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Common Advising Questions

Who is my advisor?

During orientation prior to your first semester and during the first term of your freshman year, you will be advised by our Program Coordinator, Dr. Lois Girton. During the spring term of the freshman year you will be assigned a genetics faculty member as your permanent advisor. Advisor assignments are indicated in AccessPlus.

What does my advisor do?

  • The primary role of your advisor is to guide you in selecting appropriate courses and the sequence of those courses for your program of study. Each semester you will review your degree audit with your advisor and determine the best set of courses for the next term. Your advisor will then provide your Registration Access Number (RAN) that allows you to register for courses for the following semester.
  • Advisors will help you learn how to interpret university and departmental guidelines and regulations.
  • Advisor’s signatures are required on numerous forms, such as add/drop, honors program, minor, and double major forms. This is to ensure that you have discussed your action with your advisor.
  • Your advisor can also provide information about scholarships, internships, and career paths. For example, an advisor may explain how and when to apply for graduate and professional programs.

When should I meet with my advisor?

You will need to meet with your advisor at least once every term before your registration start date to confirm your course selections and pick up your RAN. Other meetings will be needed should you be put on academic warning or probation. Your registration for the next semester will be on hold until your advisor requests that the hold be removed. Please note that academic advisors cannot remove holds placed on registration by the Accounts Receivables Office! You may also need to see your advisor to add or drop a class after the first week of the term. Students should feel free to contact their advisors whenever they have questions.

How do I set up a meeting with my advisor?

Email is the best way to contact your faculty advisor. Explain briefly the subject of the meeting, and suggest two or three times you would be free. Advisees of Dr. Girton can schedule appointments through AccessPlus, ISU Appt menu.

How do I know what my advisor expects from me?

General guidelines for the advisor/advisee relationship can be found in the ISU Advising Mission Statement. Every advisor is different. Some have set expectations of every student and others develop them as the advising relationship progresses. The only way to know for sure is to get to know your advisor and ask questions.

What if I don't like my advisor?

If you would like a different advisor than the one you have been assigned, then we will give you a different one. Simply contact Dr. Girton or Dr. Clark Coffman and we'll take care of that.