At Beloit, academic advising is much more than a faculty member telling you what the requirements are and what courses you need to take to fulfill them. We want you to take charge of your own education and get the most out of it, and we also recognize that this takes some guidance and practice. Your advisors will help you articulate, reflect upon, monitor, and revise your educational and professional goals. They do this by helping you to select and construct experiences – both in the classroom and outside of it – that will help you achieve your goals.
Your FYI seminar leader, whom you meet on your first day on campus, is also your Initiatives advisor. During New Student Days, the two of you work together to begin to shape a Beloit College experience that meets your educational, career, and life goals, and provides a rich and rewarding introduction to the liberal arts. Throughout your first semester here, your Initiatives advisor sees you twice a week during your FYI seminar and works with you and your classmates both in the seminar and in individual conversations as you learn the ropes at Beloit and begin to chart successful academic careers here.
The Advising Practicum, a full-day series of workshops and discussions held every semester before advising week, exemplifies the central role that advising plays in a Beloit education. The Practicum is designed to help you reflect on your educational experiences and interests and develop your academic plan. During the Advising Practicum in your first three semesters, you will have a morning session with your Initiatives advisors that will guide you in planning a liberal arts trajectory tailored to your goals and interests. There will be additional sessions in the morning that will enable you to take full advantage of the opportunities and resources available to you. The afternoon sessions are open to all students and they offer the opportunity to explore specific majors and minors, engage in career planning, and interact with other students who share your academic interests.
When you declare your major, you'll be assigned a faculty advisor in the program you've chosen. Most students declare a major in the spring of their sophomore year, but even if you declare yours before then, your Initiatives advisor remains your advisor in the liberal arts throughout your sophomore year.
And that's one of the things you'll soon discover about Beloit – people's doors are open, and students find mentors in lots of different places on campus. Your informal advisors may matter as much as the one or two listed on your transcript. Communication with advisors helps you to see the important relationships between the experiences you have had and the opportunities that are available to you.
In all the advising we do at Beloit, our faculty and staff focus on helping you set ambitious and attainable goals and encourage you to find the best ways of attaining them – whether through coursework, a summer research experience, off-campus study, involvement in a campus club, a paraprofessional job on campus or an internship. Advising is a lot less about jumping through hoops and a lot more about finding and taking advantage of opportunities. Your goals may change during your time at Beloit – and that's often a good sign of personal understanding and growth.
We look forward to working with you as you explore your options, challenge yourself, pursue your passions, make reflective choices, and succeed!