Academic Advising: Guide to Your Degree

This is the fourth of 12 post in the Tips for Success Series. This series is to help Rebels through the semester with tips and tricks for those high grades in the classroom. It may even help you keep your sanity on the worst of days!

Academic advising is one of the best resources any university can have. As new students are admitted or transferred, it can be overwhelming and stressful to ensure that you are taking the right classes that count to your major. Since the worst thing that can happen is that you take a class, investing a lot of time and money to only find out that, it is completely and utterly useless to your major. Now you wasted valuable time; postponing you from entering higher division classes. Not only that, but you have kissed your hard earned money goodbye as it falls into the irretrievable no man's land called the cashier. You will see them shower in your money like Mr. Krabs while you do not get any credit for the class. Colleges hate them, they have cost them a lot of money, click here to find out who they are. (Disclaimer: They actually do not hate them, it is an attempt of a bad sales pitch joke)

RELAX, RELAX! This can all be avoided with the guidance and help of your excellent academic advisor. As a first year student, it is required for you to meet with your academic advisor. Now what would be the punishment if you do not meet with them? The school will put your name in a book that would remove you from existence forever leaving you to live in academic limbo never to graduate. In all reality, nothing happens; you just get stuck with the burden of finding classes that counts towards your major, and maybe you do not get it right... who knows it is in your hands now young padawan.

Meeting with your academic advisor is not a hard task at all. First, you call your academic advising center or you can go in person to set up an appointment (some college allow you to schedule them online even!). Next, you show up and they help you out with any questions you have. Before you hit me with the excuse "but I don't know their number" or "where they are located"; with a quick google search of academic advising unlv, it takes you directly to the advising website where you can click on your college and will display the office hours along with their number and location. If you are in athletics or exploring make sure you click on Academic Success Center (ASC) because that is where your advising is located until fully declared.

In my personal experience, as a first year, I never used to academic advising at all for that year. I would always get these emails saying meet with your advisor, but I said "NAH I got this", or so I thought. Being a Biology major, I needed to take Bio 196 and, of course, an English class so I had those core course requirements. But when it came to taking a fine arts or humanities class the list was ENDLESS. They offer so many classes like ceramics or Greek language and some do not count towards your degree depending on what the class is and what your degree is. I was rushing to get the classes I need all while learning what classes do count towards my major... and then the computer system was overloaded causing it to be slow; a great combination. Finally, I set my schedule but a little too late. Some classes that I wanted to take I didn't get because I was to busy maneuvering through the system.

Just to give you a visual representation I have added an example of what it will say when some classes do not count towards certain majors.

Now it is time to apply for the fall semester and guess what I did? I did not take any Ls this time. Let me tell you something registering for my classes for fall was way easier cause I had a person who is paid by the school to do this exact task. She answered all my questions and the best thing of all was not only did we plan my fall semester but all of my years leading up to graduation. The advisor will give you a degree sheet that has all the requirements for your major and prerequisites needed along with the other classes that are mandatory. It does not take that much time it is usually around 30 minutes tops, mine was only 15. Meeting with my academic advisor saved me time, money, and stress. Now I can put my focus into passing my finals and doing all the work professors decide to pile at the end.

With the help of my academic advisor, I was able to plan for my fall course class, and the rest of my time at UNLV. This does not mean it is set in stone and I have to follow it religiously but it is a guide that can lead you to the end. I can see in the future with my Sharingan now be more prepared for what the future decides to throw at me.

Edgar Bueno, Sophomore

Orientation Leader

High School: Western High School

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Major: Biology Pre-Professional