What Is Academic Advising?

Academic advising can be an integral part of your success at UW Colleges Online. That’s because academic advisors act as your educational advocate – they start by listening to your goals, then show you all of the options available to help you achieve them. Academic advisors don’t make decisions for you – instead they share their extensive knowledge so you can make fully educated decisions.  

Advisors can assist you with:

  • Major and Career Advising
  • Course Selection
  • Associate Degree Planning
  • Transfer Planning
  • Study Skills
  • Class Concerns

Who is my advisor?

An academic advisor will be assigned to you upon admission. You can find contact information for your assigned advisor in your PRISM account.

When can I speak with my advisor?

Academic advisors are available by appointment Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Please call 877-449-1877 to schedule an appointment.

What Is My Advisor’s Role? What Is Mine?

At UW Colleges Online, you and your advisor will work together to create an educational plan that meets your educational goals. However, it’s important to understand your individual roles and responsibilities.

An advisor’s role is to...

  1. Let the student lead the process. Academic advising is a resource that students can use. It is not responsible for each student’s academic success.
  2. Explore the educational objectives, interests and motivations of the student. Guide students in the development of a course of study which reflects their choices.
  3. Stay up to date on graduation and degree requirements, as well as transfer information. Advisors are the best resource students have when seeking out the latest information.  
  4. Provide students with information about the alternatives, limitations and possible consequences of their academic decisions.
  5. Assist students experiencing academic difficulty to explore the possible causes of their challenges and make appropriate referrals for individual attention.

A student’s role is to...

  1. Know the requirements of a chosen academic program, select courses that meet those requirements and monitor progress toward graduation. Questions? Your advisor can help.
  2. Proactively contact and regularly meet with your assigned academic advisor throughout the academic year. Avoid meeting with your advisor only during busy registration periods.
  3. Schedule academic advising appointments in a timely manner so you can ensure all your questions are answered in plenty of time.
  4. Be well-prepared for your advising appointments. This includes bringing a list of questions and tentative courses, as well as being ready to discuss goals and interests with your advisor. 

How Should I Prepare for My Advising Meeting?

All students in their first term with UW Colleges Online are required to meet with an advisor before they can register. After that, all students are strongly encouraged to contact their advisor at least once per semester – especially before making any registration changes.

 To make the most of your advising meetings, here’s how you can prepare:

  1. Start by reviewing your Unofficial Transcript in PRISM. Simply log in to PRISM and select Self Service. Then underneath Academic Records, select View Unofficial Transcript. Click on the drop-down box for Report Type, select Unofficial Transcript and then select Go.

  1. Using your Unofficial Transcript, fill out the Associate Degree Worksheet to see what general education requirements you still need to satisfy. 

  1. If needed, review the Transfer Wisconsin website. This site shows you how courses transfer between the UW Colleges Online and other UW System institutions – and clarifies credit transfer equivalencies, academic program requirements, transfer guides and more.  

  1. Look through the course schedule and put together a tentative schedule for yourself. 

  1. Make a list of questions for your advisor, so you can walk away feeling confident and ready to start your semester. 

  1. If applicable, your advisor will likely ask you some of these common questions. Think through your answers prior to your advising appointment:

    • What are your goals for the future?
    • What are you planning to major in?
    • What school do you want to transfer to?
    • What do you have going on in your life in addition to school (work, family, etc.)?
    • Do you have the appropriate transfer guides for your major? (Check out the Transfer Wisconsin website.)
    • Are you planning to earn the Associate of Arts and Science degree at UW Colleges Online?
    • Would you like to participate in the Guaranteed Transfer Program.
    • Are you familiar with the requirements for the Associate of Arts and Science degree?
    • Are you familiar with the GPA required for your desired program?
    • How are your classes going this semester? Do you need help? And if so, have you talked with your professor?
    • Do you think you need tutoring? Do you know how to access tutoring services?
    • Do you have any transfer credits or AP credits?
    • Do you know what classes you plan to take next semester?