Academic advising is an intentional process that involves a collaborative partnership between the student and the academic advisor. Successful advising is a shared responsibility that will equip students with knowledge and tools to make responsible decisions and to enable them to identify and achieve their educational and career goals.
Actual advising activities will depend on the needs of the student and will change as a student progresses through a degree program or subsequently changes a degree program. All students new to the University are required to attend advising sessions prior to enrollment for the first four long semesters after entering TCU. New students are likely to require assistance in the mechanics of first-time enrollment and in exploring choices related to selection of courses and degree programs. Students with more experience in the University often handle these tasks with little assistance, but may profit from direction in maximizing academic performance and setting career goals. Students nearing completion of their academic program are likely to need specific help in ensuring that all degree requirements are met. In addition they may need assistance in transitioning to a career or advanced study.
Academic advising offers all students opportunities to explore interests and identify career goals. Even those students who are certain of their major need to have regular contact with their academic advisor to discuss such issues. Regular visits assure that the student has time to explore all possibilities and to plan an academic experience that will help the student achieve his or her goals. At a minimum, all students should meet with an academic advisor at least once each semester to plan future course work. At these meetings, students and advisors will discuss academic records such as: grade reports, transcripts, evaluations of work transferred to TCU and degree plans.
Pre-Majors (i.e., students who have not formally declared a major) especially need to meet regularly with their advisors or staff in the Center for Academic Services. If students delay such discussions, they risk delaying graduation in many programs.
A quality advising relationship requires a dedicated advisor and a prepared student. The student must initiate advising activities, define the needs of the advising activity, and take responsibility for his or her academic performance. Students should study the Undergraduate Bulletin to become familiar with degree and major requirements, available campus resources, and academic policies and procedures. Advisors will answer questions and make suggestions, but the student must assume the full responsibility for satisfying all program and degree requirements.