Advising Appointment Preparation and Etiquette
Students should meet with their assigned adviser at least once a semester for academic planning, though students planning to study abroad or pursue a concurrent major may need to meet with an adviser multiple times in one semester. The more prepared a student is for their scheduled appointment, the more productive the advising meeting will be.
Before meeting with your academic adviser, review the Academic Requirements or What-if Report in LionPATH, which can be accessed from Student Center. This allows students to ask questions about policy, course substitutions, transfer course work, and entrance to major requirements.
Email and Academic Advising
When emailing your academic adviser, you must use your Penn State email address. This is the only way your adviser can be sure it’s you. Be sure to include a subject line for your email, as an email without one may be treated as SPAM by an email server.
Appropriate questions for email include asking how you can set your intent to graduate and following-up on appointments and petitions. Inappropriate questions for email include asking what courses to schedule, what minor to declare, and if you’re on track to graduate.
Please email one adviser, rather than the entire advising office, to get your questions answered.
Advisers, like many other University staff members, keep normal business hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, which is when they will likely be reading and responding to emails. It is reasonable to expect a response within 1-2 business days. If you email your adviser Saturday night, do not expect an answer on Sunday. During peak times in the semester, such as the beginning of the semester and during scheduling periods, it is likely that response times will be slower.
During the third week of the semester, instructors are invited to complete an Early Indicators survey through Starfish to alert students to engagement patterns that should change or continue. Students can receive a kudos if they are meeting or exceeding expectations, or an unsatisfactory participation notice that alerts students that they are not meeting expectations (e.g., not completing work, inconsistent attendance).
During the seventh week of the semester, instructors are invited to complete a Mid-Semester Progress survey through Starfish. This is based on both patterns of student behavior and graded work. This survey includes a possible additional flag of “In Danger of Earning Below a C.” Advisers can monitor students’ academic warnings through Starfish and encourage students to make an appointment to discuss academic performance, consider the outcomes, review options, and provide appropriate referrals.