Advisors can assist you with matters beyond course selection and registration. They are interested in helping guide your social and academic experiences in ways that will give you the skills to succeed beyond college. In order for this to happen, your advisor needs to know more about you than which courses you plan to take next semester. Check in with your advisor often during the semester and share your extra-curricular experiences as well as your academic ones.
How Advisor Assignment Works
WCU has a dual advising system. When students enroll at the University, they are assigned a professional advisor in either the Advising Center, the Honors College, the TRACS Office, or Student Support Services. Professional advisors assist students with career exploration, major declaration or changes, course selection (for undeclared students) and questions about curriculum requirements, academic policies, academic difficulty, and other services.
When students declare, they are also assigned a faculty member in their major department who serves as their primary advisor. Faculty advisors are an excellent resource when students have detailed questions about their major, trends in their intended career field, internship and research opportunities, and cooperative education.
Students can find their primary advisor assignment in My Cat under the Personal Services tab > Student tab > Student Records > View Student Status.
Students can change their major by visiting their professional advisor.
Advising Appointments for Registration
Make the most out of your advising appointments by being prepared. Use My Cat to run a copy of your degree evaluation, which shows all of your curriculum requirements. Then review the course descriptions and create a list of course options. During your meeting, your advisor can review your list, answer any questions, and offer suggestions. When both student and advisor are in agreement on a list of courses for the next semester, the advisor will release the alt PIN needed for registration.
Appointments with faculty advisors should be made by contacting him or her in person or via phone or email. Meetings with professional advisors can be scheduled using GradesFirst or by contacting your advisor.
Other Tips on Advising
Here are some other tips to help ensure you get the most out of your advising experience:
Keep in contact
- Update your address and phone number(s) in MyCat
- Check your mailbox, campus email, and phone messages regularly
- Touch base with your advisor at the beginning of each semester.
- Make an appointment to review your fifth-week grades with your professional advisor using GradesFirst.
- Be on time for advising appointments and contact your advisor if you are unable to keep your appointments
- Follow through on referrals made by your advisor including those with the Writing and Learning Commons, Mathematics Tutoring Center, Health and Counseling Centers, Career Services
Do your homework
- Explore majors that are of interest to you
- Discuss your long-range goals with your advisor
- Bring your questions concerning your degree program(s)
- Plan tentative course schedules in advance of each advising appointment and bring your degree audit with you during the pre-registration period
- Remember that courses dropped or failed should be taken into account when making up your tentative schedule
- Check course descriptions for prerequisites before choosing a course
- Refer to the University Catalog for information on majors, academic policies, deadlines and degree requirements
- Declare your major
- Use your online transcript and degree audit to track academic progress