Advising day rapidly approaches and many new students are at a loss as to what to prepare for this seemingly make or break day. For those first-year students, and others who just need an idea for what to put together to make this easier, Debra Penberthy of the advising office has shared some tips and tricks on how to secure the perfect advising day.
The process to prepare for advising day actually begins many days before the actual date of Oct. 27. As Ms. Penberthy puts it, “Advising is not a passive process for students. Spend time preparing so that you can make the most of your time in advising meetings.” Preparation for advising meetings should have already begun but there is still time to narrow down classes. She adds that, “Undeclared students should come prepared with a list of majors or minors that interest them and an idea of some major and liberal studies courses they’d like to take. For declared or pre-major (example: pre-nursing) students your department may also have listed specific requirements for preparation.” Below is outlined a few steps to take before your appointment:
- run a degree audit to see which requirements are remaining in your major, concentration, minor and liberal studies. https://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-services/advising-center/current-students/how-to-instructions.aspx
- consult the 8-semester plan for your major (can often be found on the department’s web page or may have been sent to you in preparation for advising day)
- determine which courses in the major seem like the next ones to take, based on the above
- look at the Schedule of Classes to see what is available for your major and liberal studies; make sure to put in Spring 2021 for the term: https://ssbprod-wcu.uncecs.edu/pls/WCUPROD/bwckschd.p_disp_dyn_sched
- consult the Spring 2021 liberal studies checklist for a complete list of courses that will be offered in each category: https://www.wcu.edu/WebFiles/LiberalStudiesChecksheetSpring2021updated.pdf
- to figure out class times for all courses in a particular liberal studies area, use the Schedule of Classes, select all subjects, and pick the liberal studies area you are seeking under “Attribute Type”
- pay attention to teaching modality and campus; Cullowhee campus is for residential students, and some classes will be offered as in-person only, hybrid, or fully online.
As for what to expect on the actual day of, students have no classes on advising day so there is plenty of time to focus down on choosing their spring semester classes. “Students who have not declared their major should book an appointment with their professional advisor for some time around advising day. Check your email, as your advisor may have already sent you a request to schedule.” Says Penberthy. “For students who have declared their major or know which major they wish to declare after achieving the appropriate benchmarks, check the Advising Day page to find out how to access advising for your department.” A link for this resource is provided here: https://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-services/advising-center/advising-day.aspx
Many students will have both a professional advisor and a faculty advisor. “You will need to see your “primary advisor” on advising day. The Registrar sent out an email with Registration Ticket times that also listed your primary advisor.” Penberthy explains. Students are implored to search for that email, but they can also find instructions on looking up your primary advisor at the link provided: https://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-services/advising-center/current-students/how-to-instructions.aspx
Depending on the department, you may have mandatory group advising sessions in addition to having students sign up for individual meetings with faculty. Other departments may offer one of these two types of advising. When you have completed your advising session, you will receive your ALT PIN. Your ALT PIN will allow you to register for courses during your specific registration time. Some advisors will provide ALT PINS directly to students, and others may ask you to find them in Navigate. Ensure that you know how you will receive your PIN when you attend group or individual advising meetings.
After your advising appointment, you will need to register yourself for the classes you choose or were recommended for using your ALT PIN. “Make sure you know when your earliest registration time is (Registration Ticket Time). Registration times are set by the number of credits needed to complete your particular program, with students closest to graduation registering before those who are just starting off in their program.” So according to Penberthy in order to get the best chance of getting the courses you want you must register right when your registration time slot opens.
Finally, guarantee that you pay your WCU bill or any other outstanding charges by the deadline on Dec. 15. “Students who do not meet this deadline will have their classes dropped for non-payment on Dec. 16. They will then need to rebuild their schedules and may not get the same courses they originally picked.”
Advising day is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 27 and if you have a schedule of classes already in mind, know your advisor, and have scheduled a meeting with them, this advising day should run smoothly and leave you stress free and prepared for next semester.