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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) provides both professional (also known as academic) and faculty advisors to help students successfully complete their degree requirements and prepare for their careers and graduate study.
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.
Professional advisors offer a broader perspective on your undergraduate experience. A professional advisor's 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.
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 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.
The CLAS Academic Advising Center is staffed by professional advisors familiar with the requirements for all CLAS majors and minors, professional school admissions, teacher certification, and graduation. These professional advisors work with students in conjunction with faculty advisors. Please visit this page to find your CLAS professional advisor.
You are welcome to meet with an advisor in the CLAS Academic 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 CLAS major/minor, or are a pre-professional major and have been assigned to a professional advisor in the CLAS Academic Advising Center.
To schedule an appointment with a professional advisor in the CLAS Academic Advising Center please call us at (616) 331-8585, or stop into our office in C-1-140 MAK. Please note that we are not able to schedule appointments via email.
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.
All faculty members hold open office hours to meet with students. 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.