Getting the Most Out of Advising
As a student, there are some important steps you need to take in order to get the most out of your advising appointments with your adviser.
In order for your adviser to help you make good decisions, it is essential that you take the time to understand academic policies, procedures, and degree requirements. Utilize the online course catalog and other online resources through Saint Mary’s to help you get started. Your adviser can then help clarify information and answer any questions you have.
Preparing for Advising Appointments
Arriving to your advising appointment prepared will be beneficial to both you and your adviser. While choosing courses is an important component of the advising meeting, having courses selected and two possible schedules created before your appointment opens the door for you and your adviser to talk more in depth about courses and how they will be beneficial to your future. Additionally, coming prepared will allow for more time to discuss your long term goals (personally and professionally) and will help you get to know your adviser better.
To help you prepare for your advising appointment, review the Academic Advising Checklist for students.
Click here to access the document of resources sent out via email.
Spring 2018 Registration Dates
Advising Begins: Monday, October 30th
Seniors: Monday, November 13th at 7:00AM
Juniors: Tuesday, November 14th at 7:00AM
Sophomores: Wednesday, November 15th at 7:00AM
First-Year Students: Thursday, November 16th at 7:00AM
Student Success advisers will be available in the Hendrickson Center computer labs each morning to assist students with registration. Bloedow’s donuts will be available until gone!!
Classification of Students:
0-23 earned credits: First Year
24-55 earned credits: Sophomore
56-86 earned credits: Junior
87+ earned credits: Senior
Who is my academic adviser?
When should I meet with my adviser?
We encourage students to meet with their advisor on a regular basis. Making this connection early is important as getting to know your advisor can help with your success at Saint Mary’s and also post Saint Mary’s as well. All students meet with their adviser each semester before course registration to discuss academic progress, goals, and a plan for the following semester classes. Students should check in with their adviser any time they have questions or concerns that may affect their academic progress at Saint Mary’s.
Can I change my adviser?
When should I declare my major?
How do I declare or change my major?
What is my Degree Audit Report?
What is GPA (Grade Point Average) and how is it calculated?
Grade Points and Achievement Levels In order to evaluate the overall quality of course work, a system of grade points is used. The number of grade points earned in a given course is the number of credits for that course multiplied by the grade point corresponding to the grade earned in that course, as follows:
Grade Grade Pts. Achievement Level
A 4.000 Excellent
B 3.000 Very Good
C 2.000 Satisfactory
D 1.000 Minimal Pass
F 0.000 Failure
P Pass (A, AB, B, BC, C)
NC No Credit (CD, D, F)
The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted.
What are the requirements for graduation?
- Earn a minimum of 122 semester credits
- Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a 2.0 major GPA
- Complete a minimum of 45 credits in 300 or 400 level courses
- Complete General Education Requirements
- Complete at least one major
- Earn at least 60 semester credits in academic residence at Saint Mary’s (transfer students)
- Spend the final year in academic residence unless enrolled in an approved off-campus program
- Apply no more than 4 semester hours of music ensemble credits toward the minimum graduation requirement of 122 semester credits
Exceptions or substitutions must be approved by the Dean of Student Success.
How do I know which classes to take for my major?
For further information regarding courses specific to your major, please reference the Major Paradigms.
The major paradigms are a helpful resource, as they can be used from semester to semester to guide you in a good path to follow to stay on track for your major.
In addition to the major paradigms, we encourage you to meet with your adviser to further discuss courses and the best plan for you.
Should I take the math, English, or Spanish placement tests?
English and Math
Students are placed into their first English and Math course based upon their ACT/SAT subscores in English and Math. To view your placement, login to your portal at student.smumn.edu. You will see your English and Math placement courses listed in the lower right-hand corner.
If you would like to try to place into a different course, it is recommended that you consider a placement test. Please note that E105: Writing Skills is the only English course you can take the placement test for to try to test out of.
For more information regarding the math placement test, please contact Dr. Kristin Sellke at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information regarding the English placement test, please contact Dr. Brook Lenz at email@example.com
If you have taken Spanish courses in high school and/or are a native speaker considering a major or minor in Spanish or are interested in taking Spanish classes in general, we recommend that you speak with a faculty member to determine the best starting course for you.
For more information regarding Spanish placement, please contact Dr. John Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the difference between "dropping" a course and "withdrawing" from a course?
I'm struggling in a class, how can I get help?
Talk to Your Professor Talking to your professor is key. While you may have performed poorly on an exam, your professor won’t necessarily know that you’re struggling unless you speak up. Find out your professors office hours and utilize this time to talk with them about your progress in class. Sometimes things are not a bad as they seem to you. Other times, things may be much worse than you realize. Your professor can provide you with a clearer picture of your situation and options for additional assistance such as tutoring or study tips.
Consider Tutoring Tutoring is a free service to you as a student, so definitely take advantage of this great resource! Tutoring is peer-to-peer and all tutors are recommended by departments and are students who have been successful in the class. Sign up for a tutor. For more information regarding tutoring, please contact Joe Dulak at email@example.com
Consider Withdrawing from the Course If you feel that you have explored all of your options and have given advice from your professor and/or tutoring some time, you may consider withdrawing from the course. The decision to withdraw is yours to make and should be made only after you have considered all options and consequences. For instance, will you go below full-time status (less than 12 credits)? If so, this can affect housing, financial aid, athletic eligibility and so forth, so be sure to speak with individuals in these areas. Additionally, always seek out your adviser before withdrawing from a course to come up with a plan to retake the course if it is on needed for graduation.
Can I repeat a class to earn a better grade?
I want to take a class at a different school and transfer it back to Saint Mary's. What should I do?
Course Substitution and Pre-approval Process
Have you transferred in a course(s) that you think will count toward a general education requirement? Are you thinking about taking a class outside of Saint Mary’s that you are hoping can fulfill a general education requirement? We can help!
What you need to do:
To have general education courses approved, you will need to send the following information to an academic adviser in the Student Success Center (hard copies or e-mail):
– Name of accredited institution/college
– Official course description and/or syllabus
– Credit amount of course
– Name of course and course code/level
– The name of the Saint Mary’s general education course or category you hope to have fulfilled
The academic adviser will review this information and submit a proposed decision to the Coordinator of Academic Advising. The Coordinator of Academic Advising will review the information as well and make a final decision within 2-3 business days. The Academic Adviser will follow up with you on the final decision.
– If the course is one you have already transferred in, the course will then be substituted in and a new degree audit will be sent to your P.O. box for your records.
– If the course is one you are planning to take in the future, you must receive a final grade of a C or higher for the course to officially transfer in. Additionally, you will need to have your official transcripts sent to the Registrar’s Office:
Office of the Registrar
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #37
Winona, MN 55987-1399
Courses Not Approved:
– If the course is one you have already transferred in, the course will be counted as elective credits toward graduation.
– If the course is one you are planning to take in the future, the Academic Adviser will explain why the course was not approved to help you as you may wish to search for an additional course to consider.
For more information, visit the Saint Mary’s website.
For assistance with course pre-approvals and/or substitutions for your major, please contact the Department Chair.
Will my AP, CLEP and/or IBP credits transfer?
Who should I contact if an illness or family emergency causes me to miss class?
I'm thinking about withdrawing from Saint Mary's. What do I do?
If you are unsure if withdrawing from Saint Mary’s is the right decision for you, you can meet with an academic adviser in the Student Success Center to help. You can set up a time to meet by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by stopping by the office.
If you have decided that withdrawing from Saint Mary’s is in your best interest, you will need to complete the University Withdraw survey, which can be found here. If you have any questions about the withdraw process, please set up a time to meet with an academic advisor in the Student Success Center.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Academic Advising Office
700 Terrace Heights #6
Winona, MN 55987-1399
70 Griffin Hall
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.