Academic Advisor and student

What is an Academic Advisor?

| | 2 minute read

You’ve made the big leap! Going back to college and moving your career path forward. Admitted? Check! Enrolled? Check! Plans for future semesters? Uh oh! To help you with those plans you need to consult your academic advisor.

What is an academic advisor?

An academic advisor is someone who guides you through your college degree. All degrees have requirements you must complete to graduate. Your advisor can help you choose your classes and will also make sure you’ve met all the requirements for your big day – graduation!

Pro tip:

An academic advisor is not just like a guidance counselor from high school. In college, you work hand-in-hand with your academic advisor making decisions that are right for you and your future goals. 

How do I find out who my advisor is?

The best place to start is with the academic department of your major. Some advisors are faculty members in your major, but sometimes they work for departments such as advising centers. Contact the department of your major to find out who is your assigned advisor.

What will my advisor help me with?

Your academic advisor will help you make a plan. Short term plan first, classes for each semester, and a long term plan, meeting requirements that will lead to your graduation.

How do I meet with my advisor?

For online students, sometimes this advising is done via email, but you might also video chat with your advisor.

What can my advisor help me with for graduation?

Your academic advisor can help you by being sure you meet all the requirements for graduation. They can also guide you to meeting the deadlines related to applying for graduation. Be sure to ask them about graduation requirements and deadlines in advance of your planned graduation date.

Need to pivot?

Are you struggling in your current degree program and thinking about changing majors? Your academic advisor can help there, too. Communicate with your advisor about your concerns and they can refer you to campus resources to help you make the decision that is right for you!

Remember, even though you have an academic advisor, you have a role to play in your own success. Keeping up with your classes and earning good grades will have a major impact on your graduation date. Also, keep a record of degree requirements and ask questions of your advisor.

Your investment in your education combined with your advisor’s help will put you on the path to graduation!

Office of Online Learning

All blog posts are written and maintained by the Office of Online Learning at The University of Southern Mississippi. We provide support to online students, to faculty teaching online courses, and to units seeking to develop, grow, or improve online programs at the University.

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