The process of academic advisement is one of information exchange, communication, teaching and guidance. The advisor should be the advisee’s most accurate source of information about the system at the Program, School and University levels. The advisor makes sure that the advisee receives relevant notices, is available on a regular basis for questions or consultation and helps the student manage problems that interfere with the student’s educational progress.
As a guide or consultant, the advisor has the opportunity to help the student articulate and realize some segment of her or his life goals. Advisors are responsible for and instrumental in guiding the student to plan and pursue a program of study that meets all requirements for graduation as well as focusing on the student’s goals. The advisor is more than a source of information about registration; s/he is a coordinator of a student’s entire educational experience.
Each student admitted to the Graduate Program is assigned to an academic advisor. Advisors for master’s students are assigned by the coordinator in each student’s advanced practice area. Advisors for doctoral students are assigned by the Director of the Doctoral Program. After a student is assigned an advisor, the student should check to see if her or his advisor has scheduled office hours. If there are no scheduled hours, leave a voicemail message or send an e-mail message to the advisor. If the faculty advisor is away, the coordinator of the student’s advanced practice area (Master’s) or the Director, PhD and Postdoctoral Programs is the back-up advisor.
Graduate students may request a change in advisor by completing the Graduate Advisor Change Form. Master’s students must meet with the coordinator in their advanced practice areas before making this change. Ph.D. students may meet with the Director of the Doctoral Programs if they desire. The form is available in the Office of Academic Affairs.
The advisor for the doctoral student along with an advisory committee will coordinate the student’s academic activities until the student selects a chair for her or his dissertation committee. In the first year of course work, the student selects two other faculty who together with the academic advisor advise the student. The student may select a dissertation chair at any time, but this must occur before the written comprehensive examination may be given. When the dissertation chair is selected, s/he and the committee will take the place of the academic advisor and advisory committee. At that time, all aspects of the doctoral program, including dissertation research, the secondary area, the written comprehensive examination and the oral defense of the proposal will become the responsibility of the chair and the committee. If the dissertation chair is different from the academic advisor, the Graduate Advisor Change Form should be submitted.
At the time of the student’s first pre-registration period, a meeting will be held between the academic advisor and student to develop and complete a Plan of Study (see Plan of Study form for MSN students or Plan of Study for PhD students). The entire program should be over-viewed so that the student has a context for her or his course of study. The investment of time needed for the program should be addressed so the student can make necessary adjustments to work or personal schedules to accommodate any unanticipated demands.
To assist in planning the course of study, the advisor will explore with the student both long- and short-term goals as well as any aids the student perceives s/he will need to complete the program. Knowledge of the student’s goals will help the advisor make recommendations of electives or courses to support the student’s goals. The advisor can link the student with campus resources that might be of assistance. The advisor will inform the student about how s/he handles advisement appointments and provide the student information about the advisor’s availability and ways s/he can be contacted.
The Plan of Study (see Plan of Study form for MSN students or Plan of Study for PhD students) for first-semester graduate students is submitted by the student to the Office of Academic Affairs at the time of the first pre-registration. The student and academic advisor will receive copies of the plan from the Office of Academic Affairs. Thereafter, an updated Plan of Study is submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs. Current plans of study provide essential information for planning course offerings in future academic years. Ph.D. students should have the advisory committees review their plans of study each semester. Their plans of study must be approved by either their advisory committee or their dissertation committee prior to taking the written comprehensive examination.
Each semester the Office of Admissions and Student Services will notify students of the registration period(s). The Office of Admissions and Student Services will assist students who encounter problems with telephonic registration.
Class lists, course schedules, and the course map are posted on the SON Website. Each student will schedule an appointment with her or his advisor during the advisement period to plan the next semester’s course(s) and update the Plan of Study (dated and signed by student and advisor). These forms should be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs.
Updated July 2012