All About Advising

Advising Philosophy

Our mission is to support you in achieving your educational and career goals. We value a student-centered, holistic and ethical approach based on strong partnerships with students, faculty and staff, and the larger campus community. We are committed to creating a respectful and supportive environment. We encourage you to be self-reliant by disseminating accurate information so you can make informed decisions and. We value our own continuous professional development to enhance the quality of your advising experience.

Good academic advising is important in helping to develop a course of study that is appropriate for your academic background and abilities, and is consistent with your educational and career goals. Faculty and academic advisors not only help to ensure you take appropriate courses to satisfy degree requirements, but also serve as mentors and assist in developing the richest degree program possible. Both the advisor and advisee share responsibility for ensuring a successful college experience.

Expectations of Academic Advisors

You can expect your advisor to:

• Be knowledgeable about and effectively communicate degree requirements and university and department policies and procedures
• Provide an open, supportive, and respectful place to voice your thoughts, aspirations, concerns and interests
• Provide resources and referrals for achieving your academic goals
• Monitor and accurately document your progress toward meeting your goals
• Be available in person or email to answer your questions and guide you
• Maintain confidentiality
• Assist you in working closely with your professors and other university staff
• Assist you in making course decisions

Expectations of Students

Your advisor expects you to:

• Schedule regular appointments or make regular contact with your advisor each semester
• Come prepared to each appointment with questions or topics for discussion
• Accept responsibility for your decisions and actions
• Become knowledgeable of programs, policies, procedures and opportunities as appropriate
• Keep a record of your academic progress
• Be respectful - plan ahead by scheduling appointments early, cancelling or rescheduling if necessary, using walk-in advising for questions requiring less than 10 minutes, and honoring other student's confidentiality


Advising Syllabus 2013-2014 (Word)


Academic advising is a developmental process which assists students in the clarification of their life/career goals and in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals. It is a decision-making process by which students realize their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an advisor; it is ongoing, multifaceted, and the responsibility of both student and advisor. The advisor serves as a facilitator of communication, a coordinator of learning experiences through course and career planning and academic progress review, and an agent of referral to other campus agencies as necessary.

- David S. Crockett, Ed. 1987

Reasons To See An Advisor


Reason 10: To make sure that you are taking the right classes.
Reason 9: To learn the academic requirements for your degree.
Reason 8: To find out if you have to submit an application for admission to your program.
Reason 7: To learn UWM's academic policies and procedures.
Reason 6: To learn about resources to support you both on and off campus.
Reason 5: To help you monitor your academic progress.
Reason 4: To help you communicate with your parents and professors.
Reason 3: To make sure you've met the requirements for student teaching.
Reason 2: To make sure you've met the requirements for graduation.
Reason 1: Because your advisor is your personal advocate for success at UWM` .

Tracking My Progress


Academic Requirements Report

Your Academic Requirements Report outlines all the program requirements and provides a snapshot of your progress in meeting these program requirements. You may access your Academic Requirements Report through PAWS and should do so prior to every visit with your academic advisor. Academic Requirements Reports will be reviewed by your academic advisor to track your progress at key points.

Prior to admission to the School of Education: Some teacher certification programs require applying for admission to the program. Prior to applying, you should review your Academic Requirements Report to ensure you have met all the admission criteria. This report will also be checked by your academic advisor as part of the admission review process. If there are any bolded items in the "Admission Application Requirements" section, you will be denied admission.

Following application for student teaching: Each program requires a student to meet particular requirements in order to be approved to student teach. Your application for student teaching will trigger a review of your record. The degree progress report will be used to determine if you have met these requirements. If you have not met all the requirements for student teaching, you will not be provided a placement.

Following application for graduation: When you think you are ready to graduate, you should apply online for graduation. Your advisor will be informed of your intent to graduate. At that point, your degree progress report will be reviewed. If your report is clear (no bolded items), you will be approved to graduate.

Program Sheet

Your program sheet is designed to help you select and manage your courses and program requirements. Your program sheet is updated each time you meet with your advisor. The original is placed in your file and a copy will be given to you.

What Will I Learn From Advising?


Academic advising is integral to fulfilling the teaching and learning mission of UWM. Academic advising engages you beyond your own world views, while acknowledging your individual characteristics, values, and motivations as you enter, move through, and exit the institution.

Academic advising has three components: curriculum (what advising deals with), pedagogy (how advising does what it does), and student learning outcomes (the result of academic advising). Your academic advisor views him or herself as a member of your teaching and learning team. As a teacher, your advisor's goal is to ensure that every contact results in some sort of learning.

The learning outcomes of academic advising are guided by our mission, goals, curriculum and co-curriculum. These outcomes, defined in an advising curriculum, articulate what you will demonstrate, know, value, and do as a result of participating in academic advising. Your academic advisor offers a number of venues for learning including one-on-one advising, group advising, workshops, e-mail and Web site information.

What you should learn during each year of your college career:

First Year (24 or Less Credits)

• Learn to navigate PAWS including:
    › Accessing PAWS
    › Registering for classes
    › Adding, dropping, and swapping classes
    › Accessing and interpreting your transcript

• Understand key university policies and procedures including:
    › Student rights and responsibilities
    › FERPA
    › Student conduct
    › Academic appeals

• Locate and utilize campus resources as needed including:
    › Financial aid services
    › Scholarship opportunities
    › Student Accessibility Center
    › Education Resource Center
    › Writing Center
    › Tutoring
    › SWEA

• Know how to access online resources including:
    › The Undergraduate Catalog
    › The Schedule of Classes
    › General Education Requirements
    › School of Education information
    › CURRINS advising information
    › School of Education admission information

• Explore career and life goals

• Know the teacher certification program available at UWM

• Declare a major/minor program

• Understand the various components of your desired program including:
    › The multiple components of a degree program (GERs, profession education courses, electives)
    › The General Education Requirements

• Know the program and graduation requirements for your desired program

• Understand the meaning of your GPA

• Know how and when to register for the PRAXIS I

• Know how and when to apply for an immersion experience (World Languages Program only)

• Choose courses to fulfill program requirements

• Demonstrate behaviors that contribute to academic success such as:
    › Regular class attendance
    › Completing assignments
    › Preparing for exams
    › Managing time effectively
    › Good study habits
    › Good communication skills
    › Maintaining mental and physical health and safety

Second Year (25 - 57 Credits)

• Affirm career and life goals by:
    › Understanding the connection between your major and career and life goals
    › Understanding and beginning a plan for career and life goals
    › Declaring a major to fit career and life goals

• Access co-curricular opportunities to enhance classroom experience including:
    › Internships
    › Career opportunities
    › Academic research opportunities
    › Volunteer opportunities

• Understand key deadlines and criteria for:
    › Admission to the School of Education
    › Applying and becoming approved to student teach
    › Immersion experiences (World Languages Program only)

• Choose courses to fulfill program requirements

• Monitor progress toward graduation by:
    › Utilizing and correctly interpreting the academic advisement report
    › Knowing how to request a exception, substitution or waiver of program requirements
    › Understanding variable credit courses and registering for the correct number of credits

Third Year (58 - 85 Credits)

• Finalizing plans for career and life goals by being admitted to a Teacher Certification Program in the School of Education

• Choose courses to fulfill program requirements

• Understand key deadlines and criteria for:
    › Registering for and successfully passing the PRAXIS II
    › Applying for and being approved to student teaching
    › Completing the Language Proficiency test (World Language Program only)

• Become actively involved in professional organizations that connect you to teaching

Fourth Year (86 Credits or More)

• Understand key deadlines and criteria:
    › Applying for graduation
    › Applying for your teaching license

• Become aware of opportunities for continued professional development including:
    › Reading Teacher certification
    › Add-on certification
    › Exceptional Education certification
    › Graduate programs

Why Do I Have So Many Advisors?


As you move through each academic year, you'll have new questions, need new information and encounter new opportunities to explore. A team of advisors, with expertise in key areas, will help you navigate college life and assist you in reaching your goals.

If you have been admitted to UWM, you can determine your current advisor by logging on to the Student Service Center in PAWS. The name of your advisor is listed on the first page. Typically the first advisor listed is your academic advisor, the second advisor listed is your faculty advisor.

First Year Advisor

The first year of college can be exciting and liberating for students. For some, making the transition from high school to college can be difficult, especially during the first semester. Your first year advisor is an academic advisor with expertise in working with students who have less than 24 credits.

Your first year advisor will:

• Make sure you start off on the "right track" and stay there
• Help you find your way around the University
• Assess your academic and career goals
• Provide information about General Education Requirement
• Monitor and review your academic progress each semester

Academic Advisor

Once you've reached 24 credits, you will be assigned an academic advisor in your program. He or she knows the ins and outs of your major and works closely with program faculty and staff.

Your academic advisor will:

• Provide information about and guidance in meeting program and graduation requirements
• Help you understand University policies and procedures
• Refer you to resources on and off campus to help you be successful
• Provide guidance when it comes time to applying for admission to the School of Education
• Monitor and review your academic progress each semester
• Monitor your overall progress with the goal of graduating

Faculty Advisor

A faculty advisor will also be assigned once you've reached 24 credits. Your faculty advisor teaches and is typically involved in service and research in your program of interest.

Your faculty advisor will:

• Answer questions related to the teaching field
• Provide information about course content and curriculum rationale
• Provide insight on graduate schools and professional opportunities
• Approve any requests for changes in your program
• Answer questions related to the creation and maintenance of your teaching portfolio