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Academic Advising for GYO Paraprofessional Teaching Fellows

Your primary adviser will depend on what area of education you are interested in. Kristi Peery will be your adviser if you are interested in elementary education. Dr. Sharon Blatz will work with you if you are interested in special education, and Dr. Maryam Sharifian will support you in early childhood education. In addition, regardless of what field you choose, you will also have the expertise of Kristi Peery, who also serves as the GYO Liaison and Virginia Trovato who advises in the adult degree program. See below for what you can expect of your academic advisers and what we expect of you.

Role of the Academic Adviser

Your JMU academic adviser serves as a resource in providing information and assistance with the following tasks:

  • Help with academic planning and decision-making
  • Explain requirements for your major and degree program
  • Make sure that you understand how your academic decisions affect your progress towards meeting graduation requirements

While your academic adviser can be an invaluable resource for you, responsibility for final decisions about choice of major, courses that you register for, and fulfillment of the GYO Teaching Fellows service agreement belong to you.

Role of the Student

Academic advising is an experience shared between the academic adviser and the student. Students are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Review the undergraduate catalog and understand the academic requirements for:
    • Major(s)
    • Minor(s)
    • Pre-professional Program(s)
    • Degree
  • Know who your academic adviser is including their office location and contact information
  • Be prepared prior to meeting with your academic adviser. Prepare a list of questions about courses to take the next semester and/or GYO Teaching Fellow requirements
  • Be aware of important dates in the academic calendar and understand the consequences financially and academically for missing key deadlines
  • Self-advocate when personal and academic challenges occur. If you do not share concerns with your adviser or a faculty member, we will assume things are going well
  • Seek assistance and engage with support services (tutoring, student success, advising) early and often in the semester. Do not wait until you are overwhelmed to seek help
  • Meet with your adviser about enrolling in classes before registration opens. Do not wait until the last minute!
  • Develop and maintain a relationship with your adviser(s). Share career goals and any special needs with the adviser. advisers are important contacts for recommendations for study abroad programs, internships, graduate schools, and employment
  • Consult your academic adviser throughout your academic career.

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