Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
Academic Advising at St. Olaf College
Academic advising at St. Olaf College encourages the integration of the mind, body, and spirit as students learn to create academic, career, and lifelong goals. Students discover how to direct their intellectual curiosity, to overcome personal or academic barriers to learning, and to attain their goals. Central to this educational process is the collaboration between students and their faculty advisors.
Each student is entitled to a faculty advisor. Advisors for new students are assigned by the Academic Advising Center. After completing at least one semester, all students have the right to change to a different faculty advisor at any time during the academic year, with the permission of the new advisor.
The Academic Advising Center and the department chairs and program directors oversee the reassignment of advisees for faculty on sabbaticals or other leaves.
The advice of faculty advisors does not constitute a promise or a contract ensuring a student’s graduation on schedule or the completion of specific requirements. Students and faculty advisors must refer to the Class and Lab Schedules to determine which courses fulfill specific graduation requirements. The responsibility for understanding and meeting degree requirements rests entirely with the student. Students have access to their academic records at any time on St. Olaf’s Student Information System (S.I.S).
Goals for Academic Advising
Through academic advising, students at St. Olaf College:
- examine the purpose of higher education at a liberal arts institution;
- examine goals and objectives of the St. Olaf Mission Statement;
- develop an understanding of the goals and purpose of the St. Olaf general education curriculum;
- learn to utilize resources on the St. Olaf campus;
- learn to analyze and develop an academic plan each semester utilizing the Student Information System;
- learn to prioritize competing responsibilities (academic, co-curricular, and personal);
- assess interests and talents and develop academic, personal, and career goals;
- integrate knowledge and skills acquired before and during study at St. Olaf College;
- develop a desire for life-long learning.
Students' roles and responsiblities
It is important to know that the responsibility for understanding and meeting degree requirements rests entirely with the student.
In order to take full advantage of the wide range of academic opportunities at St. Olaf College, students are expected to:
- express their academic interests and aspirations to their faculty advisor;
- respond promptly to messages from their faculty advisor;
- prepare carefully for meetings with their advisor;
- develop a 4-year academic plan that assists in pursuing a broad range of academic interests, in graduating in a timely manner, and in facilitating a desire for life-long learning;
- learn how to read a degree audit;
- explore the breadth of the general education curriculum, in order to understand the significance of each of the requirements;
- pursue an in-depth course of study within a major field chosen from those offered at St. Olaf or independently developed with the assistance and approval of the Center for Integrative Studies. A major MUST be declared in person at the Registrar's Office by fall semester of a student's junior year; however, students may declare a major prior to that time. In addition to a major, students may choose to declare an area of emphasis or a concentration;
- consider how to incorporate off-campus study into a long-range plan;
- become aware of the large number of support services available on campus.
ACADEMIC ADVISORS' ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES - WHAT YOUR ADVISEES CAN EXPECT
Faculty advisors assist the student in fulfilling their responsibilities. Advisors are expected to:
- maintain confidentiality;
- be accessible
- help advisees prepare for registration;
- encourage advisees to explore available resources to help make decisions regarding academic, career, and lifelong goals:
- choose courses that lead to a suitable major;
- get to know faculty members;
- consider off-campus study;
- understand policies and requirements when questions arise:
- assist advisees in immediate problem-solving by providing advice;
- when appropriate, refer advisees to relevant office or resource person;
- assist advisees in understanding the purpose and goals of higher education in general, and the general education curriculum in particular;
- encourage advisees to change advisors if they declare a major in an area outside their advisor's realm of expertise.
The advice of faculty advisors does not constitute a promise or a contract ensuring a student’s graduation on schedule, or the completion of specific requirements. The responsibility for understanding and meeting degree requirements rests entirely with the student.
Academic Advising Center
The Academic Advising Center provides administrative and curricular support to all St. Olaf students and faculty advisors. The center provides high quality, timely service on routine and general academic curricular questions and encourages all students to become more knowledgeable and involved in planning their academic programs.
Academic Peer Advisors (APA)
Academic Peer Advisors are a select group of current St. Olaf College students who assist the Academic Advising Center in providing quality, timely service on routine and general academic curricular questions. They enable their peers to become more knowledgeable and involved in planning their academic programs. Academic Peer Advisors also assist with academic planning sessions during Week One, set up academic planning sessions during the year, provide support during registration times, and assist the Academic Advising Center as needed.