Parents & Family

Academic Advising

Friend, confidant, sage. An academic advisor is a key resource for students freshman through senior years.

An academic advisor is a faculty member who assists students in:

  • Making their own decisions
  • Understanding the opportunities and challenges of college, particularly the value of a liberal arts experience
  • Gaining accurate information regarding policies, procedures, requirements, curriculum, registration, graduation and deadlines
  • Creating their BW Graduation Plan—selecting courses and opportunities that fulfill program requirements and educational, personal and career goals
  • Obtaining internships, admission to graduate school and employment
  • Learning about and utilizing campus resources, such as Career Services, tutoring and Counseling Services

How Does a Student Get a Faculty Advisor?

Before a student's first semester at BW, he or she is assigned a faculty member to serve as an academic advisor. This person is a faculty member within the student's major. If the student is undecided, the advisor is selected based on the student's interest in a particular major or is a faculty member who specializes in advising undecided students.

Can an Advisor Assist a Student in Getting Help in a Class?

Yes. All the student needs to do is ask. The advisor can refer the student to the Learning Center, where the student can get tutoring in almost all subjects and where he or she can learn valuable skills relevant to academic studies. The advisor also can recommend the Writing Lab for help with papers.

Will an Advisor Help a Student Choose a Major?

During the first two years of a student's BW experience, he or she will explore a multitude of academic areas. Gaining this breadth of knowledge is an advantage of a liberal arts education. An academic advisor encourages a student to explore, and yet will make sure he or she is fulfilling core requirements. If a student is interested in a major with many requirements—natural sciences, math, pre-physical therapy, education, or pre-engineering—the advisor suggests beginning those required courses in the first semester in order to explore the discipline and stay on track for graduation.

How Do Advisors Communicate With Their Advisees?

In addition to meeting with their students, advisors can communicate through email and BW's internal portal.

Will the Advisor Know if a Student Isn't Doing Well in a Class?

If a freshman is earning lower than a C- in a class at the end of the 6th week, the student's professor sends an academic warning to the student and to the student's advisor. If an advisor, other faculty member or staff person is concerned about a student not coming to class or about a change in the student's behavior, he or she will notify the student's advisor and the assistant dean of students who will work to resolve the student problem. This confidential program is called "Because We Care."