Advising Goals, Responsibilities, and Actions for Student Advisees

The checklists below will help you to understand your responsibilities as an advisee and what actions to take to reach your yearly goals and be a successful student at Ohio Wesleyan University.

First-Year Students

  • Confirm that the Registrar’s Office has received your official transcript or documents for AP and IB test scores, Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), and transfer courses.
  • Understand your responsibilities as a student advisee.
  • Put due dates for all course papers, projects, quizzes, and exams in your semester calendar.
  • Begin to learn the requirements for all degrees as well as requirements for one or more majors and minors. Talk to your advisor about your intended major, and begin to assess if this course of study matches your interests, personality, abilities, and skill sets.
  • Meet several times with your advisor throughout the year for academic planning and to discuss and address other advising-related topics and concerns.
  • Check mid-term grade estimates and take the appropriate actions (e.g., meeting with your advisor or possibly making a schedule change) if you receive an “Unsatisfactory” designation in one or more courses.
  • Come prepared to your mid-term advising sessions by reviewing requirements, adding courses to your registration cart, and being prepared to explain your choice of courses to your academic advisor.
  • Begin in an intentional way to explore and test one or more majors through course work, learning about major requirements, conferring with your professors and advisor, and by using other available resources.
  • Learn about registration dates, schedule change deadlines, and university processes and procedures (e.g., how to withdraw from a class, access mid-term grades, and change to a new advisor).
  • Understand university and academic policies, including polices for probation, academic dismissal, and retaking courses.
  • Learn about and, as needed, take advantage of campus resources and support services (e.g., the Sagan Academic Resource Center, Career Connection, and Counseling Services).
  • Become familiar with the Checklist of Academic Requirements, Self-Service, and Degree Audit and begin to use these resources to track your academic progress and to inform your academic planning.
  • Consult with your advisor about taking summer courses at OWU or another institutional if you will end the year with fewer than 8 units of credit and understand the pre-approval process for courses you wish to take elsewhere.
  • Complete, by the end of your first year, the following general education requirements: a minimum of three or four distribution requirements—ideally, at least one course for groups I, II, and III; the Foreign Language and English competency requirements; and possibly the diversity or quantitative requirement.


  • Reflect on your first-year experience and identify advising and academic action steps that will help you have a successful year at OWU.
  • Get better acquainted with your advisor and professors through courses, conversations, and campus activities.
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher—ideally, a lot higher—by the time you earn 15 units of credit.
  • Complete most all of your competency and distribution requirements as well as a number of requirements for one or more majors.
  • Work closely with your advisor and Career Connection professionals if you are still uncertain about your academic path or choice of major.
  • Decide on and declare your major by the time you earn 15 units of credit.
  • Consider, if you haven’t already, switching to an advisor in your chosen major.
  • Think more intentionally about how to integrate academic and non-academic interests and the connection between your major and career goals and plans.
  • Begin to make plans, if you haven’t already, for study abroad, job shadowing, internships, and research experiences.
  • Take greater responsibility for tracking your academic progress in Self-Service and Degree Audit.
  • Continue to use academic and other campus resources as your needs, interests, and concerns evolve or change.


  • Reflect on your second-year experience and identify advising and academic action steps that will help you to have a successful year at OWU.
  • Consider, if you haven’t already, switching to an advisor in your chosen major.
  • Review your academic progress with your advisor and identify what remaining courses you need to complete to fulfill all requirements—university, competency, distribution, major, and minor.
  • Refine your academic plan with the goal of graduating at the end of four years (8 semesters): Identify the specific courses you will take in each of your final three semesters at OWU; determine if you need to take one or two summer courses or a course overload for a semester; make sure you will complete 15 upper level courses and you will not exceed the number of courses in a discipline (13) that can count toward the 34 units required for graduation.
  • Consult with a Career Connection professional about career strategies and plans.
  • Complete the Application for Graduation (PDF) Form, preferably in your junior year.
  • Research graduate school options and learn about application requirements and deadlines (if you are considering graduate schools for the fall after graduating from OWU).


  • Register for the annual Career and Graduate School Fair (late Sept.) sponsored by Career Connection.
  • Use Degree Audit and Self-Service in the fall semester to ensure that you are on track to graduate in the spring.
  • Develop a contingency plan in the fall semester if you believe you may be one or two units short at the end of the spring semester of your senior year.
  • Complete the Application for Graduation (PDF) Form, if you haven’t already.
  • Be aware of the policy for "walking" in graduation if you are short of the 34 units of credit at the end of your senior year.
  • Prepare for occasions (e.g., job interviews) where you might be asked to explain the value of a liberal arts education or articulate your philosophy, beliefs, and/or practices related to a specific position (e.g., Early Childhood Instructor).
  • Refine your resume and develop other application materials so you are prepared to apply for graduate schools and jobs as needed.
  • Submit application materials before school deadlines if you plan to attend graduate school in the fall after you graduate.


Department Contact Info


Lauren Hensley
Director of Holistic Advising
University Hall 107C
P 740-368-3110