Academic advising on college campuses can vary depending on the school, major/department, and more. Today I wanted to take the chance to share a little bit about what academic advising looks like here at Furman University. My experience is not like everyone’s on campus since I am a double major, so I hope to share quality information on different experiences a student might have. We are going to do so by going through each year as a student – let’s get started!
First Year Students
- Academic advising starts even before your first day here at Furman. Incoming freshmen register for courses over the summer, so during summer and fall orientation each student is placed with an academic advisor. This is great because you have an advisor to meet with and to help you through your first registration experience. They actually register you into your classes during those orientation times, which is quite convenient.
- Now, when the school year begins, you are actually assigned a new academic advisor based on areas of study you are interested in. This is your advisor until you choose and declare a major.
- The biggest thing I remember from my meetings with my first advisor is how productive and stress-relieving they were. My advisor really helped me understand the benefits of getting my GERs (general education requirements) out of the way early on since I did not know exactly what I wanted to major in yet. Additionally, I knew I could always go to my advisor to discuss major and career interests and it was always so easy to set up appointments to meet with her.
- By the end of your second semester of sophomore year, you have to make the decision on what you want to major in. For me, this was very difficult as I was interested in two different majors: communication studies and education. I declared communication studies first in the fall of my sophomore year and that is when I switched advisors to one in the comm department.
- During one of my first meetings with my new comm advisor, I was provided with so much great information and guides to completing the major and staying on track with other requirements. I am almost certain each major has a checklist that lays out all of the requirements you must fulfill to graduate with the degree. The checklists for both my majors are always sitting on my computer desktop and I go over them with my advisors before every registration period.
- During another meeting, we realized I had taken a good amount of education classes and that I could easily fit it in as a second major. I decided to double major because I loved all the classes I had taken thus far in both departments. Additionally, instead of having to fulfill open credits with random classes, I would just get to fill them with major elective courses.
- One thing I will mention is that after your first semester freshman year you do register on your own for the following registration periods. BUT- don’t stress! You will have your advisors to help you map your classes out and understand how to register when the time comes. TIP from an advisor: always have about 2 backup classes just in case some of the ones you wanted fill up before your registration time.
- I will say that each year gets easier as you register earlier and earlier. Seniors register first, then juniors, then sophomores, then freshmen. Once you declare, I would also say it is easier to get into classes because you are taking major specific classes instead of just common 100 level courses.
- As a junior, my meetings with my advisors have been really fun because we start talking about career goals and job interests! It is crazy to think about but also so exciting. Both my advisors have been very helpful and understanding during our meetings when I constantly change my mind on what I want to do in life!
- Time to get the last few requirements (whether GER or major related) checked off!!
- I met with my EDU advisor just yesterday to get ready for registration and we mapped out the last few classes I have to fulfill to graduate.
- This year is really when advisors help prepare you for job interviews or grad school applications as that is the next step in many of our lives! Along with meeting with advisors about this, it is also very helpful to make an appointment with the Malone Career Center to talk specifics on job searching, interviews, and more.
Hope you enjoyed this look into what advising looks like here at Furman University! If you have any questions you are more than welcome to email me — firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day! — Libby Mulligan