Frequently Asked Questions
Michelle Hardley, director of academic advising and disability services, coordinates academic advising. Please feel free to call her with any questions or comments (x6159).
Q: Why do I need an academic advisor?
Academic advisors can be helpful to you in many ways. They can help you explore your options regarding a major and career choices as they listen and learn about you and your strengths and weaknesses. They are great resources when it comes to knowing college academic policies, general graduation requirements, and scheduling classes. And in general they are just great people to talk with.
Q: Who are the academic advisors?
All full-time faculty members and some student life professionals act as academic advisors.
Q: How do I get assigned to a specific faculty advisor?
On your application to Westmont you were given an opportunity to let Westmont know your areas of academic interest. The college then uses this to assign you to a faculty member. This is not the same as officially declaring your major, but it does allow Westmont to assign you to an area where you at least have an interest. If you are undecided as to what you would like to study, you may be assigned to Michelle Hardley, Director of Academic Advising and Disability Services, for your first year at Westmont.
Q: What are my responsibilities as the advisee?
You are responsible to:
* Contact and keep in touch with your advisor (this is best to do well in advance of official registration);
* Come to appointments with all necessary materials;
* Ask specific questions and become familiar with the college catalog;
* Discuss concerns regarding your major, life choices, vocation, etc.;
* Build a schedule of classes based on the courses you need and want;
* Ask about college resources.
While your advisor acts as a resource, you bear the ultimate responsibility in meeting all graduation requirements. Be sure to check your record of classes each registration period and discuss any discrepancies with your advisor and the Registrar's Office. Exceptions to the catalog or faculty rules governing graduation requirements are valid only if the Academic Senate Review Committee approves them.
Q: May I switch advisors and how is this done?
Yes, in most cases you may switch advisors. In a few departments, however, the number of advisees per advisor makes it difficult to switch. To switch, you need to pick up a Change of Advisor form from the Registrar's Office. Have your previous advisor and your new advisor sign it, and then return it to the Registrar's Office.
Q: How well will I get to know my advisor?
That depends on you. Advisors are available during the semester, but you must seek them out. The Westmont College Student Association (WCSA) does have a program where you can get free meal tickets to "take a prof to lunch," offering you one way to get to know your advisor better.
Q: What can I expect from my faculty advisor?
You can expect him or her to:
* Post office hours and let you know what times are available for advising;
* Provide accurate and specific information based on familiarity with the college catalog and departmental offerings;
* Be a good listener and guide you in the decision-making process;
* Review your registration material to ensure the proper selection of courses;
* Suggest other available resources.
If you would like more information about academic advising, there are brochures detailing all academic policies and procedures in the Registrar's Office in Kerrwood Hall. We hope you will take some time to read them.