Advisers provide crucial resources

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Jordan Radloff

Academic advisers are the most important source of assistance for choosing classes. Without proper guidance, picking classes that fulfill general education and degree requirements can be a confusing process. There are many useful resources students should be aware of before finalizing their course schedules each semester.

Even though there are many advisers who work with students in specific programs, there are also advisers for all types of students no matter where they are in the process of choosing their major.

For those who are undecided about a major, the Academic Advising Center is the place to go for help with an education plan. The advisers from this department help undecided students develop their personal, academic and career goals from orientation to the time they decide on a major, according to the Academic Advising Center’s website.

There are also advisers at the center who can assist students thinking about changing their major. Meeting with professionals who can lead the way through this process is vital. Appointments can be made with transitional advisers through the Academic Advising Center. A student can make an appointment by visiting the front desk at the office of the school that their major is a part of.

Academic advisers can be very busy during the end of the semester, so it is best for students to have a general idea of what courses they are interested in registering for.

Prior to scheduling an advising appointment, there are actions students can take to prepare.

Students should be using resources provided by the university such as catalogs and handbooks, in addition to the course registration system on MyNIU, to develop a plan for their education that includes classes they are interested in.

An important database for information about classes is the Undergraduate Catalog. Students can use the advanced search option on the catalog website to find out what general education, writing-infused, human diversity and other course requirements are needed for specific degree paths. The catalog lists a description of the course content, schedules, semester availability and credit hours.

Each school at the university has a handbook which can be found on their respective websites and provide a basic eight-semester outline for most majors. For example, the School of Music handbook has a list of all of the different music ensembles and how many credit hours are allotted for each class.

Making an informed decision about course registration is important for creating an education plan that satisfies graduation requirements as well as students’ academic goals.