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College Life | Classroom | Undergraduate

Tips to Prepare You for Meeting with Your First-Year Academic Advisor

When it comes to student life, the resources around you will become essential to your success. It is important to find these resources early to use them to their fullest potential. One of these essential resources will be your academic advisor. These individuals work day in and day out to serve students. College advisors work with you on creating a schedule instead of telling you what to do. They are here to provide support and guidance during your time at SDState.


Jody Owen, director of the Wintrode Student Success Center and the coordinator of academic advising, answers various questions about the resources first-year academic advisors provide.

 What resources do first-year academic advisors provide for students?

The first-year advising center sends biweekly messages to students with information about campus resources, workshops and events, as well as tips for academic and personal success in college. The center also provides contact information for various campus offices, including academic programs. The academic advisors can connect students with multiple online resources, such as the undergraduate catalog, First Stop and Study Hub.


Where are first-year academic advisors located?

Most first-year academic advisors are located in the Wintrode Student Success Center with SDSU’s tutoring and supplemental instructions program. Students majoring in pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy, medical laboratory science, human biology or the two-year agricultural science program will find their advisers in their program’s office.


How do students set up an appointment with their advisor?

Students can schedule appointments through ConnectState. This online resource can also be used for scheduling tutoring appointments, receiving performance notifications for classes and connecting with SDState faculty and staff.


What should first-year students expect when meeting with their academic advisors?

Your academic advisor is your go-to person for any questions you have about selecting courses, achieving success in your courses, campus processes and resources and anything else related to your transition to SDSU. You can expect a welcoming environment and an individual who is interested in you as a person, too.


What advice would you give to students when meeting with their academic advisors for the first time?

Come prepared with questions or topics you want to discuss and be ready to jot down some notes about your conversation. Also, be ready to share information about yourself and your goals. Don’t be afraid to ask your academic advisor about themselves and their career path. They want to get to know you beyond your major and courses.


What are common topics students should talk to their academic advisors about?

First-Year advisors are at the center of your college network. They are here to mentor you through the ups and downs of college life. While away from everything and everyone you’ve known while growing up, these individuals will fill a necessary void. Quickly they will become respected mentors. When meeting with first-year advisors, students can talk about various majors and related careers, course registration, how to get involved at SDState, time management, how to study, financial resources and much more.


What are common questions students should ask their academic advisor?

  • Where are my classroom buildings located?
  • How can I improve my study strategies?
  • Where can I find a part-time job?
  • How many hours should I work?
  • How can I schedule a tutoring appointment?
  • What resources are available to me at SDSU?
  • How will my credits from another college transfer to SDSU?
  • How can I change my major?
  • What minor would be a good fit for my major?
  • Which general education courses should I take?
  • Can I CLEP out of a class? What classes do I need to take for my major?
  • How do I pay my bill?

For ultimate success during your first year at SDState, get connected with your first-year advisor early. Think of your advisor as a mentor who is there for you, guiding and supporting you as you transition through this next stage of life. This advice will help you develop a dynamic relationship with your advisor and prepare you for life’s greater challenges.