College is a time for making memories. Things like cheering at games, taking adventures to nearby national parks, meeting new friends, having fun, and staying up way too late are all parts of the college experience. Also part of the experience is learning to manage stress and the apprehensions that come with college. Things like tests, homework, deadlines, difficulty with group projects, choosing a major, or finding the right career path can all be stressful.
To help you successfully manage your college career, student success advisors are here to help you plan, prepare and problem solve to help you get the most out of your time at SUU both academically and socially. Our purpose is to help you stay on track to graduate, find the major that best fits your skills and abilities, and learn of opportunities for involvement and extracurricular activities along the way. Below are 10 insider tips to help you work with your college advisor and to maximize your college experience.
10 tips that can make a difference in your college experience:
1. Build a Relationship with your Advisor
Advisors are advocates and referral sources. It is important to meet with your advisor early in your college career and begin building a relationship with them. The better your advisor knows you, the better they will be able to connect you to resources and opportunities for your specific needs. While we won't do everything for you, we can help connect you to resources and have your back if you’ve been treated unfairly or need that extra bit of support.
2. When in Doubt, Come See Your Advisor
If you feel you need more clarity and understanding about something, don't wait until you feel completely cornered. That feeling can result in rash decisions and can put you behind in the future. Instead, ask your advisor for help! We may not know the answer to every question, but we can connect you to the right person and help you find solutions.
3. Are you undecided or thinking of changing your major? Don’t be ashamed
Christine VanDeVelde, co-author of the book, College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, says, “The most popular intended major for college applicants is still undecided—that is what college is all about.” College is a wonderful time to be open to new opportunities and explore what is out there. It is okay to explore your options and consider changing your major. If you find something else that interests you and gives you a better sense of purpose, your advisor can help you make a change.
4. Be Specific
When contacting your student success advisor, be specific. Don't just email your advisor with a request like, "can you add me to the ECON class?". A detailed message of the problem or concern you are facing allows for us to help you resolve it quickly. For example, if you would like your Student Success Advisor to enroll you into a class, include the course #, section #, and CRN in your message. Help us help you.
5. Use Your T# and Have it in the Correct Format
When communicating with your Student Success Advisor, make sure to include your TNumber in the correct format such as T12345678, not T#12345678. This allows for your advisor to look up your information quickly and resolve the issue fast.
DegreeWorks allows you to conduct a degree audit of all the courses you have completed at SUU, as well as work transferred from other regionally accredited institutions. To view your own personal audit, login into your mySUU portal, and click on the DegreeWorks link within the SUU Apps on the right hand side of your screen. DegreeWorks is a great tool to check your progress toward graduation. You can also play with the “What-If” function to explore other majors, minors, and concentrations.
7. Read Emails
It may seem tedious to check and read your emails, but just do it! Emails are one of the main resources that advisors use to reach out and communicate with you. Important information is communicated in the emails we send. Perhaps devote a certain amount of time each day to look through your email so you can stay up-to-date on important information and solve problems before they arise.
8. What Can I Do with This Major? Website
The 'What Can I Do With This Major? website is a great resource specifically designed to show the connection between majors and careers. Click on your major of interest and discover common career paths people receive with that degree, possible employers, and information and strategies to boost your future career opportunities.
9. Talk with your ACE
An ACE is an Assistant Coach of Excellence, or students who work with student success advisors to help their peers, especially those in their first-year, excel through one-on-one advising and personal outreach. ACEs can help you find the best resources and activities for your unique circumstances and provide additional support.
10. Be Prepared
When you schedule an appointment with your advisor, be prepared. Do as much as you can beforehand to ensure you get the most out of it. This could include writing down questions, looking through your degree works, and exploring what you can do with your major or the major you are interested in.
Now that you know 10 insider tips to working with your student success advisor, schedule an appointment or visit the advising office during our walk-in hours. Check out the SUU Advising website for more information.