Frequently Asked Questions
How is my student assigned an Academic Advisor?
First-year Students: When your student chooses a First-Year Initiatives (FYI) seminar, the faculty member who teaches it becomes the advisor to the students in the class. When your student declares a major (preferably before the end of their sophomore year), they gain a new advisor in that discipline. If the student declares a major before the end of their sophomore year, they will have two advisors: the Initiatives advisor as well as the major advisor.
Transfer Students: During New Student Days, transfer students are assigned a faculty advisor for general advice and support. As soon as the student declares a major, they are reassigned to a faculty advisor in that department.
Exchange Students: Your student will be assigned an advisor (usually from the Office of International Education) to work with your student during his/her time here.
International Students: International transfer, degree-seeking and exchange students will be assigned a second advisor from the Office of International Education who will work with the primary advisor.
Why don't you assign my student a faculty member in his/her major?
As a first-year student, a major-specific advisor is not essential in this environment where new students take a variety of courses to explore many disciplines within the liberal arts. Furthermore, most students change their majors (several times) between the time that they complete an application to Beloit and graduate from Beloit.
How long before my student can declare a major?
He/she can declare a major as soon as he/she wishes. However, students are encouraged to explore during their first year.
How long does my student have before s/he must declare a major?
A student must declare a major (and complete their MAP) by the end of the second semester of his/her sophomore year (or five semesters before s/he intends to graduate).
Can my student have more than one major? Can my student have a major and a minor? And still graduate in four years?
Yes, the student and advisors need to work in consultation with each other to make sure the student has a realistic plan for the time frame allowed.
What does an advisor do?
The Initiatives advisor provides information, guidance and assistance in a variety of academic arenas. The major advisor does the same, but is more specific to the major or minor, and with a greater emphasis on mentoring the student.
What's a MAP?
My Academic Plan (MAP) is a process of planning which ensures that students:
- graduate (meet all of the requirements in a timely manner)
- take advantage of the many opportunities Beloit offers
- prepare well for life after graduation.
Each student works with their Initiatives advisor to develop a MAP.
Why can't the advisor talk to me about my student?
Federal law (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act – FERPA) prohibits the College from releasing information to the parents of the students because, as of enrollment at the institution, they become legal adults. Instead of trying to seek information from college employees, we would prefer that you keep the lines of communication open with your student (so we don't get in the middle of your relationship). Also, we would suggest that you encourage your student to use College services and speak to a trusted faculty or staff member.
What about a waiver?
We discourage parents from pressuring students to sign a waiver which allows college employees to share information with parents. Students may avoid the faculty and staff that could assist them if they believe that information about their situation will be shared with their parents.
What should I do if I am concerned?
We encourage you to call us. We will most likely:
- listen and ask questions (you can tell us whatever you want)
- tell you general policies and procedures relating to your concerns (e.g. "If a student is having a roommate problem, we usually encourage them to see their R.A.")
- follow up on concerns with the student (e.g. "Your mom is worried about you, let's talk about it.") It is unlikely that we will keep your call from the student since this puts us in an awkward position.
What if it is an emergency or crisis?
Any time, day or night, you can call security (608-363-2355) who will either address the situation or, when appropriate, get the "on call" staff person. Or, you may call the Dean of Students Office (608-363-2660) if it is during office hours (8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday).