PLAN TO FINISH

By Annalisa Purser, associate director, University of Utah Communications

While it may feel like the semester has just begun, it’s not too early to start planning for the next phases of your college experience. All first-year students should have received an email last week inviting them to schedule a meeting with an advisor. Those who complete an advising session before Nov. 2 will receive early registration for 1000- and 2000-level courses for spring 2019.

“One of the benefits of attending a large and vibrant institution like the University of Utah is the number of opportunities students have for majors, minors, research and involvement,” said Martina Stewart, director of the Mandatory Advising Program at the U. “Academic advisors know about these opportunities and can help students develop an enriched undergraduate experience that is reflective of who they are and where they want to go in the future. Advisors are also experts on university policy and curriculum and can meet with students whenever they have questions about their academic experience.”

The Mandatory Advising Program: Key Advising Milestones is designed to connect students to advisors at key points during their undergraduate experience to help them make the most of their time at the U and keep them on track for graduation. Over the past seven years, the U’s six-year graduation rate has increased by more than 10 percentage points, which can be partially attributed to the investment the institution has made in supporting students through advising services.

“We want students to graduate in a timely fashion, having experienced all of the opportunities available to them at our institution,” said Beth Howard, associate dean of the Academic Advising Center. “Early advising and meaningful connection to our resources facilitate this process.”

In addition to advising for first-year students, those in their second year are required to meet with an advisor. They can expect an email reminder in November and should plan to meet with an advisor by March 1. Students who have at least 60 credits, have attended at least two semesters and are undeclared are also required to meet with an advisor. They will receive an email about this advising requirement in February.

To make the most of an advising session, read the tips below about what to expect and how to come prepared:

How students can prepare:

  • Bring appropriate documents (i.e. transcripts, degree audit, summary of transfer credit, test scores), making a list of questions and concerns and planning a tentative schedule.
  • Honestly communicate your interests, abilities and circumstances to your advisor.
  • Keep up with your academic progress and maintain your own advising file—keep all documents until you graduate.
  • Meet with your advisor regularly.

What your advisor will strive to do for you:

  • Listen attentively to your questions and concerns.
  • Respect your unique interests, abilities and circumstances.
  • Help with exploring options that support your academic, personal and career interests.
  • Explain degree requirements
  • Clarify information about university regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Assist in building an appropriate class schedule.
  • Refer students to appropriate campus resources.
  • Help students learn how to find answers for themselves.

Academic advisors look forward to meeting with you. See mapadvising.utah.edu for more information about the Mandatory Advising Program.