Departmental Expectations in Managing Degree Plans

Video explanation of advising expectations (can be stopped at 6:26). 

The department of Art and Design expects each student to:

  1. Print the catalogue requirements for their degree plan (under the correct catalogue year) and keep accurate records of the completed, pending and unmet requirements.
  2. Run regular degree evaluations and compare with their own records of met and pending requirements. This is especially important as students approach their expected graduation date.
  3. Build their upcoming schedule based on their records of unmet requirements and their degree plans suggested schedule. It is very important to pay close attention to the suggested schedules and catalogue course descriptions due to prerequisites and single semester/year course offerings.

Freshman and Sophomore’s are required to have regular advising meetings prior to registration. Students must bring their personal records, a printed degree evaluation and proposed schedule. These meetings are intended to coach a student in maintaining accurate records

If at any time a student finds discrepancies between their own records and their degree evaluation they should immediately make an advising appointment with the administrative coordinator to resolve it.

Administrative Coordinator / Advising Coach

The Art & Design administrative coordinator is intended to coach students in maintaining their own advising. This position should be used as a resource, but is not ultimately responsible for students’ degree plans. In regards to advising, this position is intended to help clarify and correct discrepancies between students personal records and the university’s records of met and unmet requirements.

Common Misconceptions of the Administrative Coordinator

  • “The administrative coordinator builds my schedule each semester.” You are responsible for planning and registering for your own course schedule each semester. If you bring your personal records, a printed degree evaluation and proposed schedule the administrative coordinator is willing to review them and offer guidance or clarity. This will be required of Freshman and Sophomores.
  • “The administrative coordinator keeps track of my records so I don’t have to.” There is no substitute for your own record keeping regarding met and unmet requirements. If you don’t keep good records it is easy to be surprised by unmet requirements as you approach graduation.

Faculty Advising

Faculty are ideal for advising when it specifically relates to your discipline. Here is a short list of topics that faculty are particularly suited for:

  • Course advising as they relate to future career goals and/or graduate school
  • How to strategically choose electives for greatest career benefit
  • Advising related to graduate school
  • Pro’s and cons of trying to graduate early
  • Advantages of studying abroad (semester and/or summer term)
  • Rationale of art/design course sequencing

Art & Design Class Schedules (Conflicts & Sequencing)

Often students need to arrange their schedules around outside commitments such as work or athletics. We do make every effort to offer our courses at convenient times but this is made difficult due to unique characteristics of art and design courses. Managing a high course load while also controlling when you are in and out of class can be very difficult if not impossible.

This stems from the fact that most required art courses are ‘studio’ courses. Studio courses meet twice as long as typical lecture courses (6 hours a week rather than 3) and are limited to smaller numbers of students. This causes many of our courses to go late into the afternoon and at times into the evening. For example, we only have 1 drawing room that reasonably handles 18-20 students. That classroom hosts several sections of basic drawing in addition to figure drawing 1 and 2 and advanced drawing. Because of chapel at 11am only one section can meet in the mornings on MWF and one on TR. This results in a lack of flexibility of course times and most being scheduled for the afternoon. Exactly what most students would prefer not happen.

In addition, these factors also increase the likelihood classes will conflict with each other. This makes it very important that students do their best to take course in sequence as recommended on the suggested schedules. The department tries to make sure the times of Junior level courses don’t conflict with other Junior level courses, unless their are other sections offered. The same goes for Freshman, Sophomore, etc. But we do not have enough class space or faculty to make sure Junior level courses don’t conflict with courses from other levels. For example, if a senior needs a sophomore level course that is only offered  at the same time as a required senior level course it may require the student stay an additional semester to complete the requirements of the degree.

We understand these issues can cause frustration but we do believe the benefits of longer class times and smaller class sizes result in significant benefits in students knowledge and skills.