My Advisor 

At Maria College academic advisors play a crucial role in working collaboratively with students to help them pursue and achieve their academic and professional aspirations.  Maria’s academic advisors assist students in their academic growth and development by creating meaningful educational plans which are consistent with their life goals.  The sensitive and thoughtful support and encouragement provided by academic advisors reflect the nurturing environment that defines the culture of Maria College.

What is Academic Advising?

All full time faculty members at Maria College serve as academic advisors who together with the Director of Academic Advisement guide students along their academic pathway.  All matriculating students are assigned an advisor who is a faculty member in their particular program of study and is thus very knowledgeable about the specific program requirements.  Academic advisement is an interactive process which facilitates the development and achievement of the student’s academic goals and prepares the students for eventual transition to a profession of their choice.  Advisors work closely with students on matters of course selection, degree requirements, schedule changes, specific educational needs, and career opportunities. Students should consult with their advisors before making any decisions that may affect their academic progress. Together, the advisor and the student are expected to maintain a professional and mutually respectful relationship as they collectively review the student’s progress toward the attainment of educational goals.  Academic advising thus fosters the development of the whole student who is self-directed, motivated, and a responsible decision-maker and also facilitates the successful completion of degree requirements and timely graduation.  

Role of the Advisor

The advisor serves as:
    • Facilitator of communication by creating an atmosphere of openness, caring and concern so that meaningful dialogue and trust can occur.
    • Source of accurate information about program requirements, college academic policies and procedures.
    • Coordinator of academic planning that includes course sequencing, scheduling options, and course adjustments through add/drop and course withdrawal processes.
    • Mentor in helping the student to identify barriers to academic progress and to explore strategies for academic success through conversations about topics such as time management and study skills.
    • Agent of referral to other professionals and campus resources such as the Learning Resource Center, library, counseling services, tutoring, and the financial aid office.

Meeting with the Academic Advisor

    • Students should meet with their advisors as often as needed to help develop and achieve their academic goals.  Students may contact their advisors with any questions or concerns at any time during the semester.
    • Students must consult with their advisors to develop an academic schedule and to register for each approaching semester.
    • Students must consult with their advisors and obtain their approval when considering any course or program adjustments such as:
      • adding or dropping a course during the first week of the semester
      • withdrawing from a course after the first week of the semester 
      • changing their academic major
    • Students should contact their advisors when encountering any academic problems.  An advisor can recommend appropriate services on campus such as the Learning Resource Center, the Counseling Center, etc. 

Advisor Responsibilities

The advisor is expected to:
    • Proactively contact and be available to student advisees on a regular basis.  
    • Schedule and post adequate office hours for setting appointment times that are reasonable to accommodate student needs.
    • Notify all advisees of office hours at the beginning of the semester.
    • Keep all scheduled appointments and notify students in advance if it is not possible to keep scheduled appointments.
    • Regularly communicate with advisees to monitor academic progress and to remind advisees of scheduled activities such as course selection prior to registration.
    • Plan for extended advisement time during course selection periods prior to registration
    • Safeguard confidentiality by meeting with each advisee in private.
    • Be very familiar with program and college policies and procedures to facilitate accurate and reliable consultation on degree requirements and professional licensure needs if applicable.
    • Maintain a complete, accurate, and confidential file in order to monitor student progress towards academic goals and graduation requirements.
    • Assist students in setting and clarifying realistic academic, career, and life goals, and evaluate progress toward those goals.
    • Assist students with planning a program of study based on their academic background, course prerequisites, and educational goals. 
    • Inform and if necessary, refer students to other institutional resources when academic, attitudinal, attendance, or other personal problems appear to require intervention by other professionals.

Advisee Responsibilities

The student advisee is expected to:
    • Know the advisor’s name and office location early in the first semester of study.
    • Contact and schedule appointments with the advisor each semester as required or when in need of assistance.
    • Keep all scheduled appointments and notify advisor in advance if it is not possible to keep scheduled appointments.
    • Understand program and college policies, procedures and requirements as listed in the catalog, student college handbook, and student program handbook, and accept the responsibility for abiding by them.
    • Be responsible for requesting transcripts of study completed at other colleges to be sent to the Office of the Registrar in a timely manner to facilitate well-informed course selection and program planning.
    • Meet with the advisor every semester at the prescribed time to develop an academic schedule prior to registering for the approaching semester.
    • Consult with the advisor when facing academic difficulty, prior to changing majors, prior to making changes in an approved schedule, prior to transferring to another college, or withdrawing from college.
    • Take responsibility for decisions made. The advisee will seek assistance and consultation to make well-informed decisions.
    • Reflect on and clarify academic goals and personal values in preparation for advisement sessions. 
    • Become knowledgeable and adhere to college and program policies, procedures and requirements.
    • Read all communications from the college, academic department and advisor and respond accordingly and when required.

Summer Advisement

Academic Advisors may be on campus less frequently or not at all during the summer sessions.  If advisement questions come up during the summer, please contact the Academic Dean, Dr. John Kowal at (518)-438-3111 Ext. 234 or jkowal@mariacollege.edu, or the Director of Advisement, Ms. Laurie Gilmore at (518)-514-7018 or laurieg@mariacollege.edu.