Each Whitman student has a faculty advisor who assists the student in planning their academic career at Whitman. New students are assigned a pre-major advisor who will serve as a faculty advisor to the student until that student declares a major (before the end of the second semester of the student’s second year) and selects a major advisor to provide specialized guidance. If at any point you would like to change your pre-major advisor, contact Juli Dunn in Memorial 330.
What Does a Faculty Advisor Do?
The role of the faculty advisor includes:
- Assistance with Course Selection: Your faculty advisor will discuss with you your interests and goals, review graduation requirements, and help you assess appropriate course levels.
- Assistance with Course Load: Faculty advisors are ready to assist you in assessing your academic preparation, study skills, and the demands of the courses involved.
- Assistance with Academic Problems: During the semester, you might encounter struggles which may have an impact on your course work, such as inadequate high school preparation, heavy course load, problems with study skills/time management, personal problems, changes in your interests or goals, family pressure, etc. Your faculty advisor can help you navigate these struggles. (Note: Midterm Grade Reports, failure to attend class, and missing or late papers or tests are often warning signs of a problem that might require consultation with your advisor.)
- Referral to Campus Resources: Your advisor may not know the answer to every question, but often they will be able to recommend another campus resource which will help.
- A Different Perspective: Faculty members can provide you with a valuable perspective on their own field and on a Whitman education based on years of experience in academia.
When Should I See My Advisor?
- Meet with your advisor as scheduled during registration periods.
- Meet with your advisor every time you make a change in your registration (i.e. drop, add, P-D-F, or withdraw from a class).
- It is very important to talk with your advisor if you receive a mid-semester grade report or if you are disappointed or concerned by the grades you are receiving in any of your classes. Don’t be embarrassed. Your advisor is there to help!
- Your advisor can’t help you if you don’t help yourself. Be familiar with the catalog and other official documents. Also, your advisor isn’t a mind reader—be sure to give your advisor enough information to advise effectively!
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- If you have concerns about classes or cannot find your advisor, contact the Dean of Students Office, Memorial 325.