SOAR Presentation

Return to SOAR Home page

As a student you understand it is your responsibility to:

  • Share information with your advisor regarding interests, goals, educational, and career plans
  • Share personal information that has a bearing on your academic career
    • The number of hours working, family responsibilities, financial aid status, and any limitations
  • Be familiar with the catalog and academic calendar

Be familiar with college deadlines

  • Keep a record of graduation requirements
    • Program sheets
    • Keep a record of all correspondence from the University
  • Be willing to contact appropriate student support services on campus
  • Be prepared for meetings with advisors
    • Particularly when registering for next semester, review courses you need for your program, and have an idea of what you would like to take
  • Alert your advisor immediately if you begin to have difficulties that are affecting class work or continued enrollment
  • Be an active participant in the advising session


What does an advisor do?

  • Helps you plan your academics
  • Answers your questions
  • Offers advice
  • Letters of recommendation

When should you contact your faculty advisor?

  • At minimum, each semester when you register for classes
  • If you are considering adding or dropping classes
  • If you think you want to change your major
  • If you are struggling in any courses

How do I meet with my advisor?

  • Find out where their office is located & check office hours
  • As a courtesy, call ahead so they can be prepared (Faculty/Staff Directory)

What do I need to bring?

  • Your folder with program sheet & catalog
  • Any questions you have
  • An idea of what courses you want to take

What happens if you forget who your advisor is?

  • Contact the Registrar's office


Dropping and Adding

  • Dropping and Adding classes is a normal part of coming to college
  • There are a number of reasons you might decide you need to make adjustments to your schedule
  • Make sure to watch the academic calendar to be aware of the deadlines

Substitutions and Waivers

  • Once in awhile your advisor will allow you to take a different course than what is listed on your program sheet
  • Or they may waive the requirement if you have previous experience (but this doesn't mean you get credit for the course)

Lower Division courses

  • These are courses number with a 100 or 200
  • Typically you take these during your freshman and sophomore years

Upper Division courses

  • Courses numbered 300 or 400
  • Taken during your junior and senior years
  • Just a note for Bachelor degree seeking students - you will need 39 credits of upper division courses to graduate


The Catalog is your guide to school. Here are some starting points to look for information:

  • Degrees, Majors, Minors - A listing of all the degrees, majors, minors & certificates offered
  • General Education Core - Required course work for all students seeking an associate of arts, associate of science, or bachelor's degree at Northern
  • Programs listings - requirements for each degree
  • Course Descriptions
    • What is a Prerequisite?
    • Any requirement essential for a student to complete before taking a course.
    • Prerequisites can include:
      • Courses you need to take before you can be fully admitted to your program of study
      • Courses you need to take before you can take the course which requires it
      • Math and English placement
      • Permission of the instructor
    • What is a Co-requisite?
      • A co-requisite is a requirement that must be completed at the same time as the course for which it is required.
      • Such as:
        • One course that must be completed at the same time as another course.
  • Financial Aid Information
  • Academic Information:
    • Special programs
    • Grading
    • Transferring courses
    • Much, much more