Student with faculty advisor.

Academic advising is an integral part of your college education.  Your advisor’s role is to assist you in navigating your way through your college education to help you make the most of your investment and experience.  Academic advising is a collaborative process between you and your advisor and requires your active involvement.  Below are some important points regarding your and your advisor’s responsibilities in the advising process.

Academic advising should involve a supportive relationship and a rich exchange between you and your advisor.  It is much more than simply obtaining information regarding requirements.  The more you engage in this dialogue by asking questions, reflecting, and discussing your academic, career, and life plans, the more you will benefit.  Always remember to ask your advisor when you need clarification or help in understanding this process or any other requirements pertaining to the completion of your degree.

Student Responsibilities

  • Schedule meetings with your advisor as required.  (All students are required to meet with their primary advisor at least once per semester, once college advising has official begun, as posted on the Academic Calendar.)
  • Meet with your advisor any other time during the year that you would like to discuss your educational plans and goals, need academic support, have questions, or as otherwise required.  (The advising that occurs during official college advising is necessarily focused on course selection for the upcoming term.  Advising regarding broader topics, such as major and career choice, life goals, internships, study abroad, and most other topics is better suited to a separate advising meeting.)
  • Attend advising meetings as scheduled.
  • Come to advising meetings prepared.  (At a minimum, this means knowing which requirements you have met and which ones you have yet to meet.  Have some ideas about courses you plan to take in the upcoming term, considering the time schedule of those courses.)  
  • Become familiar with the requirements necessary for completing a degree and other academic policies and procedures, as outlined in the Fort Lewis College Course Catalog which you are following.
  • Become familiar with running and interpreting a WebCAPP report, which is the degree audit program available in WebOPUS.  This will assist you in tracking your progress in meeting your degree requirements.
  • Seek advising when you do not understand or are in doubt about requirements.  It is your responsibility to know when you lack understanding.
  • Take charge of your own educational, career, and life goals, and for completing your degree.   Your advisor’s role is to assist you in accomplishing your goals, but your advisor is not a substitute for acquiring your own understanding of requirements.  Your progress is ultimately your responsibility.
  • Submit your Application for Graduation in time to graduate at your planned time.  See the Registrar’s Office Web site for this timeline.

Advisor Responsibilities

  • Provide accurate information pertaining to degree requirements and the academic policies and procedures of Fort Lewis College.
  • Assist in helping students clarify their educational, career, and life goals.
  • Assist students in choosing majors, minors, and courses that are aligned with the students’ interests, educational, career, and life goals.
  • Have knowledge of and provide referral for other campus services as needed.
  • Assist students in improving their academic skills and referring them to appropriate support services as needed.
  • Assist in removing barriers to students’ academic success.
  • Assess students’ needs, interests, strengths, and weaknesses and use this assessment to provide individualized advising.
  • Provide encouragement and support for students’ educational, career, and life goals.
  • Provide the context for meaningful advisor/student relationships in which students are listened to and recognized as individuals with individualized goals.
  • Assist students in making important decisions that will impact their academic, career, and personal futures.
  • Provide information within the scope of one’s knowledge and experience.  Refer appropriately in matters beyond the scope of one’s knowledge and experience.