Preparing for an Advising Appointment

Think of your academic success as a shared responsibility.  The best approach to achieving success is working with advisors to prepare for and achieve your educational and career goals.  Appointments are 30 minutes long, so you'll want to come prepared to get the most out of your time. To help you do this, you may want to consider the following points:

    • Know that academic advising is more than course scheduling
      Feel free to discuss academic and non-academic matters with your advisor.  To get the most out of your advising relationship, get to know your advisor and let your advisor get to know you.
    • Review your degree audit report (DARs or DegreeWorks) and other important information
      • By reviewing your degree audit report (DARs or DegreeWorks) on the BU Brain, you will be able to develop some general goals and questions that can be discussed in your advising meeting.  Get a sense of which General Education requirements need to be completed, and explore options for your major and/or minor.  Be sure to bring a copy of your degree audit with you and have your questions ready.
      • View the academic calendar and familiarize yourself with important dates and deadlines.
    • Consider your academic and extra-curricular experiences
      When developing a future schedule build upon your proficiencies and interests to help you create a fulfilling and comprehensive degree plan.  We suggest that you consider the following questions in order to gauge your interests:
      • What kinds of classes have I enjoyed in past semesters?  Are they in a specific area of study or do they require certain skills?
      • Is there a course sequence that I want to follow for a potential program of study?
      • Which electives will I find helpful in helping me to decide on a major and/or develop special skills or talents?
      • How can I use general education or college requirements to explore interests or majors?
      • Which general education categories need to be fulfilled, and how can I fulfill them in a way that best suits my interests?-Do I have an intended major or a strong interdisciplinary interest?
    • Identify a top ten
      After considering the above questions, develop a list of courses you are interested in pursuing.  As you are making the list, write down some notes explaining your interest.  An advisor will be able to help you identify target courses from your list, or other courses related to your interests, goals, and priorities.
    • Write down your questions and concerns
      Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask an advisor in order of priority.  This way, you will get the answers you need, and you will be able to stay on subject during your meeting.

Tips on keeping your academic information organized

  • Review your degree audit regularlyThis will allow you to plan for future semesters and understand remaining requirements.
  • Check your Binghamton University e-mail oftenImportant Harpur College information is sent to your Binghamton e-mail account on a regular basis.  If you use an alternate e-mail, be sure to have your BU e-mail forwarded to that account.
  • Notify the Office of Financial Aid and Student Records of an address change.  The Harpur Advising Office occasionally sends mail to Harpur students regarding important policy/ procedure updates and reminders.
  • Meet with your instructor and your major department advising office. If you are experiencing academic difficulty, discuss your situation with your professors and academic advisors as soon as possible.  There are numerous resources on campus that can help you to improve your academic performance.
  • Meet regularly with an academic advisor.  Meeting with an advisor can be very helpful in planning and implementing a class schedule prior to registration.  Many of your long-term advising questions including degree planning and major questions can and should be addressed over a sustained advising period.

Last Updated: 3/1/17