Preparing for an Advising Appointment

Preparing for an Advising Appointment

It's important to be prepared for your academic advising appointment in order to take full advantage of the time you have with your advisor. The following information will help prepare you for your appointment.

Fill out a Student Information Release

If you plan to bring a guest to your appointment, please fill out a Student Information Release in Buckeye Link. If you bring a guest and you do not have a release on file, your advisor will talk with you about privacy laws and ask you to sign a release form before your guest can come in for your appointment. This is also true if you want to have a guest on speaker-phone.

Book an appointment in advance

During busy times of the semester, some advising offices are booked for as many as three weeks out. Find out if there is a deadline for your questions or situation and plan ahead. For example, do not call for an advising appointment two days before a form is due to the Buckeye Link office or to a scholarship source.

Call to cancel if you can't attend

If you cannot attend your appointment, please call and cancel in advance. This allows another student to take your spot. This is especially important during times when appointments are in high demand. Please note, if you are late to your appointment, you may be asked to reschedule.

Preparing for Specific Types of Appointments

The first time you meet with an advisor, be prepared to discuss your academic goals, your career goals, and what subjects you enjoy and perform well in. If you need help thinking about what to talk to your advisor about, consider these:

  • Is there a limit to the number of times I can schedule an advising appointment each term?
  • Does your office have express, same-day, or other drop-in advising times?
  • How many advisors do you have on staff? Can I meet with any of them?
  • Will I have an assigned advisor, or may I see any advisor in the office?
  • Can you tell me about research opportunities in your college?
  • What academic success resources are available on-campus?
  • Does your college host special events for their students?
  • Does this college have its own career services office?
  • Does this college have a student organization?
  • How often should I come see an advisor?
  • How often will I expect to hear from you?

If you have downloaded the Ohio State: Discover app, you may consider using your device to help with track your suggested course planning. Your advisor will also remind you to check OnCourse to refer back to the summary of your appointment. If you are not sure what questions to ask here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Based on my GPA, how many courses would you recommend I take each term?
  • Where can I find sample syllabi for the courses I am interested in taking?
  • What types of courses should I schedule in the same day?
  • What courses are NOT OK to take in the same term?
  • Who can I talk to about General Education courses?
  • Are there courses you recommend I take early?
  • What courses are OK to take in the same term?
  • Whom do I talk to about major/minor courses?

To make the best use of your time, try to have an idea of what requirements you want to fulfill. Also think about your interests ahead of time. You may also be asked to decide if you plan on taking summer courses.

Before this appointment, do some thinking ahead of time. Know why you are interested in research or other forms of creative inquiry; think about your interests. Have an idea of how many hours you are able to commit to these activities each week.

  • What types of research activities are there? For example, will I work in a lab? Will I do data entry?
  • Generally, how many hours a week are students expected to dedicate to these types of activities?
  • Will research or creative inquiry experience help my chances of getting into graduate school?
  • Does my research or creative inqiry have to be on a topic related to my major?
  • How can the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry help me?
  • Will I graduate with a research distinction if I participate in creative inqiuiry?
  • What type of opportunities does my college or department offer?
  • Are there typically opportunities available in the summer?
  • What research opportunities exist abroad?
  • Can I participate as a first-year student?
  • Will this experience help me get a job?
  • Do I need credit for this experience?
  • Is a thesis required to participate?

All petition requests are decided on a case-by-case basis, with careful consideration of the circumstances for the request. Colleges take petitions very seriously and will review each case carefully, giving each student a fair review. Petitions are the exception, not the norm.

Each college has a formal process for submitting a petition, reaching a decision, and notifying the student. Talk with your advisor so you understand the process, as well as what is involved in preparing an effective petition. There are appropriate and inappropriate reasons to pursue a petition. Email your advisor to ask about your reason.

The Registration Petition
Students request a registration petition when an important date has passed and there are reasons beyond a student's control affecting academic success. Petitions are not guaranteed, even if you have a situation that prevented you from completing the course. It is important that you always talk with or advisor (or someone at the university) if you start to struggle in courses so that a petition may be avoided.

The Curriculum Petition
Students generally pursue a curriculum petition when they wish to request an adjustment to a standard curriculum and they have a strong reason for needing the exception to be made; for example, substituting one course when another is not offered.

The Reinstatement Petition
Students who have been academically dismissed from the university can petition for reinstatement. Students are typically asked to spend at least two terms away from the university to address the issues that led to their academic struggles. Reinstatement is not guaranteed, and desire to return is not sufficient support for a petition.

Under most circumstances, students cannot be reinstated into University Exploration. As part of their time away from Ohio State, students must to choose an attainable major of interest. Reinstatement petitions should be discussed with the college that offers the major you intend to pursue. Students seeking to return to the university should consider in what ways they have demonstrated a commitment to their academic goals and/or career goals. It can be a good idea to take course work elsewhere to show that you are able to successfully complete college-level work. (Speak to an academic advisor for help in selecting appropriate courses if you are interested in attending another institution with the goal of returning to Ohio State.)

Before you meet with an advisor, it is very helpful if you can come prepared with the following documentation:

  • A statement based on the guidelines and/or questions presented to you by the college you are petitioning. Ask for the email address of the advisor you are scheduled to meet with, so you can inquire about this information.
  • Unofficial transcript from another university/college if you took courses during your time away.
  • Any other supporting documentation you feel will help your case. For example, a letter from an instructor, medical professional, and/or employer, etc.

The published university deadlines for submitting a reinstatement are as follows (or the first business day following, if these dates fall on a weekend):

  • Autumn Semester: June 1
  • Spring Semester: October 1
  • Summer Term: February 1

Students who have been dismissed from the university and have been away from the university for at least five years may want to petition to use Fresh Start. While all courses you have taken will remain on your permanent record, only courses in which you received a C- or higher will be counted for credit. Other course work will not be counted for credit, towards any requirement, or toward graduation. You will return to Ohio State with a recalculated cumulative GPA of 0.00. You must complete a minimum of two terms and 30 credit hours after using the Fresh Start Rule before you can be eligible to graduate. Keep in mind that if you are considering applying to graduate or professional schools, or even to other undergraduate programs at Ohio State, their admission processes may look at all of your grades and recalculate the original grade(s) into your total.

Appropriate Questions for Email

Email can be a quick and easy way to get your questions answered without the need for an appointment. The following are good questions for email, but some questions are easier to address in an appointment.

Questions with one clear answer are appropriate for email

  • How do I apply to graduate?
  • Can you refer me to another office?
  • How do I know when I can schedule classes?
  • Can you send me the link to the GE course list?
  • Follow-up questions about appointments and/or petitions

Questions with complex answers, or that may lead to follow-up questions, are usually inappropriate for email

  • What courses do I still need to take?
  • What should I schedule for next semester?
  • How many courses/semesters do I have left before I can graduate?

If you are wondering whether your question needs an appointment, reach out to your advisor. A simple Do you prefer to talk about planning GE courses in person or over email? will show that you are trying to make good decisions.