New Student Advising Basics
Your START Advising
Your START advisor can help you with understanding your degree requirements, choosing a major, planning for next semester, connecting with campus resources, and more. All START students are required to meet with their advisor at least once a semester.
- Students who attend orientation will be able to navigate Degree Works to review their degree requirements and register for a balanced schedule with minimal assistance.
- Understand the role of the START Advising Office and that it compliments other available campus resources
START Hold Appointment
- A student who has attended their START hold appointment should be able to utilize the University website to find answers to basic questions including degree requirements and registration information
- Students who met with their academic advisor for their START hold appointment should be able to reflect on their progress in the current term and how their progress impacts their degree requirements
- Students who have attended their START hold appointment will have an understanding of the structure of the academic year (registration deadlines, distinctions between fall/winter/summer semesters, etc.)
Early Warning/Probation Appointment
- Students who have met with their academic advisor for an early warning/probation appointment will be able to reflect on and learn from past experiences and accept personal accountability
- Students who have met with their academic advisor for an early warning/probation appointment will be able to co-create an action plan to demonstrate an understanding of campus resources that will aid in the future success and accounts for overcoming obstacles that have prevented prior success.
- Students who have met with their academic advisor for an early warning/probation appointment will be able to understand related policies and expectations.
- Prior to transitioning to the academic unit, students will be able to articulate why they have selected their major and how their major connects to their skills, abilities, and growth areas
- Prior to transitioning to the academic unit, students will be able to express clear academic goals and create a plan to achieve those goals
- By the end of their first semester, at-risk students will be able to identify their growth areas for future academic success as well as resources they can utilize to aid in this growth.
Even though you are advised by START, you are still a member of a college: College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters; College of Education, Health, and Human Services; and College of Engineering and Computer Science. New student advisors are college advisors. Not only do the new student advisors have the same knowledge, training, and experience as the college advisors, some of the new student advisors advise both in the college and START Advising.
As a student, you will have to know and abide by their specific policy and procedures. Your college has an informational website that you should peruse. Be sure to spend particular time exploring the policy information posted on your college’s website! You will be expected to know this information and abide by it. If you have questions regarding any policies or procedures posted on your college’s website, please ask your START advisor!
The College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, known as CASL (pronounced castle), is home to 38 undergraduate liberal arts majors, ranging from Anthropology to Biology to Women’s and Gender Studies. The College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Advising and Academic Success office’s website has curriculum information for all majors, minors, and certificates offered through CASL. It also has very detailed information policy and procedure information, which you need to know. Be sure to read through the Summary of Most Commonly Used Policies in its entirety. Yes, it’s long, but it is incredibly important.
The College of Business (COB) offers a Bachelor of Business Business Administration degree program with nine major options. Visit the Undergraduate Programs website. COB students must also be aware of policies and procedures and are encouraged to browse the experiential opportunities available in the college.
The College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS-pronounced chess) houses programs for those interested in careers within the K-12 school system and other education-related fields (Elementary and Secondary Certification Programs, Instructional Technology, Children and Families, etc), as well as programs created to serve the health and well-being of our community (Health and Human Services, Health Policy Studies, Addiction Studies Certificate, etc). CEHHS’s website has information on all of their undergraduate programs, policies, and helpful information on frequently used forms.
The College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) houses 11 undergraduate degree programs and two concurrent degree programs. As a CECS student, it is important to take time to get to know the CECS advising website. In here, you will find the CECS policies and procedures, as well as sample sequences and curriculum sheets for all of our majors. You will be held responsible for knowing the policy and procedure information, so look over it carefully and ask questions when you have them.
Additional Advising Information
When a student petitions, they are asking for an exception to a policy or requirement.
A petition may be used to request an exception to some academic rule or policy. This page provides information on the campus-wide Academic Petitions Policy as well as a link to submit academic petitions requests.
Visit Student Petitions for more information.
Petitions regarding tuition and fees go through Office of the Registrar.
START students who are unsure how to write an academic petition may meet with their START advisor for assistance.
Choosing a major is a process. For some students, that process is over quickly, but for others it can take several semesters. Many factors play a part in deciding a major: knowing yourself, family expectations, career path, relationships with faculty, etc. A START advisor can help you to examine which factors are going to play a key role in your decision, make sure that you have the tools you need to explore your options, and be a sounding board as you work to design the degree that will be the best fit for you.
Here are some resources that will help:
- Degree Works can be accessed through UM-Dearborn Connect and has a "What If?" function that allows students to see the requirements for a major or minor prior to making an official change.
- Undergraduate Studies has a list of all areas of studies available at UM-Dearborn.
- Career Services provides resources for choosing a major. One such resource, FOCUS, is an online career assessment tool which helps students align interests and careers. After doing the assessment, you should make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss the results.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook is a tool that allows you to explore careers by category and gives you information on entry-level education, median pay, growth potential, etc.
Once you are ready to declare a major, change your major, or add a minor, you must complete a Change of Major/Minor/Degree Form (see link below). You can turn your form in to START, and we will send it out to your college's records office for a decision.
At orientation, you learn how to use Degree Works, UM-Dearborn’s online degree audit system. Be sure to sign in again to see how the courses you registered for at orientation fit into your degree requirements. Please follow the link for tutorials on using Degree Works.
The Undergraduate Catalog—More Important Than You Think!
The Undergraduate Catalog is your contract with the university, and we all know that you should never enter into an agreement without reading the contract. Take the time to review the University and College policies in the catalog because you will be held responsible for knowing them. Here are some policies that you should pay extra attention to as they can be particularly relevant to your first year on campus:
- Change in Course Elections: Add, Drop, Withdrawal
- Grades and Grading
- Registration Information
- University of Michigan Guidelines for Qualifying for In State Tuition
- Academic Standing
- Electronic Communication (E-Mail) With Students
- Statement on Academic Integrity
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
Remember, every piece of information in the Catalog is important, and you do need to understand it. As you read, write down your questions, and then bring them to your appointment with your academic advisor for clarification!
The Office of the Provost has compiled resources offered across the university to support student success both in and out of the classroom. Check out Success@Dearborn for all your academic success needs!
The Office of the Registrar publishes registration deadlines, and they will email you throughout the semester to remind you of upcoming dates. It is important to observe posted deadlines.
START only communicates via email, as do other offices on campus. You must check your UMICH email daily, or you will miss important information that can have a negative impact on your ability to succeed here. We assume you are checking your email daily because that is your responsibility, so if you miss an email and end up missing a deadline, there can be consequences that you’ll have to deal with. Some may be negligible, like you have to come to drop-in advising instead of making an appointment because all the available appointments were booked, but some can be serious, like you have to stay registered for a course that you are failing because you missed the selective drop deadline. ALSO, don’t forward your UMICH email to another account. Some emails don’t go through. For example, CASL sends its Dean’s List letters electronically, and those emails will not forward. Don’t miss out on a celebration of your hard work because you don’t want to check two email accounts.
Full-time students take at least 12 credits, which is generally four courses. Full-time students must balance their outside obligations (work, volunteering, student organizations, and the like) to make the most of their educational investment. Not everyone has the ability to limit outside obligations. Taking classes part-time allows students who work full-time, or have additional obligations such as family members to care for, the ability to give each class the attention it needs. Keep in mind: for every credit hour you take, you should spend at least two hours working on that course outside of the classroom. For example, if you take 12 credits, you will be in class 12 hours a week, and you will be studying, doing homework, and reading, for at least 24 hours each week. That’s at least 36 hours spent on school per week. Full-time school is a full-time job!
Finishing your degree in four years has important cost benefits. If it takes 120 credits to finish your degree and you would like to graduate in four years, you need to take 30 credits per year. If you don’t want to take Summer courses, you must take those 30 credits between Fall and Winter semesters. That isn’t realistic for students who work more than 10-12 hours a week, have siblings to care for, or have other substantial obligations. Students can still reach 30 credits by taking 12 credits each in Fall and Winter, then taking 6 in Summer.
There is often a transition period after transferring where students have to adjust how they study and the amount of time spent studying to earn the types of grades they received at their previous institution. Expect that you will need to make some adjustments. UM-Dearborn has resources to support you through this transition. If you would like to talk to a success coach about time management skills, study skills, or tutoring, please call the Office of Academic Success at 313-593-5340 to schedule an appointment.
You will meet with a START Advisor at New Student Orientation. If you have questions prior to orientation please contact us.
Once you are enrolled as a student START Advising will be your new point of contact. If you have questions about UM-Dearborn or any of the policy and procedure information from your college’s website, please email START at [email protected]. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.