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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Getting Started: Topics for Advisors

Page address: http://sbs.mnsu.edu/advisinginformation/gettingstarted/gettingstarted.html


Getting Started: Topics for Advisors

Every advising conversation is unique and will differ by student. Below are some common topics and areas to discuss with advisees during each year at Minnesota State Mankato.
 

First Year (0-30 credits) Advising Topics

  • Take time to get to know them and let them know what they can expect from you.
  • Discuss how the transition to college is going. Review resources available to advisees.
  • Start discussing their interest in their major, and some of the educational goals or plans they are considering. Understand that they may not be able to articulate this yet, but it is important to start having these conversations to help students develop this skill.
  • Explain the major requirements (including a minor, if needed) and expectations for advisees.
  • Discuss admission to major requirements (number of credits, GPA, application process, etc.). Focus on the items they should be concentrating on during the first year.
  • Review the basic [PDF] University graduation requirements (284 KiB): general education, minimum number of credits to graduate, upper division course requirements, and other graduation requirements.
  • Introduce advisees to important advising tools such as the Degree Audit Report, University Catalog, and show advisees how to use these tools.
  • Encourage advisees to set up an appointment with the SBS Advising Center (AH 114) to learn about general education and various advising resources.
  • Encourage advisees to get involved in a club or organization, use academic resources, etc.
  • Plan courses for upcoming semester.
    1. Specifically address pre-requisite courses, introduction to major courses, and completing general education goal areas 1A and 4.
    2. Start creating an academic map/plan with the student.
  • Start discussing the importance of exploring a minor (for majors that require minors).

     

Sophomore Year (31-60 credits) Advising Topics

  • Talk about the results of the first year.
  • Continue discussing their academic interests and educational and career goals.
    1. Talk about for ways for the student to learn more about their major/career and get involved.
    2. For example, getting involved in clubs/organizations, volunteering, going to the Career Development Center, research opportunities, study aboard, etc.
  • Discuss progress towards the admissions requirements of the major.
    1. Are they on track for admission? If not, share areas do they need to improve on, steps to take, and refer to the SBS Advising Center if advisees should be exploring other options.
    2. Encourage advisees that meet admission requirements to apply.
  • Review academic maps/plans, and make any adjustments as needed.
  • Converse about possible minors and encourage declaration of minor (if required).
  • Go over basic graduation requirements again using the Degree Audit Report.
  • Encourage advisees to set up an appointment with the SBS Advising Center to check general education progress.
  • Plan courses for upcoming semester.
    1. Are they taking the right sequences of classes to open up needed courses for the final two years?
    2. Are they starting upper division courses and minor courses?
    3. Are advisees enrolled in courses that are only offered every other year, and may not be offered again before graduation?

       

Junior Year (61-90 credits) Advising Topics

  • Check in regarding the progress of the sophomore year. Did they meet their educational goals and involvement goals?
  • Finalize any research, internships, or practicum plans for summer or senior year during this year.
  • Continue discussing their academic interests and educational and career goals.
    1. Focusing on items such as internships, research, graduate school preparation, etc.
    2. Refer advisees to the Career Development Center to learn about the job search, internship, and graduate school process. This includes resume, cover letter and interviewing preparation.
    3. Encourage advisees to attend Career and Internship Fairs offered by the Career Development Center to become comfortable with the process.
  • Review basic graduation requirements again using the Degree Audit Report.
    1. Advisees should be making significant progress towards reaching 40 credits of upper division courses.
    2. Are they on track to complete all major, minor, and graduation requirements with the time left? If not, discussing increasing credits, summer classes, etc.
  • Review their academic map/plan, and make any adjustments as needed.
    1. Are they on track to complete all major, minor, and graduation requirements with the time left? If not, discussing increasing credits, summer classes, etc.
    2. Are all substitution or waiver forms that need to be processed complete?
  •  At one calendar year or 90 credits, advisees should be applying for graduation.
    1. Are all substitution or waiver forms that need to be processed, complete?
    2. Encourage advisees to make an appointment with the SBS Advising Center to do a Degree Audit Check review prior to applying for graduation.
  • Plan courses for their final semesters.
    1. Are they enrolled in enough upper division courses and minor courses?
    2. Are they enrolled in enough credits to reach 120 overall credits?
    3. Are advisees enrolled in courses that are only offered every other year, and may not be offered again before graduation?

       
  • Senior Year (91+ credits) Advising Topics

  • Continue conversations about next steps and plans after graduation.
    1. Job searching, graduate school admissions, etc.
    2. Refer advisees to the Career Development Center to learn about the job search, internship, and graduate school process. This includes resume, cover letter and interviewing preparation.
    3. Encourage advisees to attend Career and Internship Fairs offered by the Career Development Center to become comfortable with the process.
  • Finalize any research, internships, or practicums required in the final semester.
  • Review [PDF] graduation requirements (284 KiB) again using the Degree Audit Report.
    1. Are all university graduation requirements accounted for with their remaining courses?
    2. If their graduation evaluation or Degree Audit Report indicates there is a deficiency, discuss ways to address those area during the student’s last semester.
  • Verify that the student has applied for graduation.
  • Encourage the student to register to participate in graduation ceremonies by registering on the Graduation Services website. This is different process than applying for graduation.
  • Plan courses for the final semester.
    1. Do they meet all graduation, general education, major, and minor requirements?
    2. Process any final substitution/waiver forms prior to graduation.

       
  • Notes

  • University Graduation Requirements are outlined in the [PDF] Undergraduate Requirements for Degree/Award (284 KiB) policy.
  • The Degree Audit Report is a tool that outlines the various requirements of a students declared major, minor, certificate or program.
  • Academic Maps are available on the Undergraduate Programs page and will be available in AgileGrad once this program is launched.
  • The Social and Behavioral Sciences Advising Center is located in Armstrong Hall 114. Students can make appointments by calling 507-389-2416.