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Why You Should Seek Out Academic Advising

November 8, 2021

Now is the time where registration opens for the Spring semester and students are frantic in signing up for classes before they fill up. But where do I start? What classes do I need to stay on track? How can I create the best schedule that works for me? These may be questions you are asking yourself. But do not fret, academic advising is here to help you. Academic advisors provide many benefits for you in your journey of completing a degree. 

 

 

  • Connect with Someone Knowledgeable 

 

Advisors know the course catalog very well. They can help you find the best route to graduation by creating a layout of your required coursework semester by semester. This helps ensure that you do not take any unnecessary courses, that you take all the required prerequisites in time, and that you do not miss any classes along the way. This helps you graduate without spending more money or taking extra classes. If you have any questions about your degree and major, connecting with an advisor is the best way to get an answer.

 

 

  • Develop a Major Academic Plan

 

Once you meet with your advisor, they will develop a Major Academic Plan (MAP) with you. A MAP is a record of what classes you have taken and which ones you will need to take in order to fully meet graduation requirements. Each student will have their own unique plan based on their major(s). This plan is not fixed, so as you progress through, they are able to edit it to your desires. For example, if you did not want to take a certain class during a specific semester, you can change that. However, do keep in mind that since most classes have prerequisites, you can only move classes around to a certain extent. Having a Major Academic Plan is a great resource to organize your courses and to ensure that you will meet all requirements to graduate on time or early. 

 

A MAP should not be confused with Degree Works. Degree Works is a degree audit report that tracks what requirements you have met. Although useful, a MAP takes the information from Degree Works and creates a course schedule format that is easier for students to review and use to create a formal schedule.

 

 

  • Declaration and Schedules

 

In order to declare a major, you are required to meet with an academic advisor. If you are undecided, you can meet with a Career Counselor at the Career Center. You can also take career and personality assessments, such as Focus-2 and Myers-Brigss, to give you some ideas. 

 

When it comes to choosing classes, advisors will help you create an official schedule. They will work with you to ensure that it fits what you are looking for and that no classes will overlap. Guidance and recommendations will be included to give you the best possible results. You can create your schedule by yourself, but by meeting with an advisor, they are more than happy to set it up for you. 


Academic advising is important in your college career and offers the best guidance when it comes to meeting graduation requirements on time. You are able to connect with someone who is knowledgeable, develop a Major Academic Plan and declare your major and create a schedule. At the College of Business, you can meet with advisors, Ashley Larson ashleylarson@isu.edu or Tara Smith tarasmith@isu.edu, for your academic needs. If you are unsure who your advisors are for your department, you can visit the Office of Academic Advising website.