Advising is a fundamental component of student learning in college and is at the core of the Saint Joseph’s University mission. In the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), faculty advisors serve as the student's primary resource for advising. The recently established Advising Support Center staff provides additional support. Faculty advisors and the Advising Support Center collaborate to help students make informed decisions about their education and to empower them to be responsible and independent learners. Although ultimately it is the student’s responsibility for making decisions and planning his/her education, faculty advisors and the Advising Support Center are available to guide students at every step of the process.
Every CAS student will have a faculty advisor whose role focuses primarily on mentoring and academic/career planning. Each student who has declared a major will be assigned a faculty advisor from the department or program in which s/he is majoring. Each undeclared CAS student will be assigned to a CAS faculty advisor who may or may not share specific academic interests with the student, but who is prepared to help each student explore options and make decisions about a major. Advisors guide students in identifying educational and career goals as well as devising a plan for achieving those goals. For declared students, the advisor helps the student to plan a curriculum within his/her field of study and explore opportunities such as study abroad, research, and internships. Advisors within the student’s major department are also an invaluable resource when preparing for graduate school and/or a career.
CAS advisors are invested in each student’s success and are eager to get to know their advisees. First-year students are required to meet with their faculty advisors two times each semester to review mid-term grades and to complete pre-registration advising. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are required to meet with their advisors once each semester for pre-registration advising for the following semester. In addition, students are welcome to visit with their faculty advisor at any time during the semester to ask questions and/or discuss any aspect of their experience at SJU (e.g., academic progress, future plans, transition to college, academic interests, etc.). All students are encouraged to develop an ongoing relationship with their advisor and to meet with them regularly during the school year.
To look up your faculty advisor’s name, log onto My SJU. Click on:
- School Services
- Student Records & Payments
- View student information
When trying to connect with your advisor, keep the following in mind:
* All faculty maintain regular office hours
Faculty advisors often will post office hours on their door. If hours are not posted for your advisor, ask the Department’s Administrative Assistant for this information. Office hours are an invitation for students to meet with their faculty to discuss their progress, obtain advice on courses or assistance with a problem they may be having, or simply to talk and get to know their faculty. If needed, you can ask your faculty advisor for an appointment outside of his/her regular office hours. Faculty are always willing to find time to meet with students.
* Faculty have a lot of things going on (classes, research, etc.)
When you have a question or a problem, do not wait until the last minute to contact your advisor. Take some time to learn your advisor’s style and the best ways to reach him/her. Have reasonable expectations — do not expect an immediate response to emails and voicemails.
* Faculty advising is much more than course selection and PINs
Take the time to develop a mentoring relationship with your faculty – the better your advisor knows you, the more able s/he will be to guide you. For example, if your faculty advisor is familiar with your academic interests, career goals, and skills, s/he will be better able to advise you on courses that will be most enriching for you.
* Don’t wait until you have a problem to see your advisor
Be proactive. Talk to your advisor at the first sign of difficulty rather than waiting. You and your advisor can work together to develop a strategy for solving the problem. This may include identifying and using appropriate campus resources.
- Understanding the General Education curriculum, both the General Education Requirement (GER for the Class of 2013) and the General Education Program (GEP for the Class of 2014 and beyond).
- Understanding registration procedures and resolving problems that may occur during the registration process.
- Preparing for advising meetings with a faculty advisor.
- Understanding and navigating University and CAS policies and procedures.
- Exploring majors and making decisions about a major.
- Raising awareness of special campus programs and academic opportunities (e.g., Center for International Programs, etc.).
- Encouraging students to identify and use campus resources effectively (e.g., Career Development Center, Learning Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, etc.).
It is expected that you will take responsibility for your future by actively engaging in planning and decision making related to your education and career. Ultimately, you are responsible for your academic success!
Specifically, it is expected that you will:
- Be proactive and ask questions
- Become familiar with the Saint Joseph's University Undergraduate Catalog. Know the requirements for your program of study and understand university and departmental policies and procedures that pertain to the major/minor.
- Take advantage of programs offered by the CAS Advising Support Center and other campus resources.
- Take the initiative to contact the CAS Advising Support Center at any time if you have questions about the GER or GEP core curriculum, campus resources, etc
- Be familiar with the academic calendar and important deadlines.
- Develop a relationship with your faculty advisor. Schedule regular meetings with your faculty advisor throughout the year to discuss education planning and career-related issues. Prepare for these meetings and be ready to take advantage of this mentoring relationship!
- Ask questions! If you don’t understand a policy or procedure, ask questions until you do understand.