Helping Your First-Year or Sophomore Advisees Select Courses

There are six questions to keep in mind when helping your first-year or sophomore advisees think about their courses:

  1. Is the student over-reaching by taking too many courses or too difficult a course or credit load? For first-years, note in particular those students whose high school academic preparation suggests the need for introductory skills-based courses, such as in writing (WR) or quantitative reasoning (QR).
  2. Has the student selected a course schedule that is too heavy with final papers or too heavy with midterm and final exams?
  3. Has the student selected courses that conflict in class meeting times or examination groups?
  4. For first-years: has the student considered the distributional requirements for the first-year? For sophomores: has the student considered the distributional requirements for the sophomore year?
  5. For first-years: has the student made plans for fulfillment of the foreign language requirement? For sophomores: does the student have a prospective major and, if so, is the student in touch with the DUS and working toward fulfilling the requirements for that major?
  6. Is the student taking at least one small class in which they will have the opportunity to get to know an instructor and engage in discussions with classmates?

Please also know that your advisees’ course-specific conversation with you is just one of many such conversations they will have this term with their residential college dean, their first-year counselor (for first-years), the directors of undergraduate studies, and others.