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Academic Advising at Beloit College

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Advising of First-Year and Sophomore Students

All first-year students are assigned to a Spark course.  The Spark course professor (Spark/Initiatives Advisor) is also the advisor of the students in that course. As the Spark/Initiatives Advisor meets with the students during New Student Days (NSD) and teaches the class throughout the first semester, students and faculty become familiar with each other.  The Spark/Initiatives Advisor encourages students to meet individually with him/her on a regular basis, participate with the seminar in NSD and Spark activities, and informally connect with their advisor throughout the first semester.  In the process, student and advisor form a close relationship which enables the faculty to provide the best advising and mentoring possible.

Students remain with their Spark/Initiatives advisor throughout their first year and into their sophomore year, until a major is declared (see below). Advisors continue to meet with their advisees as a group for food, fun, intellectual stimulation or volunteer work, and individually to discuss experiences, both academic and personal, in addition to the traditional guidance in course selection. Students may declare a major at any time during their first two years, in which case they will be assigned an additional advisor from the academic department for their major.

Advising Juniors and Seniors

Juniors and seniors are advised by faculty in their major department (along with advisors in second majors, minors, or programs). The departmental advisor is usually assigned by the Chair of the Department in consultation with the student and faculty in the department.  Departmental advisors often connect students with appropriate opportunities such as special projects, teaching assistantships, scholarships, awards, or participation in faculty research. Advisors in the departments often take on a mentoring role for their advisees, particularly as they guide them in graduate school and/or employment preparation.  Since students are frequently in class with their advisor, see their advisor at departmental functions and activities, and meet individually with their advisor, faculty and students develop an additional close relationship.