Communication and Media

Advising Responsibilities

It surprised me that several students "knew" they wanted to major in a certain subject, but did not have any idea what courses would be required for the major, or 
Three R’s of Advising


                              Remember advising is a two-way street
                              Foster open communication
                              Build a connection
                              Clarify your values, interests, and goals


                              Schedule regular visits
                              Take ownership of your education
                              Follow through with tasks


                              Learn policies, procedures, and requirements
                              Take advantage of opportunities
                              Read your email!!

Students in the Department of Communication Studies are expected to assume responsibility for planning their academic program in conjunction with their academic advisor and in accordance with the college rules and policies and with the departmental major requirements.  Any questions should be directed to the Professional Academic Advisors..

Academic advising is an educational process that, by intention and design, facilitates students’ understanding of the meaning and purpose of higher education and fosters their intellectual and personal development toward academic success and lifelong  learning (NACADA, 2004).


11 Ways NOT to Prepare for College Advising

  1. Don't show up.  That's right, several students don't show up for their appointments.  This isn't really surprising, but it is disappointing.
  2. Come in and say, "Okay, tell me what I need to take next semester."  You need to be responsible for your own learning, so make it a habit to at least come in with some ideas. 
  3. Make excuse after excuse why you have withdrawn from class after class--and still expect that a professor might give you an override to get into a full class.  Yes, there are definitely some reasons to withdraw from classes, but it when it becomes a habit, it begins to reflect poorly on your ability to manage your schedule.  For every class from which you withdraw, there probably was another student who wanted to get in before the semester started, but could not because the class was full.
  4. Spend more time looking for ways to avoid taking your LAC classes than actually taking the classes. Everyone in the university needs to take a core of similar classes.  Even you.  And don't expect that your advisor will tell you "Which ones are the easy ones."  
  5. Don't look in the online college catalog to see what will be required for your major; expect your advisor to know all the details off the top of his or her head. It surprises me that students "want" to major in a certain subject, but don't have any idea what courses are required for the major, or that a certain GPA is required.  
  6. Don't check out online registration in My Universe to see when your earliest registration date and time are.  Find out when your registration time is, and make your advising appointment before this time, so that you can register at the earliest possible moment.  Many classes fill quickly,  The earlier you register, the more likely you can get in.
  7. Expect your advisor to be able to counsel you in which major you should choose.  Choosing a major is an important, perhaps life-changing decision.  Make an appointment with a professor or advisors in the majors you are interested in far ahead of the advisement period.  This type of appointment takes more time than registration appointments.
  8. Give your advisor a blank stare when asked "so what steps are you taking to bring up your grade point average?"  As the old saying goes, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.  Many majors have minimum GPAs required for full admittance to their programs; make a plan to exceed that minimum by as much as you can.  Utilize the many services( )your university has to offer study skills, tutoring, etc.  
  9. Respond to text messages while your advisor is talking.  Come on, the appointment is only 15-30 minutes.  Couldn't that wait?  And if it couldn't, would it be hard to say, "Please excuse me for just a moment.  There's something I need to do."
  10. Leave your iPod earbuds in your ears so you can continue to listen to your music (and use your pencil and pen as drumsticks on the desk) while the appointment is going on.  Seriously.  Rudeness is never appropriate.
  11. Walk in and expect us to know immediately who you are and be offended if we don't.  Each professional advisor in our dept. has over 400 advisees assigned to them as well as instruct classes.  We will do our best to remember who you are, but honestly, when we only see you a couple of times a year, it is almost impossible for us to recall your name at a moments notice.  That does not mean we do not care about you or are not willing to assist you.   

(by Barbara Nixon with modifications by Marilyn Shaw).


We honestly love advising our students.  Below is an example of an excellent registration advising appointment.

A student walks into the office and puts out her/His hand to shake mine, and says, "Good morning, my name is Katey/Kevin Smith.  Thanks for meeting with me today."  The student takes a seat and reaches into his/her backpack, and takes out a planner. Turning to a page when he/she has marked up the core requirements sheet with classes already taken and highlighted those she/he is considering for next semester, Katey/Kevin turn to me and state, "I know I need to take a second class in the journalism grouping to stay on track, but I looked online and the class is already full."  I am pleased. Significant planning was done in advance of this meeting on the student's part.  We work together to come up with an alternative plan taking into account that Plan A was not going to work.  We look ahead to required courses and select two that would work for this semester.  We briefly discuss other matters and and review how this semester is proceeding.  We end the meeting with the student ready to register when the time comes knowing that if things change we can meet again.  

Working With your Advisor
The relationship between you and your advisor is one of shared responsibility.  Though you are ultimately responsible for the choices you make in college, we realize that in order to make informed decisions, you need mentoring and advice of an  academic advisor and others in the University community.  Your primary advisor is your primary resource regarding academic issues, opportunities, and programs.  If you keep your advisor informed about your interests, progress, concerns and decisions, he or she will be able to assist you better.

Your responsibilities:

               1.  To seek sources of information that will assist you in making academic/career decisions.

               2.  To keep your advisor informed about changes in your academic progress, course selection, and academic
                    /career goals.

               3.  To be familiar with the requirements of the major (s) which you are pursuing, and to schedule courses each
                     Semester in accordance with those requirements.

               4.  To be aware of the prerequisites for each course that you include in your semester schedule and to discuss
                     with your advisor how prerequisites will affect the sequencing of your courses.

               5.  To follow university procedures for registering courses and for making adjustments to your class schedule.

               6.  To observe academic deadlines.

               7.  To carefully review each course syllabus, noting rules, regulations, and policies for each class.

               8.  To participate fully in the courses for which you are registered by completing assignments on time and
                     attending class.

               9.  To understand the information provided you by the university, including your grade reports and advisement
                    reports and to know what to do in case you have a missing grade or one that you think may be incorrect.

               10. To understand academic performance standards, academic probation, academic dismissal, and to know
                     GPA requirements.

               11. To change your address with the registrar if needed and to read all university mail, including e-mail.

               12. To organize official university documents (catalog, schedule of classes, degree audits, etc.) in a way that
                     enables you to access them when needed.

Advisor's responsibilities:

               1.  To clarify university policies, regulations, programs, and procedures about which you may have questions.

               2.  To be available to meet with you each semester—if you respond promptly to the invitation to schedule

               3.  To help you explore your interests, abilities, and goals and to relate them to academic majors.

               4.  To offer advice on selecting courses and to assist you in developing an academic plan that satisfies degree
                     your degree requirements.

               5.  To be knowledgeable about career opportunities and to refer you to Career Services as needed.

               6.  To be a responsive listener and to refer you to appropriate support services within the university when

               7.  To discuss with you your academic performance and the implications of your performance for the under
                     graduate programs, graduate programs, and any professional programs you desire to pursue.

               8.  To offer you the opportunity to participate in a mentoring relationship which will help you become more
                     independent and self-directed.

The Department of Communication Studies cannot assume responsibility for problems resulting from students failing to follow the policies stated in the catalog or from incorrect advice given by someone other than the appropriate staff member of the department.

Although the student handbook has been prepared with care in order to assist student in planning their Program of Study, the UNI catalog governs all curriculum and policy issues. Thus, in the unlikely event of misunderstanding, the UNI catalog will be the final authority. Available at