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Advising at Berry

The purpose of the Academic Advising program at Berry is threefold:

  • To provide guidance to students in interpreting the college literature, in making good decisions related to their academic program, and in following guidelines of the Berry system;
  • To help students create educational plans that are balanced in their attention to the “head, heart and hands” and incorporate experiences relevant to the students’ individual goals and aspirations;
  • To assist students otherwise in making the transition to college and in having worthwhile college experience.           

Academic advising is an institution-wide effort at Berry College. All faculty members have a cluster of advisees, the average size of which is about 15. New faculty receive instruction in the advising program and after a semester or two are assigned advisees in their major area. Several professional staff members from the student-affairs area are also trained to advise students as part of the First-Year Experience program.

New students may declare a major at the time of their enrollment. They are assigned their first advisor when they come to their Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration Orientation (SOAR) session. The initial advisor of the first-year students also serves as the instructor of the BCC 100 seminar course.

At the SOAR sessions, first-year students meet with their advisors for a period of developmental advising in which they get to know the members of their group and the expectations of the college in their academic program. They then meet individually with their advisor and discuss their fall courses.

Advisors continue with an assigned advisee until at least the beginning of the second term.  At that time, some students continue with the same advisor, while others may be reassigned to an advisor within the chosen major. Transfer students are assigned to advisors within their major areas as they enter Berry.

Students pursuing two majors will have two academic advisors. Students pursuing a secondary-education minor will have an education advisor assigned as their second advisor.

Students are required to meet with their advisors prior to registering for courses each term.  Students should be prepared not only to discuss what courses they are interested in enrolling for, but they should also be prepared to consider their total educational plan, including co-curricular, extracurricular, work experience and service opportunities with their advisors. Students must also meet with their advisors to complete the Undergraduate Degree Plan when they become a junior and the Application for Graduation when they become a senior.

Regular workshops on advising are held for all advisors. To assist faculty and staff in the advising process, the coordinator of advising makes available an annually updated handbook. Other resources for advising are provided by the registrar.

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