Information for Parents and Families
Academic Advising at SUNY Plattsburgh
Greetings from the Academic Advising Office! The College knows that feeling connected to, and receiving guidance from, an advisor in the student's curriculum is a major factor contributing to their college satisfaction and success. As such, one of the many functions of our office is to ensure that your student receives quality academic advising.
Our office first interacts with your student during their summer orientation, but our contact doesn't end there! We maintain often long-term relationships with students, as our office also assists them when they are:
- changing/adding a major or minor,
- contemplating a new academic direction,
- needing clarification about an academic policy or requirement,
- experiencing academic difficulties and don't know where to turn.
We have provided important information below about our Academic Advising System at SUNY Plattsburgh so that you, too, feel well informed about the academic help readily available to your student.
Who Is the Academic Advisor? And What Does That Mean?
Upon entering Plattsburgh, every matriculated student is assigned an academic advisor in his or her major (and that includes the undeclared major). Note: Your student may also receive assistance from another advisor if she or he has a minor, a second major in a different field of study, or is in a special program such as STAR, EOP, ESL.
Your student may discover the name(s) of their advisor(s) by:
- accessing their MyPlattsburgh account,
- clicking on the Student Services tab, and
- viewing information in the Academic Profile section, on the top left.
When arriving on campus for the first time, we encourage students to become acquainted with their Advisors early in the semester.
An Advisor - Advisee Relationship is an Important One
Realistically, we cannot expect each advisor and student to display every ideal characteristic desired in this important relationship. However, we hope that both individuals make a concerted effort toward establishing a meaningful and productive advisor/advisee connection. In the advisor/advisee partnership, both have responsibilities.
The academic advisor is experienced in providing the following to advisees:
- time to meet during the designated "course advisement period," and outside of course advisement as needed,
- help in understanding General Education and departmental requirements, and recommendations about the sequence of courses taken,
- assistance in the continual monitoring of the student's progress toward degree completion, and
- information about other services, activities, and special opportunities that might be of educational or personal benefit.
Some advisors become students' first professional mentors, write recommendation letters, suggest special opportunities within the field such as internships, research or teaching assistantships, or other unique learning experiences. The more the advisor knows the student to be responsible and sincere about the field of study, the more likely it is for the advisor to become a rather influential guide.
The student-advisee, too, plays a crucial role in the partnership, and is held responsible for the following activities:
- attending to the College's announcements about course advisement (check MyPlattsburgh and Cardinal Cloud E-mail regularly) and meet with her/his advisor,
- taking initiative to seek advisement when other questions or difficulties arise,
- preparing for advising by printing a current Degree Works audit, and searching online for classes that meet unfulfilled requirements, and,
- most importantly, constantly monitoring his/her own progress toward degree completion to ensure all requirements have been met.
When your student follows through with these fundamental advisee responsibilities, the benefits to her or him are great. Not only will your student feel empowered to make wise academic choices, and on a timely basis, but he or she will have more opportunity to establish a connection with the academic advisor that can last well into their career.
"Course Advisement" is Widely Publicized
Your student may contact his or her academic advisor at any point during the semester for assistance. At a minimum, they should meet during the 2-week span designated as "Course Advisement period." Course advisement falls immediately before registration opens for the following semester.
The dates and importance of Course Advisement are communicated to students by, at least, the following means:
- As an academic announcement on their MyPlattsburgh home page
- In several emails from the College and from the Academic Advising Office
- On our Academic Advising Facebook page (like the page to receive important academic reminders)
- On fliers posted in every academic building and residence hall
- As an announcement made by faculty in various classes
- (Often) in an e-mail sent by their own academic advisor
- On course advisement sign-up sheets posted on advising faculty's office doors
- On the lighted marquee on the face of the Angell College Center
- Reminders by residence life staff about course selection and registration
- Through word-of-mouth by peers who are buzzing about what courses they're taking next semester!
It is critical for your student to attend to these and other announcements about course advisement. Missing the opportunity to receive course advisement results in a delay in your student's ability to receive a Registration PIN for access to priority registration, and possibly not receiving guidance as to the correct sequence of courses to take in a major.
Helping Families Help Their Students
Some students experience a very smooth academic transition into a college environment. They have mentally prepared themselves for the rigors of college, are committed to academic success, and are able to balance the academic - social - recreational - cultural aspects of college.
Unfortunately, the path for some students is not as smooth. Whereas personal or learning challenges sometimes get in the way, or whereas the student doesn't yet possess the self-discipline or maturity to manage the time and attention to their studies, some students find themselves in academic jeopardy.
Our office is among those on campus to assist students in getting on the right academic path
...especially those in their first year at Plattsburgh. At the first sign of academic distress, encourage your student to immediately visit one of the many resources for assistance (e.g,, residence life, academic advisor, a professor, our Academic Advising Office).
Taking early action provides more options for the student (e.g., free tutoring, course withdrawal, changing majors) and provides more time for offices like ours to intervene and follow up with the student if necessary. Of course, preparation for common problems that occur might be the best solution of all. We have created web pages devoted to "Overcoming 5 Common Pitfalls" and "Habits of Highly Successful Students" for more advice related to the new student's transitional year.
Office Location: Feinberg 101-103
Phone: (518) 564-2080
Fax: (518) 564-2079