Academic advising is a continual process whereby faculty advisors provide developmental academic support and guidance for students throughout their college career.  Advisors help students learn responsibility and accountability for their academic progress and success while building a mutual respect and mentoring relationship with them.  Academic advising assists students in developing an educational plan consistent with their values, personal goals, and professional aspirations and fully exposes students to potential academic and co-curricular opportunities.

Academic Advising Process

At Illinois Wesleyan University, we have developed an academic advising program that takes into consideration the changing academic needs to students during their college years.  In addition, we recognize that not all students enter their collegiate experience with a declared major or may decide to change their major.

First-Year Advising

At Illinois Wesleyan University, we have developed an academic advising program that takes into consideration the changing academic needs of students during their college years. A key component of this program involves assigning a faculty member as the First-Year Advisor to each freshman student.  First-Year Advisors strive to promote the academic success of first-year students, facilitate their transition from high school to college, and assist with their integration into the broader Illinois Wesleyan community. Advisors counsel both broadly and developmentally while encouraging students to develop a cohesive academic plan with an eventual transition to a major advisor; help students to learn how to think strategically about their own academic progress; assist in the selection and registration of appropriate courses; and foster a respectful, supportive and trusting advisor-advisee relationship.

The First-Year Advising Program is linked to the Gateway Colloquium program.  The Gateway courses are small classes of 15 students designed to engage the first-year student in college-level writing, intellectual inquiry, and public discourse in preparation for a successful career at the University.  Students in each Gateway course typically have the same First-Year Advisor.

As they make the transition from high school to college, students will enroll in several general education courses, in addition to prerequisites for a major (if they have one in mind).  The First-Year Advisor guides the student into these prerequisites, as well as appropriate general education coursework to help in the exploration of academic areas of interest. This early focus on the general education program helps the student at the outset develop skills and values fundamental to the liberal arts that will enhance later academic experiences.

Major Advising

At the beginning of the sophomore year, the student is assigned an advisor who is a professor in the department of the chosen major.  This advisor continues to work with the student, guiding and monitoring academic progress until graduation.

Undeclared Students

Students who do not have a declared major after their first year may stay with their assigned advisor or may choose to be assigned to the Director of Academic Advising who will assist with the major exploration process. However, students at any point in their educational career who are undeclared or who are contemplating a change in major are also encouraged to see the Director of Academic Advising.

Academic Advising Appointments

Students meet with their advisors to discuss a variety of topics, such as:

  • the benefits of a liberal arts education at IWU;

  • how to be an active member of the IWU campus community;

  • curricular planning;

  • handling the rigors of course work;

  • navigating campus resources;

  • registration and scheduling courses.

Students must meet with their advisor at least once each semester before registration to obtain their PIN in order to access the registration system.  Designated advising periods are scheduled each semester, and can be found on the university calendar.

Students at IWU can use this document to find out who their assigned academic advisor is.