The Catholic University of America

Obtaining an Adviser

When you choose a major department, you will be assigned an official adviser by that department (click for a full list of departmental Advising Coordinators). All first-year students and students without a major ("exploratory students") are assigned an adviser through the University Advising Center. Your designated adviser will assist you during registration periods but will also be available throughout the year. He or she can provide information about courses each semester and help in constructing a schedule that meets your goals as well as departmental and school requirements. But since you have final responsibility for making informed decisions about your academic life, you should familiarize yourself thoroughly with the University's policies and requirements as soon as possible in your college career. A careful reading of the other sections of this handbook is a good start in that direction.

The first step in the registration process is to obtain an up-to-date tracking sheet, then to consult with your adviser. Your tracking sheet is available on-line using the Degree Audit System in Cardinal Students. After you have met with your adviser to discuss the tracking sheet and your academic progress, you can register by accessing Cardinal Students system on the web.

In addition to your adviser, the academic Dean's staff, including the Assistant and Associate Deans in the Undergraduate Office in 107 McMahon, will be happy to discuss your goals and program with you. We encourage you to use all available academic resources, including advisers, deans, faculty members with whom you become friendly, the Counseling Center, Career Services, and offices in the Division of Student Life, in order to obtain the maximum benefit from your undergraduate years at Catholic Univer­sity.

Expectations and Responsibilities

Advising is crucial to the academic process. In order for it to succeed, however, both advisers and students must have a clear understanding of what to expect from each other. The following statement of rights and respon­sibilities has been formulated to reduce misunderstanding and to create an optimal climate for communication.

THE STUDENT

Expectations

1. Students can expect advisers to be available at reason­able times throughout the year, and on a more consis­tent basis during registration.

2. Students can expect advisers to be know­ledgeable about: a) the merits or disadvantages of various course selections for preparation in their field, b) academic regulations and administra­tive procedures, and c) professional and career oppor­tunities in the major field.

3. Students can expect advisers to seek out relevant information when not knowledgeable about a specific topic, or to refer them to the university office that can provide additional resources and assistance-for example, the Academic Dean, Counseling Center, or Career Services.

Responsibilities

1. Students have a responsibility to know the academic regula­tions and procedures contained in theUndergraduate Announce­mentsand other university publications and to select courses of studies conforming to those regulations.

2. Students have a responsibility to consult with their advisers before or during registration periods at reasonable times (during office hours or during scheduled appointments) and a responsibility to seek assistance on complex matters at other than very busy times.

3. Students have a responsibility to make preliminary choices of courses prior to consulting with their advisers during registration and, after consultation, a responsibility to complete the required steps in the registration process.

THE ADVISER

Expectations

1. Advisers can expect students to be knowledgeable about their own academic progress, particularly about the courses that they have taken and are currently taking.

2. Advisers can expect advisees to see them during scheduled office hours, and to check in advance to determine interview times or appointments for registration purposes.

3. Advisers can expect students to keep appoint­ments, or to notify them of cancellations.

Responsibilities

1. Advisers have a responsibility to maintain adequate office hours to handle the number of students they advise, and to be available for individual interviews at mutually convenient times before or during the registration period each semester.

2. Advisers have a responsibility to be knowledgeable about university policies and about rules and regulations governing under­graduate education, to stay abreast of changes in academic regulations, procedures and programs, and to incorporate this information into any interview.

3. Advisers have a responsibility to assist students in learning about educational support services available at the University that will enhance the learning process (study skill labs, tutoring, etc.) and to assist students, as far as possible, in defining professional and career goals.