Buffalo State implemented a mandatory advisement policy several years ago to ensure that students received academic advisement prior to registering for courses. The importance of working with an academic advisor cannot be over-stated. Degree and certification requirements can be very confusing; students who attempt to self-advise may make mistakes that cost them time and money. In addition, students are required to present advisement slips at the time they pre-register. Such slips can only be obtained from an advisor.
Majors are assigned to their advisors on the basis of their choice of academic concentration. Students are notified in writing of their advisor’s name, office location, and phone number. Meeting with their advisor regularly, clarifying program requirements, developing a plan, and monitoring and adjusting that plan over subsequent semesters will allow students to complete their degree in a timely manner.
Advisors usually post office hours on their doors within the first few weeks of every fall and spring semester, although the department secretary has a list of each faculty member’s office hours. Students should make an appointment to see their advisor at least two times a year in a professional and timely manner, well in advance of the pre-registration period. Failure to make an appointment well in advance may result in having to register later than the date and time the student anticipated because of failure to obtain a registration slip. Appointments can be made by contacting the advisor directly via phone or email, or stopping by his/her office. Many advisors post extended office hours in the weeks before pre-registration; students simply stop by and sign up for a time that is convenient. Students who are unable to contact their advisor after one attempt should leave a written message, voicemail, or email with their name, number, and times during the day when they can be reached; and ask the advisor to contact them. Given busy faculty schedules, students should be understanding if it takes up to five business days before the advisor responds. Students who have not had a response should try to contact their advisor again.
Students should prepare for their advisement session by reviewing this handbook, the Undergraduate Catalog, and the master schedule for the upcoming semester. Students should have some tentative courses in mind. Generally, advisors will recommend categories of courses from core requirements along with specific courses from the major. Advisors will not assist students in the development of a specific schedule for the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to develop a schedule that reflect the advisor’s recommendations and takes their own unique personal, family, and employment factors into consideration.
Students who experience difficulty contacting their advisor or who believe their advisor is not providing accurate, timely information should contact the EXE department chair in KH 202 for assistance. Students should not simply go to another faculty member and request advisement. That faculty member is not familiar with the student’s program and may make advisement errors. In addition, that faculty member has his/her own advisees for whom he/she is responsible and it is unfair to add to the advisement load. Students in the 0299 major can contact the department secretary and request a change of advisor but they may not request a change to a specific advisor. Advisement loads are carefully monitored to ensure no faculty member has an unfair number of advisees.
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