Academic Support Center — 30 October 2012

During your academic career at Florida Tech, you may be asked if you have met with or spoken to your academic advisor. While the first reaction may be, “I have an academic advisor?” or “I did once when I got to campus,” you should make it a priority during your first semester at Florida Tech to meet with your academic advisor to ensure that you begin your studies on the right foot.

Many first year students are unaware of what an academic advisor is supposed to do, or why they need an academic advisor in the first place. Academic advisors are expected to advise students concerning their courses of study and assist students in career development during the selection of courses at the time of registration and approval of the student’s registration form. First-year student advisors also assist students in the transition to their academic department at the end of the first year as they are paired with a faculty advisor in their major. Both the first-year student advisor and the faculty advisor are invaluable assets to you during your first year at Florida Tech, as they can help you find the answers to some of the most common (and the not-so-common) questions that you may have.

You should consult your academic advisor when it comes to academic decisions, such as adding or dropping a class. While the process may seem relatively easy, there may be academic or financial consequences that result from reducing a courseload or opting out of a difficult class. By consulting your academic advisor, you can ensure that you remain on track to graduate and within the guidelines necessary to maintain your financial assistance package or your full-time student status.

Your academic advisor can also help you navigate the often confusing process of registration during the first semester. When you started at Florida Tech, you were given a preset schedule, based upon your chosen major and your placement test scores. In preparation for your second semester (and beyond) you are expected to meet with your academic advisor to plan your courses for the upcoming semester, both to meet the requirements for your degree as well as your personal learning and scheduling preferences. Your academic advisor can also help you interpret and understand policies regarding registration, such as academic and financial holds, grade forgiveness, and prerequisite or corequisite course requirements.

In your transition to your academic department, you will discover that your faculty advisor is a resource for much of this same information. Faculty advisors also serve as resources regarding research opportunities both on and off campus, and they are well-suited to helping you further narrow and hone your studies to both expose your learning to new methods and ideas while focusing on areas within your major that intrigue and inspire you.

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