Your Faculty Advisor
My What? Sounds Good. How do I get one?
you declare the psychology major, the Assistant Chair for Advisement
will assign you to a faculty advisor. If you have already declared the
but do not know who your faculty advisor is, please email Ms. Carmela Salvatore (Email).
What are they good for?
Your advisor can introduce you to the mysteries of that big transcript-like piece of paper called, "the DARS Report" (i.e., Degree Audit Report). Although this document was meant to be self-explanatory, experience shows that to be only partly true. Your advisor can decipher its mystical codes.
Your advisor can help you select courses. Many useful courses, both within and outside of psychology, are not technically "required" for graduation. However, they might be useful later on. As but one example, many graduate programs in psychology require that students have taken the History of Psychology course before they enroll in an M.A., Psy.D or Ph.D. program.
Your advisor can help you avoid mistakes. There are rules that you may not have noticed in the Bulletin.
Your advisor can help defend you if you do make an error. If you find yourself in a bind, and you've seen your advisor regularly, exceptions may sometimes be made or alternative routes be taken. If you find yourself in a bind and you have never seen your advisor, then you may be out of luck.
You can get a degree in psychology by following the rules set forth in the Bulletin. However, if you want to go further, to graduate school, you need a broad range of courses, research and volunteer experience, help in writing your resume the way people in psychology expect to see it, etc. Your advisor knows more than your peers about these matters because your advisor has been there. When your advisor doesn't have advice or the answer, he or she can suggest a colleague who has relevant information.
What should I do before seeing my advisor?
Always bring your "DARS report" (Degree Audit Report) when you visit your advisor's office hours. The DARS provides the easiest way for your advisor to be brought up to speed on what you have already taken and what courses will fulfill your psychology, college and university requirements. This is particularly important for transfer students and dual-majors.
You might email your advisor in advance, as certain times of the semester tend to be hectic.
Bring paper and a pen to take notes. (Yes, many people don't, and then forget what the advisor said.)