Academic Advising Prep Tips
Get the most out of your academic advising sessions with these top tips on how to prepare.
This article was written by Mya Trimm.
As a new student, one valuable resource you have access to is academic advising! While it's mandatory for all new students at Cape Breton University (CBU) to make an appointment with their advisor, you should take advantage of this resource no matter where you go. Academic advisors are a super helpful way to learn what to expect in your program and ask questions about course registration.
Before I had my advising appointment, I did a few things to prepare. I found the advising and registration process smooth, so I thought I would share my prep-tips here! Sharing is caring, right?
Learn about your program
The first and most important step to prepare for your advising appointment is to learn about your program of study. I know extra homework isn’t fun for anyone but take a few minutes and do a bit of research to better understand the program you’re about to begin.
Looking at the Academic Calendar is a good place for answers to questions, like: How long is the program? What are the required courses? What are the available majors? Having answers to questions like those will help when registering for courses.
Check out the course catalogue
Once you have an idea of the required courses for your program, take some time to browse through the course catalogue and make a list of the courses you need, as well as the other courses you want to take (electives). Even if you don’t end up taking all the courses you planned, it’s still helpful to have a general idea of what you’re hoping to register for.
This part was definitely my favourite part when preparing for advising. I really loved reading all the different course descriptions and making decisions about what courses I want to take.
Once you have a general idea about your program requirements and potential courses, your next step is to make a list of some questions for your advisor. They might be about registration, majors, minors, a specific course requirement, or even university life in general! You’d be surprised by what advisers can answer so don’t be afraid to ask the questions!
Reminder: you aren’t expected to be an expert in your program or know everything about registration. The advisors are there to help you, so take advantage of their experience and expertise.
Using these tips to prepare will help you feel ready for your advising appointment, and hopefully lead to success in planning your journey at CBU. If you still have questions after your appointment, there are many resources to help, like the How-To-CBU YouTube playlist. Reaching out to the excellent staff at the Advising and Student Success Support Centre is always an option too.
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