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What follows is general information about advising in IdLS. If you need immediate advising help, email your first-year student advisor or your assigned IdLS advisor (contact information is on your Student Center page).

Academic Advising in IdLS

We are proud of the interdisciplinary curiosity displayed among IdLS majors. Our students are genuinely interested in various fields of knowledge and how these fields interact. And, as future teachers, they’re keenly interested in how to awaken that interdisciplinary curiosity in the students they will one day teach. To streamline our students' interdisciplinary exploration, IdLS invests in academic advising and values its role in their experience.

One Major, Two Advisors

IdLS majors are assigned two advisors—one to guide them through IDLS major requirements and another to guide them through teacher education program requirements. Students should check regularly with both advisors to ensure timely graduation (remember that these are the people who will one day be signing your graduation application). 

How Advisors Are Assigned and Accessed

Advisors are assigned when students officially declare their IDLS major and education program. You may view your advisors' contact information on the Student Center page of MyMadison. Because most advisors are also faculty with teaching, research, and service responsibilities, it's best to email them several days (not hours) ahead of time to schedule a meeting. 

Academic Advisor Responsibilities

Your academic advisors serve as a main resource in providing information and assistance with the following tasks:

  • Helps with academic planning and decision-making.
  • Explains requirements for General Education, major, and degree programs.
  • Ensures students understand how their academic decisions may affect progress towards meeting graduation requirements.
  • Refers students to other campus resources as needed.

*Note: While the academic advisor is an invaluable resource for students, responsibility for final decisions about choice of major, courses to enroll in, and fulfillment of all graduation requirements belongs to the student.

IdLS Student Responsibilities

Successful advising is a shared experience between the academic advisor and the student. While academic advisors are helpful resources and can assist students with their academic decision-making, students are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Review their year's undergraduate catalog and the IdLS and COE websites to understand academic requirements for their major, minor, and degree choices.
  • Know who their academic advisors are including their office location and contact information.
  • Be well prepared prior to meeting with their academic advisor and take notes during the meeting. For example, assemble hardcopy or electronic documents and be prepared to access them during the advising appointment (documents might include a recent unofficial transcript and an updated checklist of IdLS core and concentration course requirements).
  • Seek assistance with questions about enrolling in classes well before the registration appointment time.
  • Develop and maintain a professional relationship with your advisors. Advisors serve as good mentors during your college years, so share career goals and any special needs with them. And keep in mind that advisors are important contacts for recommendations for study abroad programs, internships, graduate schools, and employment.
  • Consult academic advisors throughout the academic career since the major advisor will be signing graduation application forms. 

Other Advising Help: Madison Advising Peers (MAPS)

In 2009 the Office of University Advising in collaboration with the Student Government Association implemented a JMU undergraduate peer advising program. Madison Advising Peers or MAPS are experienced JMU students who care about their peers and want to help them achieve their college goals. MAPs work in conjunction with faculty advisors by providing supplemental academic advising information. While a MAP can be a supportive and friendly resource for students who feel overwhelmed and confused, they shouldn't replace your assigned academic advisors.

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