Academic Advising


Information for Faculty & Staff

The following information will provide an overview of the role of academic advisors and ways in which you can collaborate with them to aid in student academic success at WIU. Academic advisors play a critical role in helping students develop a deeper connection to the WIU experience both inside and outside of the classroom. We hope that you can use this as a resource to learn about their roles and the ways in which they can aid in the relationships you develop with your students.

Who are the academic advisors on campus? Which majors do they work with?

The advisor directory is a great resource for finding out which advisors work with certain majors.

What are first-year advisors?

Advisors in the University Advising and Academic Support Center (UAASC) work with first-year students throughout their freshmen year. The FY advising program is designed to offer students extra support as they navigate the transition from high school to college. They then help students transition to their major area advisor right before their sophomore year.

Who are the other advisors/coaches on campus?

  • Complementary advisors are advisors serving in an area of special interest (athletics, honors, ROTC, study abroad) that ensure students are aware of the policies, requirements, and pursuits of the respective area. They also work in partnership with first year and major advisors to integrate the students’ special interests with their degree plan.
  • Major area advisors work with students their sophomore year through graduation. They connect students with experiences to help them excel within their major.
  • WIU also has an academic success coaching program. Coaches do not take the place of an academic advisor; they are available to assist students in meeting their educational goals and objectives.

What do the students do when they meet with the academic advisors? How many times do they meet with them? What do they talk about in their meetings?

When students meet with their academic advisor in their specific major areas, they will go over their WARD Report, degree plan, and required classes for the following semester. Depending on students' year at WIU and special interest (athletics, honors, etc.) they may meet with more than one advisor each semester.

What should I do if I’m concerned about a student?

Faculty/staff should complete a Leatherneck Care Referral if they have concerns about a student.

What committees do advisors have within the University?

The Council of Academic Advisors (COAA) is meant to provide a forum for advising representatives from all areas to discuss relevant issues that affect students and advisors. Professional development opportunities, methods to increase communication between advisors and students, and recommending changes in policies or procedures which affect academic advising are some of the functions that the COAA plays within Western Illinois University.

Guests (including faculty) are welcome to come and speak to the group on updates to curriculum, majors, minors, new classes, departmental events, etc.

If a student wants to declare a different major, where do I tell them to go?

Students can talk to an advisor in any major they are interested in pursuing. The contact information for those advisors is available in the advisor directory.

If a student doesn't know who their academic advisor is, where do I tell them to look?

Students can find out who their advisor is by going to STARS. Under the academic menu, it lists their major/advisor information.

If a student says they want to drop a class, what should I tell them?

If students want to drop a class, they really need to talk to their academic advisor first. Some classes might only be offered at specific times, and it could change their ability to graduate on time. Dropping classes can also affect financial aid.

If I have a student who says they are going to withdraw from a class, do I email the advisor? What do I do?

If you want to email the advisor about a student withdrawing, you are more than welcome to share whatever information you would like with the advisor, but it is not required. The more information an advisor has about a student, the more they are able to help them.

If a student is not returning to WIU, does the advisor need to know?

If a student is not returning to Western, they really need to talk to their academic advisor who can help them figure out their next steps with the university.

What types of academic resources does WIU offer for students?

WIU offers many academic resources for students to help them be successful.

  • Rocky’s Resources offers tutoring and study skills workshops. Tutoring is available at many different locations and formats throughout the week. Study skills workshops are offered weekly during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Departmental Tutoring takes place within many academic departments on campus. If your department offers tutoring, put that information in your syllabus.
  • The University Writing Center's writing consultants are resource experts who offer writing support in one-on-one and group settings to all writers on any project at any stage of the writing process.
  • Academic success coaching is an interactive process that empowers students to create a bridge between where they are and where they want to be.

What are University deadlines faculty should know about?

The best place to find deadlines is either on the official university academic calendar or on the calendar at the Registrar’s website.

For specific class add/drop information, tell students to go to Quick Look on STARS. They can expand the section for the particular section of their class and learn the add and drop information. Registration date and appointments can be found on the Registrar’s website.

What are the different types of holds a student could have?

Types of holds could include billings and receivables, athletics, student judicial, registrar, UHDS, and library. If a student has a hold, they should contact that specific office directly to find out why they have a hold.

We fill out grade checks for various offices around campus. What are those, and why are they so important to fill out? Who sends them? Why do we get them from different offices?

Reach Program and Academic Success Coaching (ASC) Program progress report requests, as well as GradesFirst student athlete progress report requests, are sent to faculty who have these student populations in their classes. If you have students in the Reach Program (formerly OAS), students who receive academic assistance from the ASC, or student athletes in your classes, then you will receive a request for feedback.

The Director of the University Advising and Academic Support Center sends the coaching and Reach program requests, and the Director of Athletic Academic Services sends the requests for athletes. Your valuable feedback is shared with students to help them determine whether they need to make adjustments to how they’re performing in your classes, or whether they need to drop by the course by the deadline.

We have access to the CITR attendance tracker. Do advisors look at this? Who specifically looks at this? What do they look for?

Many advisors look at the CITR attendance tracker. If they see that students are consistently missing classes, they will often reach out to see what is going on with the student. Consistent use of the tracker is important though to get accurate data.

How do students get special permission to register for a class?

If a student asks you for permission to register for your class, that is up to you and your department on whether you want to grant that permission. Special permission must be loaded into the WIUP system for the student to be added to the class. Please check with your department on how that should be done.

How does allowing a student an 'incomplete' affect the advising process and degree progress?

Allowing students an Incomplete provides additional time for the student to complete any remaining requirements for the course. Completing requirements within a specific or allowed timeframe can affect a student's grade point average and degree progress. Additional information can be found at www.wiu.edu/policies/incomplete.php and http://www.wiu.edu/catalog/requirements/grading.php.