Your academic advisor is your advocate, someone who understands the major, the core and career opportunities and is willing to help you.  Get to know your advisor early by stopping by and introducing yourself.  Your advisor has a folder containing your transcripts, transfer credit record (where applicable) and any other information that pertains to your career at Fisher.  In this folder, you and your advisor will keep track of your progress with your core and major requirements. 

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about academic advising in the English department.  

How do I declare a major in English?
From the Registrar's Office, obtain and fill out a "Declaration of Major" form. The form must be signed by Dr. VanderBilt, the chair of the English Department. Shortly thereafter, you should meet with your advisor to discuss and plan a program of studies.
How do I get an advisor or change advisors?
If you declared a special interest in English at the time of admission, you were probably assigned to an advisor in the English Department. If you have an advisor in another department, you will need to switch to one in the English Department once you have declared your major. Sometimes you may choose to change advisors if you find someone you particularly enjoy working with.  Students often choose as their advisor a faculty member with whom they have already taken courses. Simply approach the faculty member who interests you and ask whether he or she is taking on new advisees.  The Department Chair will assist you in this process if you need help.

How can I keep track of core, major, and minor requirements?
We offer a printable checklist of the English majors and minors. You and your advisor can use this checklist to track your progress in the Fisher core and English major requirements. You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to read and print this sheet; if you don't already have it installed on your computer, first download the Reader from Adobe. NOTE: Your requirements depend upon the catalog year you entered the program. Students entering in or after the Fall of 2007 can use this checklist. Students who are also Education majors should use this checklist instead because their requirements are slightly different. Other students should consult their catalog or their advisor.

What can my advisor help me with?
Your advisor can provide valuable information about academic options and opportunities at the College and in the department.  Your advisor can help you choose courses you need, advise you about courses you might enjoy, and help you understand the College's core requirements. Your advisor's main function is to guide you in shaping your short- and long-range academic plans, particularly a program of studies with intellectual coherence. For example, if you are planning to pursue a law degree, graduate studies in English, or a career in publishing, your advisor can recommend courses and activities that will prepare you for these endeavors.

Although you are ultimately responsible for making your own decisions and meeting all the requirements stated in the College Catalog and Bulletins, your advisor should approve your course schedule each semester before registration and any subsequent schedule changes. Find out your advisor's office hours and consult him or her well in advance of registration day. Most advisors have extended office hours during the week preceding course registration; check your advisor's door for times and sign-up sheets.

Advice for Career and Graduate School Planning
In addition to considering courses with you, your advisor can also discuss with you experiential learning opportunities outside of the classroom, including internships during the semester and the summer, and help you consider resume-building opportunities.  See our page on careers, as well as the Career Center website.


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Last updated Thursday, May 31, 2012. Web design and maintenance by Prof. Lisa Jadwin.