Aggie Parents and Family
Finding an Academic Advisor
Academic advisors are assigned based on a student’s major. Your student should contact the advisor of the major or minor that is currently of interest. Advisor contact information can be found at http://catalog.usu.edu by clicking on Academic Advising (Undergraduate).
Changing a Major or Declaring a Dual Major/Minor
To change a major, declare a dual major, or declare a minor, your student should contact the academic advisor for the new major or minor. That advisor will discuss degree requirements and help your student complete the necessary paperwork to officially change the major in the USU system.
Parents as Partners in the Advising Process
One of the most important things you can do to help your student is to encourage him or her to visit with an academic advisor each semester, as well as anytime he or she is experience academic difficulty. Advisors are aware of the latest developments in the degree programs they advise, and they can help your student graduate in a timely manner.
More than just a graduation planner, however, an academic advisor can counsel your student if he or she begins to experience academic difficulty in a given semester. If your student begins to feel overwhelmed as a result of difficult courses, a job schedule change, or even relationship issues, it is important that he or she visits with an advisor as soon as possible to explore options to make the load manageable. Advisors can recommend pass/failing a course, dropping a course, or may recommend speaking with the instructor or an on-campus resource that may be able to help.
Parents can also help students research academic policies when questions arise. The USU General Catalog is the best resource for finding official policy questions. A few key resources within the catalog include the following:
- Degree Requirements: Which majors and minors are available, and which classes students will take to graduate in those programs.
- Course Descriptions: What information is covered in each course, as well as which prerequisites are required for that course.
- Academic Policies: All official policies, including topics such as no-test week, academic honesty, leave of absence, and honors at graduation, can be found in the catalog.
Parent Boundaries with Academic Advising
Due to Federal FERPA regulations, academic advisors are not able to share student academic information with parents. For this reason, and because it is important for the student to take responsibility for his or her education, advisors prefer to speak with the student when answering questions and counseling about specific situations. Sometimes students need a little extra push to speak with an advisor, and parents can be extremely helpful when it comes to getting the student to speak to the advisor, but it is important to allow the student room to take responsibility.