As academic advisors, we value the time we get to spend assisting and equipping you to be successful with your educational pursuits. To most affectively utilize the time we spend together, please consider the following suggestions when preparing for an advising appointment.

  1. Please anticipate your advising needs and make appointments early. Advisors schedules fill up quickly, especially during peak times such as registration.
  2. Expect advisors to give you referrals. While we are experts in advising, we are not experts in all matters related to GVSU. Weve worked hard to build networks across campus to appropriate refer you for additional support services.
  3. Feel free to discuss academic and non-academic issues relevant to your education with your advisor. Be willing to identify and discuss your difficulties and come up with ideas for addressing them. The more we know about you, the better able we are to determine appropriate academic goals.
  4. Be prepared and come with written questions.
  5. Research Degree & Course Requirements
  6. Review General Education Requirements
  7. View the Schedule of Classes
  8. If you wish to discuss scheduling, create a tentative schedule for yourself and bring it to the advising appointment

The Students Role in the Academic Advising Process

  1. Give thoughtful consideration to your academic and career goals.
  2. Prepare a written list of questions before each meeting with your advisor.
  3. Initiate contact with a faculty advisor and/or an advising center.
  4. Actively participate in the advising session.
  5. Ask questions! If you do not understand a policy or procedure, ask questions until you do understand.
  6. Know the Academic Calendar. Do not miss deadlines. Know when to register and drop or add courses.
  7. Schedule courses that are consistent with your educational goals and that will meet degree requirements.
  8. Accept responsibility for making final decisions on academic choices. Academic advisors will present you with options.

The Advisors Role in the Academic Advising Process

  1. Development of suitable educational plans
  2. Clarification of career and life goals
  3. Selection of appropriate courses and other educational experiences
  4. Interpretation of institutional requirements
  5. Enhancement of student awareness about educational resources available (e.g., internship, study abroad, honors and learning assistance programs)
  6. Evaluation of student progress toward established goals
  7. Development of decision-making skills
  8. Reinforcement of self-direction
  9. Referral to and use of institutional and community support services
  10. On-going evaluation of advising services

Who is my Advisor?

Faculty Advisors:
If you have already declared your major in one of the departments within the College, you have been assigned a faculty Advisor. To confirm who this is, you can look at your academic record in MyBanner:

1. Log into MyBanner

2. Select Student & Financial Aid

3. Select Registration

4. View Major & Advisor Information

Once you know the name of your assigned faculty advisor, you can find his or her office, email address and phone number by using the GVSU People Finder.

Call or email your faculty advisor directly or contact your major academic department to determine your advisor's office hours. If you are not available during your faculty advisor's office hours, you can often arrange another time to meet with him/her.

Professional Advisors:
The Brooks Advising Center is staffed by professional advisors familiar with the requirements for all Brooks majors and minors, professional school admissions, teacher certification, and graduation. These professional advisors work with students in conjunction with faculty advisors

You are welcome to meet with an advisor in the Brooks Advising Center to discuss your major, graduate or professional interests, review degree requirements, and set up an academic plan whether you are exploring or have declared a Brooks major/minor, or are a pre-professional major and have been assigned to a professional advisor in the Brooks Advising Center.

To schedule an appointment with a professional advisor in the Brooks Advising Center please call us at 616-331-8200, or stop into our office in 200 The Connection (second floor). Please note that we are not able to schedule appointments via email.

So, what's the difference between a faculty and professional advisor?
Both types of advisors can address questions about major/minor and graduation requirements. However, you can think of the difference between these advisors as a difference in perspective and scope.

Faculty advisors are experts in your major field and bring this in-depth understanding into play in addressing your questions and concerns. They know the wide variety of careers available to majors, what specific courses will be best for you, and and how to most effectively chose and prepare for specific graduate programs and careers. They can also help you evaluate how well your skills and abilities fit with the field and your goals. In addition, they have extensive contacts in the field and can foster your professional development in your academic area of interest.

Professional advisors, on the other hand, offer a broader perspective on your undergraduate experience. A professional advisors expertise is in how to successfully fulfill major/minor and graduation requirements and navigate through the process of getting an undergraduate degree, and they can clarify for you the steps necessary to prepare for a career and/or graduate study. In the case of the professional advisor, the in-depth knowledge they bring to addressing your questions and concerns is about college and university policies and procedures, your myPath degree evaluation and transcripts, and the wide range of resources and extra- and co-curricular experiences available to students.

Page last modified July 8, 2014