Ten Tips for Working with Your College Advisor

Posted: November 19, 2021 | Author: Dillon LeBlanc | Read Time: 4 minutes

how to work with your college advisorCollege is a time for making memories. Things like cheering at games, taking adventures to nearby national parks, meeting new friends, having fun, and staying up way too late are all parts of the college experience. Also part of the experience is learning to manage stress and the apprehensions that come with college. Things like tests, homework, deadlines, difficulty with group projects, choosing a major, or finding the right career path can all be stressful.

To help you successfully manage your college career, student success advisors are here to help you plan, prepare and problem-solve to help you get the most out of your time at Southern Utah University both academically and socially. Advisors are here to help you stay on track to graduate, find the major that best fits your skills and abilities, and learn of opportunities for involvement and extracurricular activities along the way. Below are 10 insider tips to help you work with your college advisor and to maximize your college experience.

How To Work With Your Academic Advisor

Build a Relationship with your Academic Advisor

Academic advisors are advocates and referral sources. It is important to meet with your advisor early in your college career and begin building a relationship with them. The better your advisor knows you, the better they will be able to connect you to resources and opportunities for your specific needs. While your advisor won't do everything for you, they can help connect you to resources and have your back if you’ve been treated unfairly or need that extra bit of support.

When in Doubt, Come See Your Advisor

If you feel you need more clarity and understanding about something, don't wait until you feel completely cornered. That feeling can result in rash decisions and can put you behind in the future. Instead, ask your advisor for help! They may not know the answer to every question, but they will be able to connect you to the right person and help you find solutions.

Undecided or Thinking of Changing Your Major? Don’t Worry

College is a wonderful time to be open to new opportunities and explore what is out there. It is okay to explore your options and consider changing your major. If you find something else that interests you and gives you a better sense of purpose, your advisor can help you make a change.

Be Specific With What You Need

When contacting your student success advisor, be specific. "Can you add me to the ECON class?" is not sufficient enough details for your advisor to assist you. A detailed message of the problem or concern you are facing allows for them to help you resolve it quickly. For example, if you would like your student success advisor to enroll you into a class, include the course #, section #, and CRN in your message. Help your academic advisor help you.

Use Your T# and Have it in the Correct Format

When communicating with your student success advisor at SUU, make sure to include your TNumber in the correct format such as T12345678, not T#12345678. This allows for your advisor to look up your information quickly and resolve the issue fast.

Use DegreeWorks

DegreeWorks allows you to conduct a degree audit of all the courses you have completed at SUU, as well as work transferred from other regionally accredited institutions. To view your own personal audit, login into your mySUU portal, and follow the DegreeWorks link within the SUU Apps on the right-hand side of your screen. DegreeWorks is a great tool to check your progress toward graduation. You can also play with the “What-If” function to explore other majors, minors, and concentrations.

Read Emails

It may seem tedious to check and read your emails, but just do it! Emails are one of the main resources that advisors use to reach out and communicate with you. Important information is communicated in the emails sent. Perhaps devote a certain amount of time each day to look through your email so you can stay up-to-date on important information and solve problems before they arise.

Use SUU’s Program Finder 

SUU's program finder is a great resource specifically designed to show the connection between majors and careers. Check the boxes next to your major of interest and discover common career paths people follow with that degree, possible employers, and information and strategies to boost your future career opportunities.

Talk with your ACE

An ACE is an Assistant Coach of Excellence, or students who work with student success advisors to help their peers, especially those in their first year, excel through one-on-one advising and personal outreach. ACEs can help you find the best resources and activities for your unique circumstances and provide additional support.

Be Prepared

When you schedule an appointment with your college advisor, be prepared. Do as much as you can beforehand to ensure you get the most out of it. This could include writing down questions, looking through your DegreeWorks, and exploring what you can do with your major or the major you are interested in.


Now that you know 10 insider tips to meet with your academic advisor, schedule an appointment or visit the advising office during walk-in hours. 

Tags: Student Campus Resources

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