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Florida State University
2014-2015 General Bulletin - Undergraduate Edition

Academic Advising/Academic Support Services


Advising is a process that includes collection of information, interpretation of data, and dissemination of facts regarding educational programs, courses of instruction, resources, policies, procedures, and career options. Together, the adviser and the student can discuss educational goals and map out an academic program that will achieve the student’s long-range goals.

The University takes academic advising seriously and accordingly has developed an official University policy.

University Policy on Advising

General Statement on Advising

To progress satisfactorily through a degree program, each student must have available ample and accurate academic advisement, tailored to individual educational needs. Florida State University is committed to a strong program of effective academic advising for all of its students. Florida State University understands academic advisement to be a function considerably broader than assistance with course scheduling. Academic advising is a process that helps students interpret the values and benefits of higher education, assists students in their choice of educational and career objectives commensurate with interests and abilities, and examines the consequences of possible short- and long-range goals.

The faculty and staff of the University affirm their responsibility to make available to every student information about academic policies and requirements, timely notification of changes either in the University’s policies and curricula or in the student’s academic standing, assistance in evaluating course options and in planning successful completion of educational goals, guidance in developing decision-making skills, and referral to the various academic and student support services on campus available to help the student make the most of educational opportunities. Further, the faculty and staff affirm their responsibility to inform students clearly about their own responsibilities in the advising process.

The Student’s Role in Advisement

Florida State University expects students to assume an ever-increasing responsibility for their own academic progress as they move through the University. To accomplish this goal, each student will:

  1. 1. Assume responsibility for knowing the rules, regulations, and policies of the University and the requirements pertaining to the student’s degree program and will consult the University General Bulletin and Registration Guide for up-to-date information;
  2. 2. Furnish a current address and immediately inform the Office of the University Registrar of any changes of address;
  3. 3. Know the student’s adviser, make timely contact with the adviser upon arrival on campus and during the first semester, and continue to see the adviser at least once a term until graduation;
  4. 4. See the student’s adviser or academic dean immediately after being placed on academic warning or probation;
  5. 5. Notify the appropriate dean’s office of any change in intended major or any problems the student is experiencing with advisement; and
  6. 6. Recognize that the matriculation catalog (i.e., the General Bulletin) governs each student’s graduation requirements—this catalog remains in effect for six years for the bachelor’s degree unless the student elects to meet the requirements of any subsequent General Bulletin published during the period of enrollment.

The Faculty’s Role in Advisement

  1. 1. Each college or department will formulate its own plan to meet undergraduate advising needs and problems. The plan shall include attention to appropriate advising loads and to the method of recognizing and rewarding individual advisers’ work in advisement for purposes of annual evaluation, promotion, and tenure. The plan, agreed upon by the appropriate unit, shall be filed with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and updated whenever the unit makes significant changes in advisement policies.
  2. 2. Each unit shall designate one member of the faculty or administration as director, coordinator, or undergraduate adviser for the unit. This faculty member will serve as the unit’s liaison with the Division of Undergraduate Studies to ensure that the advisers within the unit are kept abreast of changes in academic policies and procedures and to work with the Division of Undergraduate Studies to solve special advising problems. Units shall also monitor closely the quality of their advising and ensure that it meets the goals of the University.
  3. 3. The unit will not assign a first semester faculty member to advising unless there is ample evidence of prior college-level advising experience. Each adviser shall attend a workshop before beginning advising duties for the first time and at least every two years thereafter.
  4. 4. Recognizing that sound advisement and a successful undergraduate experience should begin even before the student arrives on campus, units shall communicate with students accepted as freshmen or transfer students who indicate an intended major, outlining requirements and preparatory work expected for specific degree programs. Such contact with admitted students shall be coordinated with the Office of Admissions.
  5. 5. Each unit will provide a planning guide for lower-division students working toward their majors—designed to help students understand course requirements, prerequisites, and sequences—to enable them to move into the major as efficiently and as well prepared as possible. A similar planning guide will be available for junior and senior students in the major. Both guides will be filed and updated annually with the Division of Undergraduate Studies.
  6. 6. Advisers should be aware that students transferring to Florida State University after the freshman year have as great a need for detailed information as do freshmen. Extra care should be taken to inform these students of Florida State University’s rules and regulations, which may differ from their previous college-level experience.
  7. 7. Advisers should also be aware of the special needs of the exploratory/undecided majors they advise. Directors or coordinators of advising in each unit should take care to inform advisers of Advising First, the Career Center, and other services on campus available to such students.
  8. 8. Advisers should inform students who may have other special needs (e.g., part-time students, disabled students, returning students, minority students, etc.) of the student support services available to them. Directors or coordinators of advising in each unit will ensure that advisers are aware of these student support services.
  9. 9. Advisers should take a role in identifying students who are working toward certain majors that may be inappropriate (e.g., a student with low math test scores and/or poor math preparation seeking a major in computer science or engineering). Such students may be referred to the Advising First Center for Academic Planning in A3200 University Center for information about their academic options and to the Career Advising and Counseling (CAC) unit of the Career Center for help in clarifying their interests and abilities; www.career.fsu.edu; Dunlap Student Success Center; (850) 644-6431.
  10. 10. Units should identify students who have declared a limited access major but who, it appears, are unlikely to be able to meet the special admission requirements of that major. Such students should be made aware as early as possible of the strong likelihood that their intended major will be closed to them; advisers may wish to refer these students to the Advising First Center for Academic Planning, A3200 University Center.

Advising Organization

The Advising First Office assigns most entering freshmen and lower-division transfer students to an adviser, with the exception of those accepted into the College of Music, the College of Motion Picture Arts, the College of Nursing, and the Departments of Dance and Theatre BFA Programs (College of Visual Arts, Theatre, and Dance). In these programs, advisers are assigned by the dean of the respective schools. Typically, students are assigned to either full-time professional or faculty advisers. Advisers of freshmen and sophomores assist students with understanding liberal studies requirements and other University policies and procedures. (See the “Undergraduate Degree Requirements” chapter of this General Bulletin for a discussion of the Liberal Studies Program and other degree requirements.)

Upon entering a major, usually around the junior year, the focus of advising shifts from liberal studies to major and college requirements. In most cases, this means that the student is assigned to an adviser who will assist with all requirements for the chosen academic major.

Assignment of Advisers

Advisers are initially assigned based on information provided to the University during the admission process. The Advising First Office assigns advisers for most lower-division students. Upper-division students are assigned advisers through the Advising First Office or the dean’s office of their college or school. Academic adviser contact information may be located by visiting http://advisor.undergrad.fsu.edu/advisor_search/advisors.php.

Academic Interest Mapping (“Mapping”)

Mapping is Florida State University’s academic advising and monitoring system that provides students with a recommended eight-semester map for each major. The map is a plan for completing the bachelor’s degree in four years in most programs. The map for each major may be viewed online at http://www.academic-guide.fsu.edu.

Students’ academic progress is monitored Fall and Spring semesters to ensure that they are on course to earn their degrees within four years. Summer semesters are not included in degree mapping and may be used by students to either catch up or get ahead in their degree programs. Students are responsible for checking their own progress and are encouraged to contact their advisers with any questions concerning their programs of study. In addition, advisers will contact students who are not making appropriate progress. Students who intend to change their majors should do so as early as possible. This will enable appropriate adviser assignment and degree monitoring.

Entering students are strongly encouraged to select their majors at the time of admission so that advising may be tailored to their specific program requirements. For those students who are divided in their interests, however, the University permits the option of an exploratory category. Students in this category are expected to declare a formal departmental major early in their second year of enrollment. Students still deciding on a specific major should contact the Center for Exploratory Students in Johnston Ground at (850) 645-2847. Although the exploratory category is a good option for undecided students in their first semesters at the University, students must select a major before they can be certified into an upper-division degree program. See ‘Progression to Upper Division’ in the chapter “Undergraduate Degree Requirements” in this General Bulletin for additional details.

Minimum Progress

Students do not have to complete all of the recommended classes on their maps to remain on course; however, they must meet certain minimum requirements known as “milestones.” Milestones may include a minimum grade point average (GPA), completion of specific classes, and/or minimum grades in one or more of the milestone classes. Milestones are identified on each major map.

Students who are off course are notified of such status by the University. Before registering again, these students must meet with an adviser in order to either: (1) determine what is necessary to get back on course; or (2) identify possible alternative majors. If students are off course for two consecutive semesters, they will be required to change to more appropriate majors. Students will not be permitted to change to majors for which they would be off course for more than one semester.

Declaring or Changing Majors

Students are encouraged to declare an intended major and to meet with an adviser in that academic discipline. The declared major is extremely important because it may allow a student access to important prerequisite courses for that major.

Lower-division students are allowed to change their major at any time during the semester, provided they meet the eligibility requirements of the new major, by submitting a completed major change form to the Advising First Center for Academic Planning, A3200 University Center. Upper-division students should contact their academic dean’s office.

Advising Services

Orientation Advising

Incoming students may change previously provided information concerning their major at orientation check-in.

The first academic advising experience for all students occurs during orientation. Due to time constraints, this session usually consists of brief general information and course selection. Students are strongly urged to contact their advisers early in their first semester for an individualized advising appointment.

Department Advising

All freshmen and sophomores are required to see their academic advisers prior to registration each semester. Some major departments prevent students from registering if they have not seen their respective advisers. Contact information for advisers is available at http://advisor.undergrad.fsu.edu/advisor_search/advisors.php or by calling either the dean’s office for the college or school or the academic department of the intended major. The Advising First Center for Academic Planning in UCA 3200 maintains a list of academic advisers for lower-division students.

The academic relationship should be a comfortable and personal one between the student and the adviser. Sometimes, due to personality conflicts or shifting academic interests, this relationship does not develop. Students in this situation may request reassignment to a different adviser through their dean’s office.

Exploratory Category

Students are encouraged to declare a major early in their academic career at Florida State University to ensure proper advisement and course selection. If students are unsure as to which major they wish to pursue, the University offers an exploratory category in which they can examine their academic options. Students still deciding on a specific major should contact the Advising First Center for Exploratory Students in Johnston Ground at (850) 645-2847.

Although the exploratory category is a good option for undecided students in their first semesters at the University, students must select a departmental major before they can be certified into an upper-division degree program. See ‘Progression to Upper Division’ in the chapter “Undergraduate Degree Requirements” in this General Bulletin for additional details.

Advising First

Advising First is a program within the Division of Undergraduate Studies at Florida State University that places professional academic advisers throughout the University’s many academic units. Specifically, Advising First advisers provide academic advising to assist students in meeting liberal studies, major, and University requirements. Currently, the program has approximately 40 professional advisers in numerous locations throughout campus.

Along with being housed in colleges and departments, Advising First advisers are also available in the Center for Academic Planning (UCA 3200), the Center for Exploratory Students (Johnston Ground), the Classroom Building (Room 320 HCB), and Strozier Library (main floor). The Center for Exploratory Students focuses on advising freshman students who are not ready to declare an intended major when they enter the university. This center works closely with students to help them take the appropriate liberal studies and introductory courses while exploring their available academic and career options. The Center for Academic Planning, located in University Center A3200, focuses on working with sophomore Exploratory students, assisting students with major changes, and working with students who are required to change their majors under the University mapping system. Advising First Center for Academic Planning: A3200 University Center; (850) 644-3430; http://www.AdvisingFirst.fsu.edu.

Advising Report and Academic Planner

The state of Florida has implemented a computerized advising system to help both the student and the adviser monitor academic progress. The Advising Report outlines requirements the student has already met and those the student has yet to complete. Students may view their reports online by selecting the “My Academics” option within the Student Center available through the myFSU portal. Students may also use the Academic Planner to map out their potential courses for several semesters in advance. The Planner is available in the Student Center under the “Plan” tab. Individual requests for Advising Reports may be made at the Advising First Center for Academic Planning, A3200 University Center.

Pre-professional Majors

Pre-law students may major in many different fields and will have an adviser assigned to them based on their undergraduate academic area. Students planning to enter law school after earning a bachelor’s degree should join the pre-law society, Phi Alpha Delta, where they will receive special information and services focusing on pre-law issues. Students may come to Advising First to obtain a list of advisers who specialize in working with pre-law students.

The Pre-Health Professions Advising Office, part of the overall outreach effort of the Florida State University College of Medicine, provides career counseling to students interested in pursuing a career in the health sciences. Since there are no specific majors leading directly to individual health professions, advisers can assist students in developing strategies leading to acceptance into medical, dental, veterinary, and other programs. Students are encouraged to meet with an adviser as soon as possible in their college careers and at least once each semester thereafter. Information about pre-health organizations is also available through this office. For further information, visit the College of Medicine, 1160A MSB, or call (850) 644-7678.

Student Athlete Academic Services

Student Athlete Academic Services (SAAS) assists student-athletes with the transition into college and provides continued support in all phases of academic and professional development throughout college, culminating with graduation, job placement, or graduate school. Program staff provides academic counseling, study skills development, and additional academic assistance through tutorial programs. This supplements the sound educational practices (class attendance, note taking, reviewing and preparing properly for quizzes and exams, actively participating in class discussions, and staying current with all assigned readings) that are imperative for academic success. D2108 University Center and D3103 University Center; (850) 644-9201; http://undergrad.fsu.edu/Departments/Student-Athlete-Support.

Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE)

Florida State University and the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) are committed to recruiting, retaining, and graduating economically and educationally disadvantaged students who have the potential to do college level work.

CARE is designed to provide first-time-in-college students from socially and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds with services such as a limited number of exclusive, full-credit liberal studies courses, academic advising, financial aid advising, a tutorial lab, learning skills workshops, and cultural enrichment activities. The Center promotes a caring environment for students to discuss their academic, personal, and/or social concerns with a friendly, supportive staff.

The Center provides a high-school-to-college Summer Bridge Program that includes intensive academic and social orientation to the University, introduction of participants to the responsibilities and opportunities of college life, encouragement of the development of useful study habits, and assistance with recognizing potential for success. In addition, through the Unconquered Scholars Program, CARE provides additional academic and engagement support activities for students who were a part of dependency care, foster care, or homeless before their enrollment at FSU. Thagard Building, 109 Collegiate Loop; (850) 644-9699; http://www.care.fsu.edu.

Pre-Collegiate Programs

College Reach Out Program (CROP) is a state-funded program established to identify, motivate, and prepare disadvantaged middle and high school students to pursue post-secondary education. Through supplemental academic assistance, enrichment activities, educational field trips, and college tours, CROP prepares students for the rigors of a college education.

The University Experience Program is the summer residential component of CROP offering high school students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to visit the Florida State University campus during the summer. They attend academic courses and take part in cultural enrichment and college exposure activities.

The Upward Bound Program (UBP) is a federally-funded program that serves high school students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Located at East Gadsden High School in Gadsden County, Florida, Upward Bound offers developmental opportunities to students through a variety of educational activities, including an on-site computer lab dedicated to UBP participants. UBP staff also assists students in the development of personal and social skills that will help them complete high school and continue their formal education in a post-secondary setting.

Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)

The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) is a University learning center focused on helping undergraduate students develop the study skills and personal success habits that enhance learning and encourage the highest level of academic achievement. ACE provides free peer tutoring, study skills workshops, individual consultations with faculty, preparation for graduate school entrance exams, and a one-credit study skills course (SLS 1122) available to all undergraduate students. The ACE Learning Studio, located at G051 Johnston Ground in the William Johnston Building, offers appointment-based tutoring in a wide variety of subjects including math, biology, chemistry, physics, accounting, economics, and more. Additionally, walk-in math tutoring is available any time the Learning Studio is open. For hours, visit http://ace.fsu.edu. ACE faculty teaching SLS 1122 are located in A3600 University Center; http://ace.fsu.edu.

Reading-Writing Center

Part of the English Department, the Reading-Writing Center (RWC) serves all Florida State University student-writers (e.g., first-year students writing for composition class, upper-level students writing term papers, seniors composing letters of application for jobs and graduate schools, and graduate students working on theses and dissertations). Like a laboratory for ideas, the RWC offers students the opportunity to think through and test out their ideas as they write. The RWC also provides students the chance to share their writing with a “practice audience” before they share it with their intended audience. Students can learn about the many RWC locations/hours and/or schedule an appointment by visiting http://fsu.mywconline.com.

Also part of the English Department and affiliated with the RWC, the Digital Studio (DS) provides support to all FSU students working individually or in groups on a variety of digital projects, such as designing a Web site, developing an electronic portfolio for a class, creating a blog, selecting images for a visual essay, adding voiceover to a presentation, or writing a script for a podcast. The DS has both Macs and PCs and software such as Photoshop, InDesign, Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, and more. Like the RWC, the DS is an idea laboratory: a place to explore ideas in digital texts and to learn new technologies to communicate ideas in those media. Students can learn about the DS locations/hours and/or schedule an appointment by visiting http://fsu.mywconline.com. For more information on English Department writing resources, please visit http://wr.english.fsu.edu/.

Career Advising and Counseling (CAC)

The Career Advising and Counseling (CAC) unit of the Career Center is a theory-based advising unit, located within the Career Center. Students can take advantage of drop-in career advising services, which include meeting one-on-one with a trained Career Adviser about issues such as choosing a major or occupation, the job and internship searching process, going to graduate school, and many other career-related topics. The Career Adviser guides them and offers access to CAC’s many career-related resources including books, files, guides, databases, and Web sites. The Career Center conducts frequent workshops for classes, student groups, and special events, offering a wide variety of topics such as Resume Writing and Interviewing. Special equipment and materials are available for distance students and students with disabilities. Dunlap Student Success Center; (850) 644-6431; http://www.career.fsu.edu.

Living-Learning Communities

First year students at Florida State University have an opportunity to participate in one of seven living-learning communities. Each community is directed by an FSU faculty member. Participants live together in University housing and enjoy academic experiences that focus on a theme or major. Information and applications are available through University Housing, http://housing.fsu.edu. The seven communities are: Bryan Hall Learning Community; Music Living-Learning Community; Nursing Learning Community; Pre-Health Professions Learning Community; Social Justice Living-Learning Community; Social Science and Public Affairs Learning Community; and Women in Math, Science, and Engineering (WIMSE).

Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs)

All first-time-in-college students have the opportunity to enroll in a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) during their initial Fall term of enrollment. This program is an initiative of the Liberal Studies Coordinating Committee and was established to enhance the academic engagement of our incoming undergraduates. Each FIG is a pre-packaged cluster of high-demand freshman courses that have been structured to assist students with the initial selection of Liberal Studies courses by grouping courses with a common thread of interest. One of the most significant advantages of the program is the FIG Colloquium, HUM 1920. This course is designed to provide a set of experiences that will introduce students to the academic culture at Florida State University.

Office of National Fellowships

The Office of National Fellowships (ONF) assists students in pursuing opportunities for academic and personal enrichment by providing information and support for over sixty nationally competitive fellowships. Using a unique mentoring model, ONF staff challenges students to articulate and communicate their academic and career goals as they work through the fellowship application process. Students are provided a venue for identification and achievement of their academic, public service, creative, and leadership goals. Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, Suite 3002; (850) 644-7596; http://onf.fsu.edu/.

Office of Undergraduate Research

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is the resource for information and support for research opportunities available at FSU. Research is an exciting way to engage in an academic discipline outside of the classroom. Research can take many forms—an experiment done in a laboratory, a scholarly research project reliant upon archival work, fieldwork and interviews conducted to address a social concern, or an artistic project performed in a concert hall—all of these options are available through the Office of Undergraduate Research. Some of the programs offered by OUR are:

  • Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP): For first- and second-year students interested in a first research experience. UROP students gain research experience as a faculty research assistant for two semesters while participating in a research training colloquium and present at the Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Global Scholars: The FSU Global Scholars program helps students secure Summer internships at nonprofit organizations in developing countries around the world. Global Scholars’ placements are low-cost and high-impact, providing a challenging academic and personal student development experience. FSU students in the program receive training before departure and must complete a capstone research project on an issue facing the overseas community after completing their internship.
  • Research Awards: For students seeking awards or funding for their research. Some of the awards include the $4,000 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Award (URCAA), the $1,000 Mentored Research and Creative Endeavors Award (MRCE), and the $3,000-$5,000 Public Service Research Fellowship (PSRF).
  • Publication and Presentation: OUR helps students find venues for sharing their research with the community through presentations like the Fall Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence, the Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium, or publishing in the FSU Undergraduate Research journal, The Owl.

All of these options are available to Florida State University students. Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, Suite 3002; (850) 645-8118; http://our.fsu.edu/.

Office of Undergraduate Studies

Assistant Dean: Nikki Raimondi

The Office of Undergraduate Studies provides information and services on all academic matters, including exemptions with credit, information on liberal studies courses, academic standing, dismissal, readmission, remediation, correspondence study, and enrollment in courses at other colleges and universities. The Office of Undergraduate Studies is located at A3400 University Center.

In addition to serving as the academic dean’s office for most freshmen and sophomores, the Office of Undergraduate Studies performs two important academic functions:

  1. 1. The office evaluates all transfer credit to determine how it applies to Florida State University’s liberal studies requirements and prepares liberal studies evaluations for each undergraduate transfer student who enters without an Associate in Arts (AA) degree from a Florida public post-secondary institution. See the “Undergraduate Degree Requirements” chapter of this General Bulletin for details. Decisions about transfer credit applying toward a major requirement are made in the office of the dean responsible for that major; and
  2. 2. The office monitors student progress in liberal studies through the Academic Report. The Academic Report will be reviewed with the student at the time of formal declaration of a major for transfer to an upper-division program.

Florida State University grants an AA certificate to qualified students upon request. The Office of Undergraduate Studies determines the eligibility of students for the certificate. See the “Undergraduate Degree Requirements” chapter of this General Bulletin for more information.

The cooperative enrollment program between Florida State University and area high schools is administered by the Office of Undergraduate Studies. See the “Academic Regulations and Procedures” chapter of this General Bulletin for descriptions of these cooperative programs.

Transfer from Undergraduate Studies to Major Advisement Program

Transfer from undergraduate studies to a major’s advisement program in any college or school of the University is accomplished between the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the appropriate baccalaureate dean after the student: (1) has declared a choice; (2) has been certified as eligible for transfer; and (3) has been accepted by the appropriate baccalaureate dean. Acceptance into a major advisement program does not constitute admission to the upper division of the University.

Eligibility for Transfer to Major Advisement

Students will be considered eligible to transfer from the advisement program of the Office of Undergraduate Studies after satisfying the following requirements:

  1. 1. Completion of at least fifty-two semester hours of credit;
  2. 2. Successful completion of at least one-half of the required semester hours in the Liberal Studies Program, including all required liberal studies courses in freshman composition and freshman mathematics (Areas I and II of the Liberal Studies Program—see the “Undergraduate Degree Requirements” chapter of this General Bulletin);
  3. 3. Achievement of a minimum adjusted grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above on work attempted at Florida State University; and
  4. 4. Acceptance by a baccalaureate dean for admission to a major’s advisement program.

A student who has attempted seventy-five or more semester hours without fulfilling all of the above-listed requirements will not be allowed to register. Such students should consult the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the dean of the college or school in which the degree is to be sought before making final decisions on how to meet these requirements.