over CEP totals and to check whether the student is on track to earn 39 upper-level hours. If the student needs an additional help with planning, I usually schedule an appointment for a less hectic time of the semester.

Aside from scheduling classes and monitoring graduation requirements what do I need to do for my advisee?

Students appreciate your help with creating a four year plan. Once they’ve defined their academic goals, I tell them to write down every course they need to earn their majors and minors and then draft a schedule that records in what semester the student will take each course. Once they have that work done, I go over it with them and make sure they have planned for all graduation requirements. I keep a hard copy on my computer for later consultation. This can be time consuming, but it makes advising a snap during their junior and senior years. If the student changes advisors, I send along a hard copy of their proposed course of study in their folders.

My advisee came to me with a serious personal problem. What should I do?

In most cases, I direct the student to the appropriate source of support – the Counseling Center, Student Life, Campus Safety etc. When a student seems particularly distressed, I write down the phone numbers for him or her. I report these conversations to Gretchen so that she can follow up with the Student Life Office.

My advisee showed up to her advising appointment without any idea of what to take for the next semester. How do I get her to take responsibility for course selection?

For many freshmen, graduation seems a long way off. Coupled with a lack of direction, apathy strikes. Some students expect to be told to what to take; others just haven’t had take the time to look over the schedule. When you post your advising schedule, include a message that instructs students to bring a draft schedule.

An advisee stopped by and announced he is transferring. Should I try to talk him out of it?

Over the years, I’ve found that the “I am on the verge of transferring” announcement means a lot of things. It might mean the student has not discovered what Georgetown has to offer. It might mean that the student is starting to worry about the debt he’s taking on to finance his education. It might mean that he’s heard other students talk about transferring. If you can, get the student to expound on his decisions. This is often the time I have the “wherever you go there you are” talk with students, reminding them that their problems transfer with them. When it’s appropriate, I relay the student’s concerns to the Dean of Retention for further attention.

My advisee is a sophomore majoring in biology but I teach psychology. Can I insist that she change advisors?

Many students tend to become very attached to their freshman advisors and won’t make the move to an advisor in their major without being pushed. Take inventory of your advisees before advance registration. If it’s time for one to move on, get a change of advisor form and fill out your part. Instruct the student to take the form to the advisor of his choice and get his or his signature. Send the yellow advising folder to the new advisor.