Academic advising at Concordia University

About CUAA’s advising philosophy

At CUAA, our academic advisors have one focus: you, our students. That’s why we operate from a learning-centered model. We’ll help you gain the above-and-beyond skills that complement your academic classes and help you ace both exams and interviews.

We’ll be with you every step of the way, offering support, advice, and encouragement. We’re invested in your success. But this goes both ways. We expect you to be an equal partner, just as invested in your educational pursuits. Be sure to keep us informed of questions, concerns, and changes to your plans as they arise, so we can best assist you whenever you need help.

Advising responsibilities

As we said, advising is a partnership. Both students and advisors play an important part. Below are key roles for each.

Students are responsible for the development, implementation, and fulfillment of their vocational aspirations by:
  • Taking the initiative to seek advising. A good rule of thumb is to plan to meet with your advisor twice a semester.
  • Understanding and fulfilling all program requirements. (Your Academic Catalog is a great tool.)
  • Staying informed of curricular changes. Be sure to read and, if necessary, respond to all emails from your support network, like advisors, faculty, or deans.
  • Using campus and academic resources. They’re all over - take advantage of them. If your advisor or instructors recommend them, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Advisors are responsible for the development, implementation, and fulfillment of students’ vocational aspirations by:
  • Communicating regularly with each advisee. We’ll be responsive to phone calls and emails. (Just try to not call in the middle of the night!)
  • Keeping students informed of curricular policies and changes. We’ll be in constant communication with both your program faculty and you, so we’ll have our finger on the pulse of what’s current.
  • Helping students evaluate their academic performance and vocational decisions. We’ll provide clear, honest, kind feedback and will help you find the best options.
  • Referring you to campus and academic resources as appropriate. Remember, we want to help you succeed!
The University is responsible for the development, implementation, and fulfillment of students’ vocational aspirations by:
  • Communicating requirements and expectations for graduation, following the Academic Catalog
  • Providing a structure to fulfill those expectations in a timely fashion (Using the advice of advisors and faculty, course sequencing, and offerings are very important)
  • Providing appropriate access to academic and campus resources. We have a lot of people who are willing and ready to help you succeed

Advising structure

Advising at CUAA uses a “shared advising model.” This means all new students, regardless of class standing, will be assigned a professional advisor and will later transition to a faculty advisor. It’s a way for us to help you get oriented to Concordia University and your classes. Later, your professional advisor will provide you a more detailed outline of the advising structure for your academic program, and how to maximize the benefit of your advisor and mentor relationships.

Depending on your school of study, you may have a faculty mentor who works in collaboration with your professional academic advisor; these roles are distinct and complementary to each other. You will transition to a faculty advisor at a logical point in your curriculum, likely after your first or second year. Having a faculty advisor is great when you find your true focus and select a major.

General timeline for advising

  • During the first 4 weeks of semester: Schedule appointment and meet with your advisor to discuss status of semester, adjust schedule as necessary, and chart plan for semester success
  • After midterm grades are posted: Schedule appointment and meet with your advisor to review midterm grades, adjust schedule and study habits as necessary, connect with campus resources as appropriate, and review/plan course schedule for following semester

Remember, these meetings are the minimum expectation. If you need or want to meet with your advisor more, that’s no problem. Reach out to them as often as necessary.

Undecided / unsure about major selection

Your professional academic advisor can help you navigate the early considerations for choosing—or changing—your major. Sometimes this is due to some general uncertainty (“Can I handle the coursework?”) and sometimes it’s due to a strong gut feeling. No matter what the reason, your advisor wants to be part of those discussions to help you make the best choice for you.

Along those lines, our Career Engagement & Industry Relations office is prepared to help you explore strengths, interests, and careers that you may never have considered. They can also provide guidance on determining potential new vocational pursuits.

Be assured now and throughout your time at CUAA, you’re part of a team. Your advisor is here to help you as you journey on the road to success.