Academic Advisement and Course Registration
- Building a Relationship with Your Adviser: All students at Southern Miss are assigned to an academic adviser. Typically, advisers are either a faculty member in your field of study or a staff member who is assigned as the academic adviser within your academic department or college. Although academic advisement officially happens once each semester, you should feel free to build a relationship with your adviser and address other questions to him/her throughout the year. You will get out of this relationship what you put into it, and you should get to know your adviser. Your adviser could and should be more to you than just someone who helps create your class schedule for the upcoming semester. Advisers can offer professional guidance as you search for employment after graduation and may also write letters of recommendation for you for graduate or professional school.
Sometimes students want to change advisers. You can do this with no negative consequences, and usually departments will accommodate the request for a new adviser. You are in control of your academic destiny, and you should devote ample energy to building a good relationship with your adviser.
- Scheduling an Advisement Appointment: If you do not know who your academic adviser is, that information can be found on SOAR in your Student Center (in the Adviser box on the right of the panel). Click the Details link to get contact information for your adviser.
Schedule an appointment with your adviser during the advisement period. Spring semester advisement typically occurs in October, and fall semester advisement usually takes place in March. Departments are very busy during advisement, so it’s in your best interest to schedule an appointment sooner rather than later. Attend your appointment at the scheduled time and be sure to ask questions and to address any concerns that you may have.
- Preparing for Advisement: You should approach advisement with some level of preparedness so that you have ample time to talk about more than just your class schedule with your adviser. Advisement sessions are a great opportunity for you to talk about your chosen field of study and to get professional guidance on potential careers and graduate school.
To prepare for advisement, you should become familiar with the Semester-by-Semester Guide for your academic major, which is available at www.usm.edu/undergraduate/degrees-alphabetical. On this Web page, majors are listed alphabetically. Click on your major, and then click on “Download PDF” in the gray box underneath “Degree Details.” Additionally, you should view the courses that are being offered for the upcoming semester in the Class Schedule Guide. Between the Semester-by-Semester Guide and the Class Schedule Guide, you can plan out a possible class schedule to present to your adviser for approval.
- Creating Your Class Schedule: You will create your class schedule for the upcoming semester in SOAR during your enrollment window.
You must attend an academic advisement appointment in order to be cleared in SOAR to create your class schedule. If you did attend your appointment but experience difficulty in registering for courses, contact your department to see if there are any holds on your account that you may need to have cleared up before registering for the next semester.
If you need assistance with adding and dropping courses in SOAR, there are some helpful SOAR tutorials that you can reference.