Our mission is to help undergraduate students achieve their fullest academic potential and to foster their growth by encouraging them to make informed decisions based on their interests, abilities, values, and goals. We help students become self-directed learners and decision makers as well as leaders in the IST and Penn State communities. Advising is a collaborative process and both advisers and students share the responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. Students have the responsibility to meet with their Adviser, read their email, check Advising updates and IST website for changes in major requirements, new courses, and special topic courses.
Students typically meet with their assigned adviser at least once a semester for academic planning purposes. Students planning for a student abroad experience or concurrent major may need to meet with an adviser multiple times in one semester. Typical appointments are scheduled for thirty minutes. The more prepared a student is for their scheduled appointment the more productive the advising meeting will be. An advising appointment incorporates a review of a student’s degree audit (Academic Requirements or What if Report) acquired through LionPATH and allows students to ask questions about policy, course substitutions, transfer course work, and entrance to major. Advisers also make appropriate referrals to other Penn State resources. During week three 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 "keep up the good work" if they are meeting or exceeding expectations or unsatisfactory participation used to alert students that they are not meeting expectations (e.g., not completing work, inconsistent attendance, etc.). During week seven, 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. Academic 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.
Many administrative actions are done by students through Penn State’s student information system, LionPATH. This system provides students access to their academics, registration and financial records. Students can use Update Academics to change, add or remove majors, options, minors and certificates. Students can request a change of campus through their Student Center using Update Campus application. These decisions should be made in conjunction with academic advisers to discuss any potential consequences to choices. Students considering a withdrawal, leave of absence, re-enrollment or a Faculty Senate Petition should work closely with their assigned academic adviser.
The IST Advising Center publishes yearly Baccalaureate Degree Roadmaps. The Baccalaureate Degree Roadmaps are curricular guides for students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. The Roadmaps are accurate at press time. The College of IST may make changes after the initial publication. Students need to check the web pages for the latest news, course information, and more.
Students in the College of IST are assigned to one of the advisers beginning in their first semester. The initial adviser contact is through the New Student Orientation college meeting.
Students need to use their assigned PSU email account when contacting Advisers. Same day response may not be possible. Response times to email depends on the time of the semester or if advisers are out of the office. It may take longer than the usual 48-hours to respond. The IST Advising Center is open Monday through Friday 8am-5pm. Email is responded to during normal business hours.
Students are encouraged to read through commonly asked advising questions provided below. Many answers can easily be found through the FAQs.