BP Blog

Don't Panic Over Advising!

Hello again! That special time of year is quickly approaching... and yes I mean advising! 

If you have never chosen your own classes yet, the ordeal can be pretty stressful and intimidating the first time. You may find yourself overwhelmed by not knowing which classes you should be taking and in what order, what professors to take them with, what times you should schedule them for and how many credits you should take. But don't worry, because once you start there's kind of a pattern you learn to follow.

 Advising at Adrian College is definitely something you have to go through a couple times to really get used to it and good at it as well. There are a lot of mistakes people make during advising and hopefully I can help you avoid some!

Choosing an Advisor

Adrian College will have already provided you with an advisor, probably one that is a professor in your field of interest or chosen major. However, every advisor has a different way of organizing things, and with a small part in your future in his or her hands, you want to make sure there is proper communication when advising. If you feel like you don't get along well, you have trouble communicating with he or she, or perhaps you have a better relationship with a different advisor on campus, you can request to switch or get a new one. I highly recommend doing so if you are experiencing some of these issues with your advisor. Remember, your advisor doesn't just help you choose your classes and sign your schedules. A good advisor helps you plan your classes in the future correctly and does everything in his or her power to make sure you graduate on time and with your preferred major(s) and minor(s) of choice.

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Choosing Classes 

Personally, I found an order of classes that worked for me, stuck to it, and I was successful with it. Some classes you need to take have a higher priority over others. Some people choose to put off their Gen-Eds, (General Education) and take the majority of those classes late within their four years. However, I chose to get them over with and this decision has rewarded me nicely. Since I have my Gen-Eds done, I have a few semesters to just take electives and finish my major up. This makes my schedule much less stressful in the future when I will need to be focusing on things like internships, jobs, and research projects. As for your major, if you know what you want to major in right away then I highly suggest diving headfirst into it and finishing this as soon as possible as well. Some people don't decide on a major for a couple years, and that's perfectly fine. But if you start your major immediately, you have more room to do things like double major, choose a late minor or double minor too. Again, it also gives you more time for opportunities like internships, jobs and research projects as well. 

Suggested Classes over the first two years:

Semester One: 14-16 Credits-- All Gen-Eds or mostly Gen-Eds and one major class

Semester Two: 14-17 Credits-- Mostly Gen-Eds and a couple major classes 

Semester Three: 15-17 Credits-- One or two Gen-Eds and mostly major classes

Semester Three: 16-18 Credits-- Mostly major classes, finish up your last one or two Gen-Eds 

Semester Four: 16-18 Credits-- Mostly major classes, finish up your last one or two Gen-Eds

I left the last two years open because schedules really fluctuate during that time. You may come across an internship or job opportunity you didn't know about earlier and have to plan your credit hours around that as well. If you can't follow this exact pattern, that's perfectly alright. If you find the class you really wanted turns out to be full, you can always take an elective with the same credit amount and around the same time. You also don't have to follow the credit amounts per semester, however I do suggest your first semester you take it easy on credit hours. If you find it difficult to balance classes with sports or other things then taking fewer credits may benefit you. Just keep in mind that at Adrian, you have to average 15.5 credits per semester to graduate in four years. 

Choosing Professors & Scheduling Class Times

You can't always choose which professor you take with each class, but when you can it can really make a difference in the grade you receive. Professors have different teaching styles, different ideas for classes and different views on exams, homework and attendance. The best way to figure out which professors are good to take is by asking people what they think. One of the unique traits of Adrian College is that basically everyone takes classes with the same professors. So ask people who've already taken the classes you want to choose what they're like and what the professors are like. This can sometimes save you from choosing a class you might hate over one you may love. Another thing you can do is search your possible professor on

www.ratemyprofessor.com

 to see what kind of ratings and reviews he or she may have. However, choosing a professor may also depend on the times the class is offered. Personally, I would rather choose a class at 10am then 8am, no matter who taught which one. Another example would be avoiding Friday classes; I would much rather choose a professor that teaches a class for 1 hour and 40 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursday rather than have the class three times a week on Mondays Wednesday and Fridays for 50 minutes each day. Just be smart about scheduling. If you aren't a morning person, try and avoid early classes. If you go home a lot on weekends, try to avoid Friday classes. If you have a short attention span, maybe more class times for shorter periods is the way to go. If you're gone a lot for sports, really avoid class on days you know you'll be gone, because if you miss a lot of class, chances are you won't get a good grade.

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This is my planned class schedule over the course of 3.5 years. I am currently in the Spring 2013 semester, so everything before then I have already taken and everything afterwards is a relative plan of the classes I will take until I graduate. As you can see, the schedule is color-coded.

Blue

are the Gen-eds,

Orange

are my major classes,

Green

are electives, ad

Red

are other credit hour opportunities. As you can see, I am almost finished with my Gen-eds and my major. I did not include the last semester because I am graduating early. Keep in mind, you have to have 42-46 credits towards your major and 128 credits overall to graduate as well. So keeping the end of your four years open for various changes is smart because you never know when you'll need to take extra credit hours you forgot about.

Posted By: Janaye Powers