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Undergraduate Academic Advising FAQ

We have prepared answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions from students, faculty and parents. We hope you find these answers helpful. If you need more information, contact the Advising Center at (217) 206-7471 or uisuaac@uis.edu.


For Students

How do I find out who my advisor is?

For entering first year students, sophomores and transfers who have not chosen a faculty advisor, advisors are assigned. Entering first year students will meet their advisor at Summer Orientation.

Do I have to see an advisor to register for classes?

Yes, all new entering students must see an advisor prior to registering for classes. All continuing first year, sophomore, and undeclared transfer students must also see an advisor prior to registration.

What does an advisor do?

Academic Advisors help students select their classes each semester. The advisors help students stay on track with their general education requirements, and recommend courses helpful to the anticipated major. Advisors help undecided students determine a major, and/or a minor, given the students interests andaptitudes. Advisors also help students experiencing difficulties or challenges, academic or personal, connect with appropriate resources to help resolve potential obstacles to their success.

How do I contact my advisor?

Academic Advisors are available by phone, through e-mail, and in person by appointment. To schedule an appointment, contact the Advising Center.

When can I see my advisor?

The Advising Center is open 8:30am to 5:00pm weekdays, year-round, excluding University holidays. Pre-registration advising is usually by appointment, and advisors are often available on a drop-in basis as their schedules allow.

What do I do if my advisor is not available?

When your advisor is not available and you need immediate assistance, let one of the Advising Center staff know, and we will get you the help you need. One of the other advisors may be able to help you resolve your issue in person. Alternately, you may be able to resolve your issue through e-mail contact.

Do I have the same advisor every year?

Entering first year students, sophomores, and transfers who do not have a faculty advisor, are assigned an Undergraduate Academic Advisor. In most cases, when you have completed most (if not all) of your general education classes and your schedule consists of classes primarily for your major, you are transitioned to a faculty advisor in your major program.

Can I change my advisor?

Entering first year students, sophomores, and transfers who do not have a faculty advisor, are assigned an Undergraduate Academic Advisor by the student’s last name. If you feel the need to change advisors, you are encouraged to discuss this situation with your advisor to work out an appropriate solution. Advisor assignments are made to keep each advisor’s workload balanced, and requests for changes will need to be considered in this light.

In most cases, when you have completed most (if not all) of your general education classes and your schedule consists of classes primarily for your major, you are transitioned to a faculty advisor in your major program.

Can my advisor tell my parents what courses I am taking?

In accordance with protections extended by FERPA, your advisor may be able to discuss your class schedule with your parents ONLY with your signed, written permission. You must specifically request that your advisor speak with your parent(s), and you must specify what information can be discussed, and within what timeframe. Generally, your advisor will encourage you to discuss your schedule with your parents directly. If parents call or contact the advisor independent of the student, or without a signed release on file, the parent will be encouraged to talk to the student directly and reminded of the FERPA limitations.

How do I access my DARSweb Report?

Access your DARSweb Report from the “Registration” tab on the UIS homepage. Select “Submit a New Audit”, wait for the page to refresh itself, and click “Open Audit.” If the General Education Bar on the chart is not solid green, your Gen Eds are not complete.

I am coming to UIS with an Associate’s Degree already. Do I need to see an advisor in the Advising Center?

If you already hold an Associate’s Degree and/or your Gen Eds are considered complete, you will need to contact your major department to schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor. This advisor will guide you in completing all the required courses for your field of study.

How do I know what classes are required of my major?

The academic department websites provide a description of requirements to complete the major on the curriculum. Additionally, Four Year Advising Guides provide a suggested Fall and Spring schedule of classes you should take each semester to prepare for and complete your major.

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For Faculty

I am advising a new transfer junior who still needs two general education courses. How do I find the courses for those gen ed reqs?

The courses meeting the general education requirements are listed on the General Education website by semester. Course descriptions also include a notation indicating when the course satisfies a General Education requirement. You or your student may also contact the Advising Center for assistance.

What are ECCE courses? Does my student have to take them?

Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) courses are university requirements, replacing university requirements (LSC and PAC courses). ECCE courses are interdisciplinary and designed to help students recognize the value of multiple perspectives. All first year students admitted in the 2006-07 academic year must complete all ECCE requirements. Transfer sophomores and juniors who started in 2006-07 are required to complete LSC, PAC, and AST university requirements. Transfer sophomores & juniors who started in 2007-08 or later are required to complete the 200-400 level ECCE courses. Learn more about ECCE requirements.

Can one course satisfy more than one requirement?

Yes, one course can satisfy more than one requirement in certain circumstances. If a course satisfies a General Education or ECCE requirement and is also required as part of a major or minor, that course may satisfy both requirements, as long as the major/minor program allows it. One course cannot satisfy two general education requirements or two major requirements. Even when courses are evaluated to satisfy more than one requirement, all students must still complete a minimum of 120 undergraduate credit hours in order to graduate.

One of my advisees is struggling with a course. What can I do to help?

There are several resources available to help students be successful in their coursework. As the advisor, you are in a position to help the student identify which resources are the most appropriate for the situation. Explore with the student the specific nature of the problem and what efforts have been attempted to address the problem. If it is an academic/classroom problem, encourage the student to address the issue with the instructor. If assistance from the instructor is not readily available or has not helped resolved the problem, help the student identify other academic personnel with the expertise the may help the student. Be careful to also assess for obstacles to performance such as possible learning disabilities, underdeveloped academic skills, time management, study skills, and personal distresses, and refer the student to other campus resources such as CTL, ODS, CDC, and the counseling center.

What is the Early Warning System? When should I use it?

The Early Alert System (EAS) is an intervention plan designed to identify students experiencing academic difficulties or other hindrances to academic success, and connect them with resources to help overcome these challenges. Through this system, faculty and other academic personnel refer the student to the EAS Advisor, who, with the student, explore the nature of the problem, and strategize interventions to help the student achieve satisfactory academic performance. Ideally, an instructor will refer a student to the EAS advisor as early as possible in the semester so that appropriate interventions can be implemented. When students are referred, they are expected to meet in person with the EAS advisor and follow through with the intervention plan. Referring instructors are contacted again shortly after mid-semester for a follow up report on the student’s progress. Students referred to the EAS Advisor who receive academic advising from the major program will also be referred to the faculty advisor for assistance.

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For Parents

What does an advisor do?

Academic Advisors help students select their classes each semester. Advisors help students stay on track with their general education and university requirements, and recommend courses helpful to the anticipated major. Advisors help undecided students determine a major, and/or a minor, given the student’s interests andaptitudes. Advisors also help students experiencing difficulties or challenges, academic or personal, connect with appropriate resources to help resolve potential obstacles to their success.

How will I know what classes my son or daughter is taking?

You can learn about your student’s class schedule by talking with your student. Advisors and other university personnel are not allowed to disclose information contained in student records to anyone without specific written and signed permission from the student. This privacy protection is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.

How does my child find out who the advisor is?

Advisors are assigned by the student’s last name for entering first year students, and sophomores, juniors and transfers who have not chosen a faculty advisor. Entering first year students will meet their advisor during summer orientation, and continue working with that advisor until they transition to a faculty advisor in the major program.

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