Academic Advising

A.     The Role of AdvisinG

Elon University considers the academic advising of students to be of major importance. Academic advisors are responsible for keeping abreast of (1) graduation requirements, (2) major and minor requirements, (3) curriculum changes, and (4) policies related to registration, grading, etc. It is important that advisors attempt to see each advisee at least twice each semester; it is also important that faculty advisors establish open and trusting relationships with advisees. Retention studies indicate that students who feel that their faculty advisors "care" about them are more likely to be successful in college.

2. The advising center maintains an on-line advising manual covering such issues as frequently asked questions, major checklists, an Elon 101 homepage, disabilities reference materials, etc. (See www.elon.edu/advising).

B.     Assignment of Advisors

1.      Members of the teaching faculty and some administrative and support staff, working in cooperation with the academic advising center, serve as academic advisors to assist students in curriculum planning and in using the various campus resources effectively. Teaching faculty members are asked to advise both freshmen who have declared majors and upperclassmen who have declared majors. The expected advising load for Elon faculty members is 15-25 students. Teaching faculty and some administrative staff and support staff members are asked to assist the academic advising center in advising students who have not declared their majors.

2.      All students are assigned to an advisor when they arrive at Elon.If a first year student chooses the freshman seminar advising course, Elon 101, the instructor in this course will be the advisor until the student declares a major.If a student does not elect an Elon 101, the student is advised through the advising center until he or she decides on a major.After declaring a major in the advising center, the student will be assigned a teaching faculty member as an advisor in the department of the major.

3.      Transfer students are assigned advisors in the academic advising center until they have declared a major, at which time they will be reassigned to a teaching faculty member who is usually housed in the department where the student has declared his/her major.

4.      The academic advising center maintains files to indicate (a) the name of each student's advisor and (b) the names of all advisees of each person serving as an academic advisor.


C.     Declaration of a Major

1.      Most Elon students do not need to declare a major during their first year.However, some majors, such as elementary education, the sciences, engineering, and the performing arts, need early decisions so that students will graduate on time.Studentsí advising folders are designed for the advisor and student to develop graduation plans that fall within the traditional four-year period.

2.      Regardless of what a student has indicated on admission papers, the procedure for officially declaring a major begins in the academic advising center.A student fills out a declaration of major form in the center.Next, the chair of the department is notified of a new advisee and assigns the student an advisor from that discipline.Once the advising center is informed of the new advisorís name, the student is notified by campus mail.The center is responsible for obtaining the studentís advising folder and forwarding it to the new advisor.

3.      Elon students are expected to declare a major no later than the spring of their sophomore year.


D.     Procedure for Change of Advisor

1.      If a change of advisor and/or major is necessary, the student completes a change of advisor form in the academic advising center.

2.      The chair of the department is notified of a new advisee or the need for a different advisor and assigns the student an advisor from that discipline.Once the advising center is informed of the new advisorís name, the student is notified by campus mail.The center is responsible for obtaining the studentís advising folder and forwarding it to the new advisor.


E.      Advising for Registration and Pre-registration

1.      Prior to and during each pre-registration and registration period, the academic advisor should be available to discuss with advisees their selection of courses. The advisor, in consultation with the student, should review and approve the course schedule section of the student's official enrollment form to see that all information required has been provided.

2.      After the student's forms have been completed, the advisor should note in the studentís folder all courses for which the student has registered.The advisor should keep and maintain the advisee's folder as long as he/she is advising the student, adding copies of grade reports, notes courses approved for registration, drop/add changes, the degree audit, and other pertinent materials. When the student is assigned to another advisor, the folder is transmitted to the new advisor. (See Change of Advisors Procedure.)

3.      Each academic advisor will receive a list of his/her advisees from the academic advising center. By the time of registration or pre-registration, the advisor should have received copies of advisees' transcripts from the registrar's office. The faculty advisor is responsible for keeping the advisee's folder and major checklist up-to-date so that he/she can inform the student at any time of the graduation requirements still remaining.

4.      Each semester academic advisors receive a copy of the studentís unofficial degree audit (an advising tool, not to be confused with a seniorís official graduation audit completed by the registrarís office) for advisors to use with each of their advisees as they review the studentís academic progress.The degree audit indicates courses completed toward general degree requirements and major requirements as well as elective credits.It also indicates the number of hours the student has earned, the number of hours remaining to finish, complete or incomplete ELR requirement, overall GPA, and the GPA in the major.Advisors should use the degree audit in consultation with the student to help him/her make appropriate plans for completion of degree requirements.Because of the complex nature of Elonís general studies requirements, the computerized degree audit is not infallible in placing some courses in correct categories.Some courses may fit into multiple categories.The advisor and the advisee are responsible for placement of the course in a category that is most beneficial for the student.


F.      Course Changes and Withdrawals

1.      The student picks up a change of registration form in the registrar's office.

2.      The student takes the change of registration form to his/her academic advisor to discuss the change or withdrawal. If the advisor approves of the transaction, he/she signs the change of registration form. The student takes the form to the class instructor, for the instructorís signature. The student then returns the completed form to the registrar's office. No course change or withdrawal is official until this procedure is completed.

3.      While advisors in the academic advising center may also authorize course changes and withdrawals, the student is encouraged to consult his/her assigned advisor first.


G.     Departmental Summary Sheets (Major Checklists)

1.      Each department should have a program summary sheet (developed by the department or the academic advising center) listing courses required for its majors. This summary should include all general education requirements as well as major requirements, with the remaining spaces left to be filled in as the student completes electives.Each year the incoming classí checklists and advisee folders are color coded to facilitate the advisorís easy recognition of the studentís year of admission.

2.      Each department is responsible for having copies of this checklist available for the use of its advisory staff. Copies of these major checklists are available in the academic advising center and can be accessed on the Advising Center homepage.

3.      In some instances the student will not be able to follow the recommended sequence of courses in every detail. When it appears that a student will not be able to follow the recommended major requirements, the advisor, in consultation with the department chair and dean, can alter requirements. A letter, signed by the advisor and chair and indicating the approved alteration, should be sent to the registrarís office where it will be filed in the studentís permanent folder for future reference.

4.      Either on the major checklist or on a separate sheet in the advisee's folder, the advisor can make note of courses for which the advisee registers. If the student drops a course, the advisor should change the notation.

5.      At the end of the semester the advisor will receive a copy of the student's grade report, and the grades for courses may then be entered on the checklist, showing completion of the courses.

6.      The academic advisor is responsible for keeping the checklist accurate and up-to-date, using it to help the advisee to understand such requirements as general education courses, major courses, grade average, and junior-senior hours.

H.     Elon 101

Elon 101 is a freshman seminar that introduces first semester students to university life. Coordinated by the academic advising center, this seminar is taught by selected academic advisors, and each section of the seminar is usually limited to sixteen students. The seminar meets weekly during the fall semester and grants one semester hour of general degree credit.