You And Your Advisor
The traditional view of advising is that you get “advice” from your advisor. In this view, information flows one way. At Birmingham-Southern College, however, advising is really an ongoing dialogue between you and your advisor, assisted by a student-peer advisor, with the purpose of identifying and developing your academic aspirations and facilitating your growth.
What is the goal of the advising process?
The primary goal of advising is to fulfill graduation requirements in a way that best suits your aspirations, including your career goals and academic interests. Advising involves activities in service of that goal, such as ascertaining your individual interests and academic goals, identifying your vocation, taking advantage of the assistance the College offers for your academic success, guidance and planning for graduate study, and directing you to other opportunities that meet your needs and interests.
Identifying your personal aspirations and academic goals may require additional help beyond that provided by your academic advisor. Students are likely to find such help in the Office of Counseling and Health Services.
For additional assistance in setting career goals, contact the BSC Career Counseling Office.
The assistance you get from these offices can inform your discussions with your advisor as you plan your academic program.
What are your responsibilities as an advisee?
- Work cooperatively with your advisor and peer advisor.
- Familiarize yourself with the requirements of the Explorations curriculum and the majors that interest you.
- Schedule and attend appointments with your advisor at least once per term.
- Maintain an evolving, tentative four-year academic plan.
- Use TheSIS, the Catalog, and the other sources of information to determine requirements and available courses.
- Prepare a tentative schedule with alternate courses before meeting with your advisor to discuss registration.
- Make and accept responsibility for decisions.
What are the responsibilities of your advisor?
- Being available for consultation and planning.
- Helping you develop realistic educational and personal goals.
- Listening to you carefully and critically as you consider major academic decisions.
- Keeping you informed about relevant resources and opportunities offered by the College.
- Keeping your academic records and maintaining confidentiality. For more information about confidentiality at the College, see the FERPA information page.
Can or should you change your advisor?
Probably, your advisor was assigned based on your stated academic interests when you enrolled. As your interests and needs change, however, you may wish to change your advisor. Often, students will change to an advisor in their major, although this change is not mandatory. If your advisor is not in your chosen major, you will want to consult at least one professor in that area to discuss specific options and requirements in that major. You may change your advisor at any time, but the College encourages students to keep their original advisor for at least a year.
Who is your advisor?
You should have met your advisor at first-year orientation. If you've forgotten your advisor's name, you can contact the Records Office.