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Faculty Guide for Student Advisement

Southeastern Advisement Policy

Southeastern currently uses a “blended” advising model. This means that both professional and faculty advisors are utilized to assist students in meeting educational goals and interpreting university policy. In general, professional advisors in the Academic Advising and Outreach Center (AAOC), Online and Distance Advising Center (ODAC), or in Student Support Services advise freshmen (students with less than 24 credit hours), undecided majors, transfer students, students with academic deficiencies, and students who are fully online or located at an outreach location. Additionally, the AAOC hosts professional advisors for specified online graduate programs.

University faculty will serve as the students’ primary advisors once the student has completed 24 hours and/or declared an academic major. Other institutions may use a “centralized” advising model (professional advisors only) or a “de-centralized” advising model (using faculty advisors only). Southeastern believes that the blended model is the best organizational structure for our student population.

A significant number of incoming undergraduate students are first-generation, lower income, academically under-prepared, and rurally isolated. Professional advisors help with the transition into a new culture and serve as a hub for first-year services. Faculty advisors provide expertise in the overall goals of the curriculum, understanding of how the curriculum relates to the student’s long-term goals and provide the mentorship and intellectual guidance needed to produce successful students.

All undergraduate students who were admitted after spring of 2003 will have an “advisement hold” each semester. A Southeastern advisor must remove the hold before the student can enroll. If done electronically, the hold will be removed for the semester. An advisor’s signature on an enrollment card will allow the student to enroll at the Registrar’s office for identified courses. However, it will not remove the hold for the semester.

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This guide is intended to assist faculty in the advisement of their students. The Southeastern Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog is the official document in regard to all policies and procedures mentioned in this guide. The catalog can be found at

Initial Questionnaire

“I think the best thing an advisor can do is to LISTEN to the student. Ask questions about their life, responsibilities, transportation (commuter?), job, campus activities (athletics, debate, band, clubs, Greek…anything that takes time), timeline for graduation, parental (or spousal) needs and responsibilities, then design a schedule with all of that in mind. It usually takes me 30-minutes of talking to a student before I ever even attempt a schedule. I want to know them first.”

Dr. Wayne Jones-Chair, Department of Occupational Safety and Health

The following is a suggested questionnaire to help ensure a student is getting connected to the resources they are needing.

Name_____________________________ SID#_____________________

Do you have any past college credit? Yes or No or matrix for Texas colleges Registrar-ext.2165

Are you required to take any remedial courses? Yes or No

AAOC-ext. 2370

Will you need any accommodations to help you reach your educational goals? Yes or No

Disability Services-ext. 2392

Are you 19 or over (new student or stopped high-school)? Yes or No

Educational Opportunity Center-ext. 2913

Are you Native American? Yes or No

Native American Center for Student Success-ext. 2370

Are there any scholarship programs or activities that you are involved with? Yes or No

(ex. choir, band, P.L.C., Honors, athletics)

Did either of your parents/guardians graduate with a four year degree? Yes or No

Student Support Services-ext. 2254

Do you have a financial plan to pay for college? Yes or No

Financial Aid-ext 2186 or SSS, EOC, Native American Center for Student Success 

Are you living on campus? Yes or No

Residence Life-ext. 2948 or distance of commute?

Do you have any child-care issues? Yes or No

Child-care referral -ext. 3176

Do you want to get involved in campus groups or activities? Yes or No

Student Life-ext. 2947

Do you plan on working while attending school? Yes or No

Career Management Center- ext. 2267

Have you considered a major? Why this major? Yes or No

See degree plans

What are your strengths? What are your concerns?


Graduation Requirements

  1. A minimum of 124 hours.
  2. All university general education requirements must be met. (Specified general education courses for the major are considered a part of the degree plan)
  3. A maximum of 64 hours may be used from a 2 year college
  4. A minimum of 60 hours from a 4 year college.
  5. 30 hours must be taken from SOSU. 15 of last 30 must be taken from SOSU or at least fifty percent of the semester hours required in the major field of residence at SOSU. At least two courses in each major field and one course in each minor field which are used to meet degree requirements at SE.
  6. A minimum of 40 hours must be at the junior/senior level.
  7. All students must complete a designated number of Liberal Arts and Sciences credit. (Identified by # next to course)
    • Bachelor of Arts-80 hours
    • Bachelor of Science-55 hours
    • Bachelor of (Specialty)-40 hours
  8. A statement from the department that major/minor requirements are/will be completed.

It is HIGHLY recommended that the student schedule a graduation check with the Registrar once they have reached senior standing (90 hours). This will allow the student to identify any courses needed for graduation prior to the semester they expect to graduate.

Transfer Students

Nationwide, institution to institution transfer is an increasing trend in higher education. With almost one-third of the SOSU student population being transfer students, the need to provide quality information and services for this population is extremely high. To address this need, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education has created a state-wide system to establish course equivalency and SOSU has created several articulation agreements with other institutions.

Does this class transfer?

In 1996, The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education created a matrix that identifies course equivalencies for state institutions. A faculty advisor can go to this website to determine if a course has been identified as equivalent. The matrix is a dynamic document that is updated each year so it is important that the advisor selects the academic year that the student took the course.

If a course is not listed in the matrix, the faculty advisor should check with the Southeastern Office of the Registrar (ext. 2165) to see if the course has previously been approved by the department. Provided in this packet is a list of course equivalencies from Texas two-year colleges with which Southeastern Oklahoma State University has articulation agreements. If there is no record of equivalency, the academic department will determine if the course is considered equivalent.

It is very important that the advisor check for course equivalency. If a student takes a course that they have already had, not only could it cost them time, effort, and money, it could also put their financial aid at risk and delay their graduation. Also, double check with the student that all of the course work they completed is on their transcript. Transfer transcripts will not be recorded on the Southeastern transcript until the student is enrolled at Southeastern. If the student is unsure that all their transfer work is recorded, have them go to the Office of the Registrar (ext. 2165) to get a hard copy of their transcripts. Transcripts from all schools must be submitted even if the credit is not relevant to the current major.

What if they already have an Associate’s Degree?

If a student has an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Sciences (AS) degree from any Oklahoma two-year institution, the general education courses are considered complete. If the student did not complete the specified general education courses required for the major, the student will need to complete those courses at Southeastern. Southeastern has an articulation agreement with the following Texas two-year schools that can also allow for an AA or AS degree to satisfy the general education requirements*:

  • Grayson County Community College
  • Collin County Community College
  • North Central Texas College (may also need lab science and one semester of college level math)
  • Paris Junior College

*Students graduating with an AA/AS degree from these four schools must have an official evaluation with the Office of the Registrar to verify completion of their gen eds.

Any transfer student who does not meet these criteria should schedule an official transfer credit evaluation with the Office of the Registrar (ext. 2165)

Some students will enter SOSU with an Associate of Applied Arts/Sciences degree. This does not satisfy the general education requirements.

2+2 Agreements

In 2001, Southeastern Oklahoma State University began the process of establishing articulation agreements with two-year colleges that would allow a seamless transition from the community college to a four-year institution. Currently, Southeastern has articulation agreements with 14 area community colleges representing 39 degrees or degree options. When a transfer student enters the university and believes they followed the 2+2 agreement, the faculty advisor should check the transcript to ensure the student followed the prescribed curriculum. Occasionally, advisors at the originating institution will allow substitute courses for the student to complete the degree. If this has occurred, and the original course is a required part of the Southeastern degree plan, the student must take that course at Southeastern to be eligible to complete the degree. An example would be a two-year advisor telling a business major that they did not need the macroeconomics class to complete their associate’s degree. While this is true for the associates, the student would need to complete the course at Southeastern since it is a specified general education course for the major and a pre-requisite for other required courses.

Each curriculum was designed for the student to be able to complete their degree in two years past their associates. If this is the student’s goal, it is important that the advisor pay attention to the specific course sequences outlined in the agreements.

Colleague Self-Service

Colleague Self-Service is the university’s student advisement and registration (enrollment) system. The system can be accessed at The system allows a student to pre-plan courses for an upcoming semester and submit the plan for advisor review. The system also allows an advisor to plan a student’s courses. Undergraduate students must meet with an advisor and have their advisement hold cleared prior to registering for courses.

Key terms:

Advisement- unlocking a student’s ability to register for courses.

Plan- a selection of courses a student would like to register for. Students must plan prior to registration.

Registration- the process by which a student enrolls in courses.

Review- the process of documenting your approval of a student’s plan.

Notes- the section of Self-Service where the advisor provides a summary of a student interaction, documentation of program modifications, etc. This section provides context for other advisors and/or university departments as they help address student questions and issues.

Advisement Process:

First, an advisor must log into self-service at Advising and registration is conducted through the Advising category. Once in advising, a student will either be in the advisor’s list of assigned advisees or can be pulled up either by student id or using the first three digits of the students last name, first three digits of the student’s first name (for example: bla, mar).

It is easiest to start an enrollment advising session by reviewing the progress tab. This section will identify courses a student needs in order to graduate. If a student’s major is incorrect, they will need to contact the Registrar’s Office to request the major be updated. Until the update is completed, students and advisors are able to “try on” a new major by the “view a new program” button.

In the progress section, advisors (and students) can see courses that have been completed and what is still lacking.

Advisors can identify courses they would like a student to take by clicking the search button in the individual section. This will bring up a list of courses in that section that advisors can choose from. Courses that have sections for the active semester will show a gray box that says “view available sections for [course].” This box will not be available for courses that do not have sections for the active semester. Advisors will click on either the “add course to plan” or “add section to schedule” button to add the course to the student’s plan. Once a course is added to a student’s plan/schedule, advisors can return to the progress tab and repeat the process until a student’s plan is completed.

Once the schedule is planned, the advisor will need to review the plan, archive the plan, and complete the advisement session to enable the student to register for courses. These are clickable buttons on Self-Service at the top section of a student’s account. Advisors are highly requested to also add notes to the advising session. This can be done by clicking on the notes heading. Students will be able to see notes unless they are restricted by the advisor. NOTE: Restricted notes will be provided to students if they request to see them. Things that could be included in notes could include:

  • Courses for the major
  • Course for the minor
  • General Education courses
  • Course substitutions
  • Sequencing warnings
  • Upcoming tasks the student needs to complete (ex. certification tests, portfolio assignments, graduation checks)
  • If the student is enrolling in non-suggested courses or not enrolling in suggested courses
  • If the student needs to speak to another faculty member about an issue
  • If suggested courses deviate from normal course of action, why?
  • Anything that the faculty advisor or student feels is important

For more information on the other headings within Self-Service, please contact the AAOC for a more detailed walkthrough.


When you pull up a student, you may notice that a student has some type of university hold. This will pop up in the top right hand corner of Self-Service. These banners will pop up either red (meaning the student will not be allowed to enroll until the hold is removed), yellow (meaning that the there is something requiring attention but not restricting registration), or blue (which means a notice and does not restrict registration). Holds can be placed on student records by various administrative or academic offices. The holds are placed there because the student has unfinished business or something that needs their attention. The faculty advisor can still view student transcripts and remove the advising hold regardless of other types of holds. Holds that restrict registration will identify the office that needs to be contacted to address the hold. For questions about banners that do not identify the office to contact, please contact the AAOC or the Registrar’s Office.

Special Advising Considerations

Remedial Courses

Faculty advisors will occasionally see students who are required to take remedial courses. Completion of or enrollment in the remedial course is required before the student can enroll in the corresponding credited course. New students must complete remedial courses within the first 24 hours, and transfer students must complete within the first 12 hours or enrollment will be limited to those courses. If a student needs a remedial course, please refer them to the AAOC (ext. 2370) to enroll in the appropriate course.

Advising Specific Populations

Many students on the campus of SOSU are involved in activities or have special needs that impact advising. Below are some common issues with these students and resource and referral information.

Student-Athletes-With almost 250 student-athletes on our campus, this cohort makes up a significant percentage of the student population. Historically, student-athletes will have a higher retention and graduation rate than the general student population. When advising a student-athlete, it is important to explore with the student about practice times and when they are “in-season.” This could impact sequencing and timing of courses. It is incumbent upon the student to know their athletic schedules. Student-athletes must also be aware of their eligibility requirements in terms of numbers of hours completed and the impact of dropping courses. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Associate Director for Compliance & Internal Operations Cherri Wilmoth (ext. 2690), or the student can check with their head coach.

Honors Program-SOSU has more than 180 students participating in the Honors Program. In order to be considered an Honors Program graduate and to remain in good standing with the Honors Program, participants are required to complete designated classes at designated times. Different Honors Program Scholarships will require different amounts of hours to be completed each semester. It is incumbent upon the student to know these requirements. These courses may be above and beyond those required for general education or for the major. Honors Program students will periodically be asked to have their advisor provide an updated copy of their degree plan to make sure the scholarship funds are being used appropriately. Occasionally, a course required for the major will conflict with a required Honors Course. If this occurs, the student will need to address the issue with the Honors Program. If there are any questions concerning Honors Program students or their curriculum, please contact Dr. Margaret Cotter-Lynch (ext. 2770).

Disability-The Office of Disability Services provides a range of services for students with disabilities. As a faculty advisor, it is important to explore with the student if there are any conditions (physical, emotional, or learning) that could possibly impact their academic performance. Accommodations for such conditions may include a note-taker, extended test-time, specialized tutoring, or any other service deemed reasonable. It is incumbent upon the student to initiate with the Coordinator of Disability Services. Each student who is registered for these services will need to meet with the Coordinator after academic advisement to ensure proper accommodations are provided. If you believe a student could qualify for such services or have any questions, please contact or have the student contact Tiffany Tate (ext. 3036).

Returning to SOSU-Many students will be returning to SOSU after a period of absence. If their previous course work is not available on the Self-Service transcript, the student can receive a hard copy from the Registrar. In general, courses at SOSU do not “expire”; however, there is university policy concerning degree completion for returning students. Due to the consequences of repeating courses, please check with the Registrar if you believe a student should re-take a course due to time elapsed (ext. 2165).

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Other Advising Considerations

Developmental Advising: A Definition

“Obviously, being knowledgeable about degree programs and courses is essential but the most important thing to me is to show a genuine interest in the student I am advising and to provide a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. I want them to feel like they are the reason I am here and I try to give them as much time as they need in an advising session.”

Dr. Kitty Campbell-Professor, Management and Marketing

The academic advising literature now offers many definitions of the advising process that are grounded in a developmental perspective (Crookston, 1972; Crockett, 1978; Marsh, 1978; Grites, 1979; Walsh, 1979; Ender, Winston, and Miller, 1982). Developmental academic advising is defined as a systematic process based on a close student-advisor relationship intended to aid students in achieving educational, career, and personal goals through the utilization of the full range of institutional and community resources. It both stimulates and supports students in their quest for an enriched quality of life.

Developmental advising relationships focus on identifying and accomplishing life goals, acquiring skills and attitudes that promote intellectual and personal growth, and sharing concerns for each other and for the academic community. Developmental academic advising reflects the institution’s mission of total student development and is most likely to be realized when the academic affairs and student affairs divisions collaborate in its implementation.

If the goal of developmental advising is to be achieved, seven conditions or principles are essential in the advising process. (Ender, Winston, and Miller, 1982). They have proven utility within the context of developmental advising (Ender, 1983).

  1. Academic advising is a continuous process with an accumulation of personal contacts between advisor and student–these contacts have both direction and purpose. Whether in the context of the group format or a series of individual appointments between advisor and student, the process must be one that is purposeful. Both participants should be aware of the purpose the institution ascribes to the advising process. Outcome objectives of “quality” advising must be established and communicated to administrators, faculty, staff, and students. Each participant in the advising process should have an understanding of what advising can and cannot deliver. Responsibilities of each partner in the process need to be discussed until mutual agreement is reached.
  2. Advising must concern itself with quality-of-life issues, and the advisor has a responsibility to attend to the quality of the student’s experience in college. This condition is directly related to the mission of the institution. Are student outcome goals established by the institution, and do they reflect intellectual, personal, physical, and moral/ethical concerns? If so, are advisors aware of and do they communicate to students the resources and services available on campus and in the community that are designed to enhance the quality of the student’s educational experience? Are students aware of institutional objectives as they relate to student outcomes resulting from college participation? Do advisors understand their critical roles as institutional representatives? These are important questions that need affirmative responses if the goal of developmental advising is to be achieved.
  3. Advising is goal-related. The goals should be established and owned by the student and should encompass academic, career, and personal development areas. The formation of student goals and objectives must be one outcome of the advising process. The advisor should assist in the goal-setting process and challenge students to consider the outcomes they are seeking as a result of their interaction with the higher-education environment. The articulation and recording of goals lend direction to the student’s matriculation and assist in the clarification of both student and advisor roles in the process.
  4. Advising requires the establishment of a caring human relationship–one in which the advisor must take primary responsibility for its initial development. All institutions of higher education must communicate to students their regard for them as individuals in the learning process. The strength of this relationship will illustrate the institution’s willingness to work with students as individuals striving to take full advantage of the resources available to enhance their educational success.
  5. Advisors should be models for students to emulate, specifically demonstrating behaviors that lead to self-responsibility and self-directiveness. Perhaps the greatest impact a faculty member can have concerns helping students learn basic skills necessary to excel in life after college. All advisors need to consider the impact they are having on students as a result of the interactions that take place between them and the behaviors they demonstrate in and out of the classroom and advising office.
  6. Advising should seek to integrate the services and expertise of both academic and student affairs professionals. One strength of any advising system is the attention paid to the area of faculty-staff collaboration. Scarce resources, as well as practical considerations, mandate a symbiotic relationship between student affairs and academic affairs. There is no place within the present-day realities of higher education for the duplication of services. Collaboration is essential to the overall success of an advising system concerned with the students’ total development.
  7. Advisors should seek to utilize as many campus and community resources as possible. The collaboration called for should manifest itself through the referral process. Up-to-date information in the areas of academic and student services and the ability to make timely and appropriate referrals are essential for any successful advising program. This definition and the seven conditions outlined challenge the advisor and institution to engage with students in ways that stretch them.

Reference: Winston, R.B, Miller, T.K, Erder, S.C, Grites, T.J, (1984) Developmental Academic Advising. San Francisco: Jossey Bass

With permission from Colorado State University-Center for Advising and Student Achievement

Continuum of Advisor Interactions

“Although students are ultimately responsible for their education, as advisors we have many opportunities to impact their decision-making. Advising isn’t just getting students into the right classes. This is one of our main opportunities to build relationships and provide individualized attention and mentoring.”

Dr. Charla Hall-Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences

The interactions between an advisor and a student can be seen as a continuum. Excellent advisors will address the full range of advising interactions. This may occur in official advising sessions or in more informal settings.

Card-Student selects courses and times, advisor signs off.

Courses-Advisor helps student to identify courses and times for that semester. May discuss course descriptions.

Curriculum-Advisor helps student understand how each particular course fits into the general education or major/minor curriculum. Helps student understand how each course fits into the “big picture” and relates to the student’s long-term goals.

Career-Advisor helps student explore how each course relates to expected professional competencies. Discusses with student career opportunities and career preparation activities. The advisor stresses the importance of early resume building.

Calling-Advisor explores with student the congruence between career choice and internal vocational calling. (example: high ability students may be pressured to enter Math/Science but they really want to be an Elementary Education teacher or a student really wants to be a Math major but feels Elementary Education provides job security.)

Connectedness-Advisor explores with student the level of contact and support student is receiving/needing. Advisor recognizes that all learning happens within the context of a relationship. Advisor explores opportunities for students to be involved with faculty members on academic projects.

Commitment-Advisor explores with student the level of commitment student is able/willing to provide to their education experience. Advisor explores with student the consequence of outside employment on timeliness of degree completion and academic experience. It is important to be non-judgmental; basic needs and family responsibilities always trump school. (Myth-students must be enrolled full-time to receive financial aid.)

Confidence-Advisor explores with student the level of empowerment student feels concerning ability to reach education/career goals. Students often face courses in which they question their ability to be successful. An advisor can clarify the expectation for the course and show how past experiences prepared them for success.

Nine “Necessary Connections” To Consider for Current Students and Students in Transition

(Adapted from Pasztor, Polowy, Wasson, and Wolf, 1987)

  • Connection to Information/Knowledge
  • Connection to a Significant Person
  • Connection to a Group
  • Connection to a Meaningful Role
  • Connection to a Source of Joy
  • Connection to a System of Values
  • Connection to History
  • Connection to a Place
  • Connection to a Means of Support

Research/Publishing Opportunities in Advising

As faculty search for new areas of research and publications, issues in academic advisement and student transitions provide an excellent avenue for contributions of knowledge to your field. Each of the following journals has recently published articles on issues or impact of academic advisement:

  • The Journal of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
  • Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
  • Journal of College Student Personnel
  • American Educational Research Journal
  • Journal of College Student Development
  • Journal of Higher Education
  • Journal of College Counseling
  • New Directions for Student Services
  • Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
  • Research in Higher Education
  • Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development.

Some recent titles include:

  • “Microskills: Advisor Behaviors that Improve Communication with Advisees”
  • “Advising Implications of Undergraduates’ Motivation for Entering the Accounting Profession”
  • “Re-thinking Liberal Arts Skills in the New Economy”
  • “Learning about Students with General Education Development Diplomas on College Campuses: Implications for Academic Advisors”
  • “Academic Advising and Philosophy”
  • “If Advising is Teaching, What do Advisors Teach?”
  • “Increasing Advisor Effectiveness by Understanding Conflict and Conflict Resolution”
  • “Fostering the Critical Thinking of Women through Academic Advising and Faculty Contact”
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