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Academic Advising – It’s more than Course Scheduling!

By The University of Alabama Parent & Family Programs


Would your student like to major in History with a minor in Philosophy? Or maybe double major in Economics and Finance with a specialization in Actuarial Science? What about finding time to study abroad or intern? How about spending a summer in Europe backpacking or in Africa assisting with health initiatives? Are there situations outside of the classroom impacting the student’s ability to study or perform well? All of these are conversations that our academic advisors are having with students - conversations that focus on what makes your student, well, your student. As an academic advisor I am focused on developing a partnership with my students. It is personal and we do get a bit nosey, but this partnership requires the student and academic advisor to engage in an open dialogue that focuses on realistic academic, personal, and career goals. What a student would like to experience, in college and beyond, is a key part of the discussion.

Which is why you will hear academic advisors say that academic advising is so much more than course scheduling. Academic advisors want students to leave the conversation with a pathway to explore their different interests, goals for the next semester, referrals to other offices that can assist them at UA, and yes, a list of courses for the next semester. Most importantly a student should leave their time with an academic advisor with the knowledge that they have one more individual as part of their support unit while they are at UA.

As a parent, it is important to encourage your student to meet with their advisor early, and often, in the semester to discuss their time at UA and beyond. However, it is just as important for you to be part of that conversation. Be sure to have frequent conversations with your student regarding their academics and interests. Ask your student how classes are going, how they feel about their academic major, and how those things fit into their personal and career goals. It’s a great way to show how invested you are not only in their academic progress, but a subject matter they are passionate about.

Before your student meets with their academic advisor encourage them to:
1. Consider their interests:
  • What excites them about their time at UA? In the classroom? Out of the classroom?
  • What career options are they exploring?
  • What are the major/minor/concentration(s) they are considering? Why?
  • Is there anything they cannot leave the University without accomplishing?
2. Create a list of questions for their academic advisor. For example,
  • Can I add a minor or double major and finish within my timeframe?
  • What major or minor will assist me in my career goals?
  • How will a Study Abroad and/or an Internship fit into my academic plan?
3. Communicate factors that may influence academic performance and decisions
4. Review DegreeWorks:
  • Are all earned AP, IB, and transfer credits listed?
  • Is the correct major, minor, and/or specialization/concentration declared?
  • Are there any holds listed?
  • Is their advisor listed? (Not every college utilizes this area)
5. Draft a list of courses they would like to take for the next few semesters based on the curriculum listed in DegreeWorks and their own personal interests
Prior to registration encourage your student to:
  1. Refer to www.registrar.ua.edu for their registration date and time
  2. Consider the time of day they are most alert when arranging courses
  3. Use Schedule Builder (available in MyBama) for assistance in arranging a schedule prior to their registration time

If your student, after checking DegreeWorks, is not sure who their academic advisor is you can refer them to the following offices for assistance:

Arts and Sciences: A&S Student Services, 200 Clark Hall, 205-348-5970, studentservices@as.ua.edu

Capstone College of Nursing: Capstone College of Nursing Student Services, 1014 Nursing Building, 205-348-6639, nursing@ua.edu

Communications and Information Sciences: Tisch Undergraduate Services, Ste 190 Reese Phifer Hall, 205-348-8599, aljarnagin@ua.edu

Culverhouse College of Commerce: Asa H. Bean Undergraduate Student Services Center, 10 Bidgood Hall, 205-348-4537, businessatbama@culverhouse.ua.edu

Education: 104 Carmichael Hall, 205-348-6073, eduadvisor@bamaed.ua.edu

Engineering: Engineering Student Services/Academic Advising Center, 290 Hardaway Hall, 205-348-0750, gsingleton@eng.ua.edu

Human Environmental Sciences: HES Student Services, 101 Doster Hall, 205-348-6150, hesstudents@ches.ua.edu

Social Work: 102 Little Hall, 205-348-7027, studentservices@sw.ua.edu

Heather Ammons

 

Heather Ammons, M.Ed

Academic Advisor/Coordinator

Culverhouse College of Commerce

hammons@culverhouse.ua.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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