Academic Advising and Career Exploration Center
Chapter 1 - Academic Advising

Academic Advising

All students are assigned an academic advisor upon admission to Fort Hays State University. During or before pre-enrollment new students will meet with advisors to learn about the requirements for their major.

Undecided students are served by the Academic Advising and Career Exploration Center. They will be advised throughout the school year by trained professionals. Students with declared majors are advised in their academic departments.

All degree-seeking students are encouraged to meet with their advisors on a regular basis. Advisors and advisees should:

  • Evaluate the student’s suitability to the discipline they have chosen;
  • Review the requirements for the degree, options and possible electives;
  • Identify deficiencies in the student’s record and ways to correct them; and
  • Discuss career, preprofessional, and graduate school options

Upon the completion of 60 credit hours, every degree-seeking student will be provided with a degree summary. The advisor and advisee should review this together, sign off in agreement with the summary and keep a copy for their records. The original document with signatures should be returned to the appropriate degree analyst in the Office of the Registrar. Degree summaries will then be loaded to the student's TigerTracks account.

Our Mission

The primary purpose of the FHSU academic advising program is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans that will be compatible with career aspirations and contribute to the process of preparing for a life of change, challenge and individual fulfillment. At FHSU, academic advising is based on a system of shared responsibility between student and advisor, and a process of continuous improvement, clarification, and evaluation with the aim of furthering institutional advising goals and desired student outcomes.

Academic and Career Advising Goals

University Goal 1
To help students clarify individual values, career goals, and the challenges of life in the 21st century.

University Goal 2

To develop suitable educational plans and programs of study for each student.

University Goal 3

To help students select appropriate courses and other educational opportunities.

University Goal 4

To help students review and evaluate progress toward established educational goals and completion of requirements within individual programs of study.

University Goal 5

To develop student awareness and understanding that decision-making in the advising process and life is based on a system of shared responsibility.

University Goal 6

To encourage students to utilize University support services and related resources as needed (Kelly Center, Career Services, etc.).

University Goal 7

To clarify and improve the student's knowledge of career options and potential for career change in the workplace of the 21st century.

University Goal 8

To address the individualized academic advising needs of a diverse student population.

Mission and Goals Flyer

Essentials of Effective Advising

Advisor & Advisee Responsibilities

The relationship between advisor and advisee is one of shared responsibility. Though you as a student are ultimately responsible for the choices you make in college, the university realizes that in order to make informed decisions, students need the advice of academic advisors and others in the University community. Your academic advisor is your primary resource regarding academic issues, opportunities, and programs and could perhaps be thought of as the navigator of your educational experiences.

Advisor Responsibilities
To clarify university policies, regulations, programs and procedures about which you may have questions.
To be available to meet with you each semester.
To keep regular office hours and be adequately available to meet with you.
To offer advice on course selection and to assist you in the development of your academic plan that satisfies degree requirements and achieves your educational goals.
To be a responsive listener and to refer you to appropriate support services when needed.
To discuss your academic performance and the implications of your performance for the undergraduate programs, graduate programs and professional programs you wish to pursue.
To help you to explore your interests, abilities, and goals and to relate them to academic majors.
To be knowledgeable about career opportunities and to refer you to the Academic Advising and Career Exploration Center or Career Services as needed.

NOTE: Advisors can help you understand fully all of your options and avoid needless mistakes, only if you take the initiative to seek their advice.

Advisee Responsibilities
Your responsibilities in the advising relationship are:
To take the initiative to contact your advisor. Be mindful of the need to work with advisor during posted office hours or take the initiative to make other arrangements when necessary.
To prepare a list of questions or concerns before each meeting with your advisor. Have a tentative schedule on your TigerEnroll Worksheet if your are discussing pre-enrollment.
To gather all relevant decision-making information.
To seek sources of information that can assist you in making academic and career decisions.
To ask questions! If you don't understand a policy or a procedure, ask questions until you do understand. Be knowledgeable about policies, procedures and requirements. These can be found in the University Catalog.
To be familiar with the requirements of the major(s) that you are pursuing and to schedule courses each semester in accordance with those requirements.
To be aware of the prerequisites for each course that you include in your semester schedule and to discuss with your advisor how prerequisites will affect the sequencing of these courses.
To follow university procedures for pre-enrolling, finalizing enrollment and for making adjustments to your class schedule (add/drop/withdrawal).
To observe academic deadlines. Don't miss deadlines. Know when to pre-enroll, when deadlines are to finalize enrollment and add/drop/withdraw. Set up appointments with your advisor well in advance of these deadlines.
To keep your advisor informed about changes in your academic progress, course selection and academic/career goals.
To keep a personal record of your progress towards your degree. Organize official university documents (Undergraduate Catalog, Course Schedule, Academic Program Sheets, Degree Summary, etc.)
To participate fully in the courses for which you are enrolled by completing assignments on time and attending class.
To understand academic performance standards, academic probation, academic suspension and academic dismissal and to know GPA requirements.
To keep current contact information in TigerTracks and to read your university mail, including e-mail.
To inform your advisor and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs Office immediately whenever a serious problem (medical, financial, personal) disrupts your ability to attend classes or interferes with your ability to focus on your education.

Advising Expectations

At FHSU, academic advising is based on a system of shared responsibility between student and advisor and a process of continuous improvement, clarification and evaluation with the aim of furthering institutional advising goals and desired student outcomes.

Advisor Responsibilities

  • Be knowledgeable about university and departmental requirements, policies and procedures;
  • Maintain adequate office hours throughout the semester;
  • Provide a respectful, supportive atmosphere;
  • Keep accurate records;
  • Ensure that students are provided access to services on a fair and equitable basis;
  • Avoiding any personal conflict of interest as well as the appearance of conflict;
  • Refuse to participate in any form of sexual harassment;
  • Discourage students from circumventing institutional policies and regulations; and when confronting situations in which students have violated policies, addressing the issues and referring students to the appropriate agency;
  • Recognize the limitations of their positions and being familiar with university resources in order to make appropriate referrals; and
  • Maintain confidentially according to established standards.

Advisors help students navigate the advising and registration process, choosing and/or changing your major, working to achieve academic success and trying to maximize career options.

Student Responsibilities

  • Initiate and maintain contact with your advisor;
  • Keep scheduled appointments;
  • Discuss information that affects your academic performance;
  • Follow through on advisor recommendations;
  • Learn requirements for your department, college, and the university;
  • Determine programs and organizations available to you;
  • Make use of all resources on campus;
  • Seek the assistance needed to achieve your goals; and
  • Be responsible for planning a course of study and fulfilling all necessary requirements and regulations by accepting ultimate responsibility for decisions.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source of information on requirements and regulations. All courses for which a student may claim credit must be recorded on the official student schedule, which is on file in the Office of the Registrar in accordance with enrollment and add/withdrawal policies prescribed by the university. Students, who have questions about their official class schedule, are encouraged to check in the Office of the Registrar.

Things To Do Before You Meet with Your Advisor . . .

  • Call or stop by to make an appointment
  • Have a list of questions you want to ask or concerns you would like addressed
  • Remind your advisor about what you have previously discussed
  • Be open and honest. Tell your advisor about things that may be affecting your ability to do your best
  • If you are registering for classes for the next semester, be sure you have reviewed the Schedule of Classes and outline

What An Advisor Does:

  • Talks to you about your goals
  • Helps you with your decision making process
  • Helps you choose classes, makes suggestions for your academic plan
  • Keeps your advisement file up to date (grades, graduation requirements, etc.)
  • Assists you with registration, major and advisor changes
  • Reviews and signs your degree summary
  • Reviews and signs petitions
  • Refers you to other offices for assistance you may need

What Students Do:

  • Make sure you know who your advisor is and how to contact them
  • Contact your advisor when you need help, especially before registration
  • Be prompt and well prepared for your advising sessions with information about yourself and your academic plan (be familiar with the course schedule)

Legal and Ethical Issues in Academic Advising

Legal issues involved in academic advising generally fall under four categories (D. Parker Young, “Legal Issues Regarding Academic Advising,” NACADA Journal, November 1982):

  • The contractual relationship between students and the institution
  • Guidelines governing privacy of student records
  • The concept of privileged communications
  • Academic due process and the need for grievance procedures

Publications provided by the university (catalog, departmental materials, etc.) establish contractual obligations between our institution and students. Although responsibility for knowing requirements ultimately rests with students, advisor will not be held liable for negligent, irresponsible or capricious behavior of students. Advisors can avoid problems by keeping complete and accurate notes on each and every student they advise.

Advisors must recognize when and where to refer students who present questions or problems that are beyond the scope of their expertise. Advisors need to be informed of university policies provided through the University Catalog, Faculty Handbook or other publications.

Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act of 1974
FERPA