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A Guide to Spring Advising

Advising and registration for the Fall 2013 semester have arrived. Between the classes you already have, a job, and any clubs you participate in how are you going to make time for your appointment? With these quick tips HC Suffolk is making your adventures in advising a little easier this year.

Sign up for your appointment early. This is especially important if you are majoring in a business, communications, or social science field. Advising appointment slots always fill up quickly in these departments and the advising period tends to get hectic for both students and faculty. Signing up early helps you get a time slot that works with your schedule and you can avoid having to squeeze it in at the last minute! Meeting with your advisor early will give you more time to think about your course selection after you have already met. Advisors are only a quick email away; if you reach out to them they are always willing to answer any questions you have to help you make the right decision.

Show up prepared. Many departments request that you come to your meeting prepared with your program evaluation printed out and a list of 4-6 classes that you are interested in taking next semester. The program evaluation is one of the most important things a student uses to create schedules and track progress. The fall 2013 course selection is available on MySuffolk so get a head start on your advising appointment by figuring out which required classes you need to take and how much room you will have to take elective classes. Preparing for your advising appointment will make the process flow easily.

Establish a relationship with your advisor. Advisors are meeting with hundreds of students during advising week and by the end of it all names and faces become a blur for them. Many departments tell their students that they don’t have to meet with the same advisor every time. Don’t listen to their advice, this creates a lack of consistency for you. If there is an advisor that you work really well with then the wait will be worth it! Personally I go out of my way to meet with my advisor more than once a semester and in return she goes the extra mile for me to make sure I am on the right track with my schedule.

Timing is everything. Classes at Suffolk are usually divided up into three categories. 

  1. One meeting per week for 2 hours and 40 minutes
  2. Two meetings per week for 1 hour and 15 minutes each
  3. Three meetings per week for 50 minutes each

Many students at Suffolk prefer to take 4 classes that meet twice a week so that they can have no class on Friday. There are also students who prefer to take 4 classes that meet three times a week so that they can have no class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

It is common to end up with a mix of these different types. Many students have jobs and internships off-campus to factor into their weekly schedules. Figure out what type of schedule works best for you!

RateMyProfessor.com is also everything. Let’s face it, most students use this website to get a feel for who the best professors are and which ones to avoid if possible. If you have great professors you will have a great semester. If you have professors that are not as great then you will be more apt to skip class and blow off assignments; it’s that simple. There are only four years (8 semesters) of college so remember to make each semester count with classes you will enjoy taking. 

Make more than one schedule. Depending on your registration time it is wise to create more than one schedule that works for you. If you get stuck with a late registration time then it is highly likely that you will not get all the classes and/or time slots you originally wanted. Do not get stuck in the middle of registration scrambling to put a schedule together. No backup plan is equal to a nightmare.

It’s okay to be confused! That’s what advising is for! If you are confused and find yourself lost, advisors can help you find a clear academic path from freshmen year all the way up to graduation. Do not be afraid to ask questions, the more you ask the more you will get out of your advising experience.

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