Advising in CLASS

CLASS Undergraduate Advising


Mission Statement

The mission of CLASS Undergraduate Advising is to deliver high-quality support services to students in arts, humanities, and social sciences by aiding in the development of meaningful educational plans consistent with their personal and professional goals, as well as fostering student autonomy and accountability for the academic success and progress toward degree completion. 


Advising Philosophy

Academic Advising is a collaborative effort dedicated to advancing each student’s competencies to fulfill their academic and career aspirations. Recognizing students and advisors as partners in this process, CLASS Academic Advisors perceive advising as teaching and serve as facilitators in the educational setting by creating a balance between challenge and support. In particular, while CLASS Academic Advisors are charged to guide you along the path to graduation, ultimately YOU are the master of your academic experience. Your advisor will not make any choices for you; instead, you will work together and explore the opportunities that will allow you to take ownership of your academic career through informed decision-making.

As a student, you can expect your advisor to

  • Grasp and effectively communicate the degree requirements for your major choice
  • Prompt you in making wise selections of courses and establishing a graduation plan
  • Maintain accurate records and monitor your progress toward degree completion
  • Interpret and clarify for you the university policies and regulations
  • Respond to your inquires and facilitate meetings in a timely manner
  • Make campus referrals based on your individual needs
  • Address your academic concerns with confidentiality

As advisors, we expect you to

  • Research college programs and degree requirements for your major choice
  • Familiarize yourself with tools, resources, and services available on campus
  • Take initiative to regularly seek academic advising and plan ahead
  • Prepare a list of items to discuss during your advising appointment(s)
  • Keep a personal record of your advising interactions
  • Take responsibility for your decisions and actions
  • Follow-up and provide updates to your advisor, if necessary

As a result of academic advising, students will be able to

  • Articulate their choice of major and relevant degree requirements
  • Understand the difference between general education, university, and major coursework
  • Create a personalized academic plan consistent with their personal and professional goals
  • Read their degree audit report for educational planning and course enrollment purposes
  • Utilize available campus resources to facilitate academic success and timely graduation
  • Abide by the university policies and regulations to maintain good academic standing

Meeting with your Academic Advisor

While there’s not a specific timeline for scheduling advising appointments, you may want to consider checking-in with your academic advisor at least once per semester, particularly prior to enrolling in courses for the upcoming term. Generally, it is highly recommended that you contact your advisor if:

  • You are considering to drop and/or withdraw from any courses due to extenuating circumstances
  • You are no longer interested in your major and are looking to change into a different program
  • You are looking to improve your academic standing, especially when on academic probation
  • You are receiving appointment invites from your academic advisor

NOTE: You should always seek academic advising prior to submitting your application for graduation.

Academic Communication Etiquette Guide

The following suggestions are meant to serve as professional advice for your academic correspondence with the university representatives—whether it be a course instructor or an advisor.

  • Utilize your university Email account for confidentiality purposes.
  • Include the primary topic of your Email request into the subject line (e.g. next term schedule).
  • Greet the recipient with an appropriate salutation including their name (e.g. “Dear Mrs. Davis” or “Hello Pr. Miller”). Starting with “Hey” or not including a salutation at all is inappropriate!
  • Introduce yourself by sharing your full name, campus NET ID, and other relevant information.
  • Emphasize necessary information to provide the context for your request. If this is a follow-up, do not assume the recipient remembers all the details. Add a brief refresher in your message.
  • Use proper language, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
  • Refrain from the use of emoticons and text-message acronyms (e.g.“can u meet w/me @12?”).
  • Proofread and wait before sending a message to catch errors and account for your emotions.
  • Reply to any academic requests in a timely fashion (typically, 24-48 hours).

CLASS Undergraduate Advising Model

There are two types of academic advisors in CLASS—College and Faculty Advisors. CLASS College Advisors are year-round professional staff members, whose primary responsibility is to provide student academic advisement. College Advisors are able to assist all students in our college, and can be of particular help if:

  • You are an incoming transfer student
  • You are declaring or changing your major to one of the CLASS programs
  • You have questions regarding General Education and University requirements
  • You have earned 90 semester units and are seeking a pre-graduation evaluation
  • You need guidance and assistance with the university academic forms and procedures

CLASS Faculty Advisors are academic faculty members that, in addition to their teaching duties, advise students on their department’s major requirements. As a rule, Faculty Advisors serve as mentors to their advisees, and can be of particular help if:

  • You are a transfer student with questions about major course substitutions
  • You need to align your major course selections with future career aspirations
  • You are a graduating senior and want to complete a major graduation checklist
  • You are seeking information about graduate and professional school planning
  • You are exploring internship and career opportunities related to your program

Advising Flow

CLASS Undergraduate Advising is open to ALL students pursuing or interested in one of the majors in arts, humanities, and social sciences. Nonetheless, the advising flow for incoming freshmen differs from that designed for the new transfers. When an incoming freshman is admitted to the university, they are automatically assigned to a FASST (Freshman and Sophomore Success Team) advisor. This individual will connect with the student prior to their first semester to discuss relevant degree requirements and develop next term schedule. During the freshman and sophomore years students are expected to work primarily with their FASST advisor on any advising-related matters. In particular, FASST advisors provide assistance with the lower-division general education and major requirements. Upon reaching junior classification, students are transitioned to their college and faculty advisors to further guide them along the path to graduation. These individuals will provide assistance primarily with the upper-division general education and major requirements. Keep in mind, you’re always encouraged to connect with relevant faculty and/or college advisor(s) in advance, even prior to your junior year, to learn additional information about the major of preference and receive additional support.

New transfer students, on the other hand, are advised to meet with their faculty and/or college advisor(s) prior to their first term to review previous transfer work, discuss possible substitutions, develop schedule for the upcoming term, and finalize a major checklist. College and faculty advisors will provide assistance to new transfer students with all general education and major requirements and will continue advising them until graduation, which will include a pre-graduation evaluation during the senior year.