Academic advising: What's in it for me?

April 18, 2014

With the end of the semester and final exams right around the corner, it is a great time to think about how you can enhance your academic experience over the summer and to touch base with your academic advisor about your plans for next fall.  Your advisor can help guide you toward courses, internships, research opportunities and much, much more.

Get started by taking a few minutes to read the following Q&A's about academic advising.

Q&A

What is in it for me?

Scheduling issues are the first things that come to mind, but we can help you enhance your academic experience in a number of other ways.  There are numerous resources available to students on the CU-Boulder campus and finding the right one for your particular circumstances or needs can often be a challenge.  Academic advisors are your map to navigating the many support offices, and they know the best way to take advantage of the available resources.  Some examples include:

  • How to get academic credit for volunteering
  • How to get paid for doing research
  • How to maximize your course selection to obtain a certificate, minor or additional major
  • Where to look for internships or research experience.

How will I fit in everything want to do in 4 years?  

So, you are interested in completing two majors, a minor, a certificate and doing study abroad. . . Oh, and you want to graduate in four years.  Careful planning is important to ensure timely graduation with one major and absolutely necessary if you are interested in pursuing other academic areas or opportunities within a set period of time.  Academic advisors help you with your planning by identifying courses that can apply to multiple requirements or aren’t offered every term. 

But I don't know what I want to do. . . . 

The sheer number of academic options at CU-Boulder can certainly seem overwhelming.  It can feel like a huge menu and everything looks good!  Advisors can help you narrow down the choices and provide some meaningful guidance based on your interests, goals and strengths.  Especially in the first year, advisors are focused on helping you to explore and confirm you options.

I need help!  Where do I go?  

Are you struggling in a class?  Do you want to get more hands-on experience in your field of interest but don’t know where to start?  Do you find yourself uninspired and wondering what the heck you’re doing here?  Your advisor is there to help you, no matter what the issue is.  They may not have all the answers, but when they don’t, they will direct you to the appropriate resource on campus that can help. 

I feel like a small fish in a big pond.  

Students are often struck by the sheer size of CU-Boulder-with its own power plant, police station, and zip code- and it is easy to get lost, or feel a bit like a fish out of water.  Please remember that your advisor is “your person” on campus.  They are there to advocate, assist, guide and support you during your time at CU.  If you haven’t made a connection with your advisor yet, then make it a priority in the near future.  Let them know how things are going.  If you haven’t found that peer-connection that you are looking for, and that would help make CU feel more like a home-away-from-home, then talk to your advisor.  They can help connect you with student groups or peer organizations that match your interests and values. 

How do I find out who my advisor is?

When you go to your MyCUinfo account, your advisor(s) is listed on the student center page in a blue box on the right.

 
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