Advising at Alma College/Academic Skills
Advising is central to our work as an academic community at Alma College.
Liberal arts education entails learning how to learn. We thus emphasize that advising at Alma is a relationship between students and faculty mentors through which students learn to take increasing responsibility for their academic choices and careers.
Upon admission to Alma College, each student is matched with a faculty advisor on the basis of academic, career, and personal interests. Working with this advisor, students plan their courses and evaluate their progress. For those students who are uncertain about their interests, advisors are specially selected who can assist them in exploring and establishing a career direction through a well-developed plan of coursework and co-curricular experiences. Students' academic goals may also change during the course of their college careers. Accordingly, students may change advisors at any time, especially when an academic major is declared.
One of the most important steps for your success as a student is to get prepared! Please browse through the resources in our Advising Center to acquaint yourself with Alma College requirements, departmental advising guides, and other helpful articles about success in college.
ALMA COLLEGE ADVISING WEBCENTER: Index of Resources
The Alma Experience
- Alma College mission statement: What does this mean for me?
- The value of the liberal arts in career planning
- The ultimate guide to Alma College: Using the academic catalog
- Moving through college: What happens each year?
- Preparing for excellence: Honors and national scholarships
- All about spring term - An Alma College specialty
Field of Study Questions
- What is a "field of study"? How does it relate to a "major"?
- How do I select a field of study? What are the steps?
- What if I'm undecided? What can I do this term?
- Declaring, changing or deleting majors (and minors)
- How to select courses: A decision making guide
- Building a flexible four-year plan
- I've really changed my direction! Will I have to transfer?
- Announcing special information about majors/pre-professional programs
- The informational interview: What's that career really like?
Navigating General Education Requirements (the DR system)
- Introducing the general education (DR) requirements (select from sidebar)
- A brief summary table of the DRs (from the 05-07 catalog)
- The rationale for each DR requirement (from the 05-07 catalog)
- Current classes that qualify for each DR area (from the 05-07 catalog)
- Writing across the curriculum (more information from the 05-07 catalog)
General Academic Issues
- Staying in touch across campus
- What is a CPA/GPA? How do I calculate mine?
- How can I improve my CPA?
- Should I drop a class? How do I decide?
- Transferring off-campus, summer or overseas classes into Alma College
Student Success Manual (skills, information and help for college)
Academic and classroom skills, time-management and other life skills
Troubleshooting: A guide to resources across campus
- In case a health or family emergency takes you away from campus
Especially for First Year Students (and newly accepted students)
- The challenge of college: What might I gain?
- How do I "grow" to college?
- What should I try to accomplish in my first year?
- Advising and advisors
- The advising system at Alma
- Advisee roles and responsibilities
- How to become a proactive advisee
- Making the most of college
- Advising guides for course selection (first term and year)
Especially for Sophomores
- What should I try to accomplish in my sophomore year?
- Identify your strengths
- Connect and reconnect: Fighting sophomore drift
- Why declaring a major can be a “major” pain: The sophomore crunch
- Looking ahead to the Junior year – Full speed ahead!
Especially for Juniors and Seniors (coming Winter Term)
- What should I try to accomplish during my junior year?
- Am I on track? My academic audit for graduation
- Senior year: Here I come!
- What should I try to accomplish during my senior year?
- Transitions to the real world
- Ready, Set, Graduate!
Especially for Transfer Students
- The transfer process and your transfer advisor
- The transfer valuation for credit and course equivalencies
- Connecting to the Alma College community
Especially for Advisors
- Recent announcements and problem spots
- Advisor manual
- Conceptual topics
- Relational topics
- Informational topics