Things to Know Ahead of Your Student’s Advising Session

Karla Jensen, professor of communication, is pictured advising a student in a Zoom meeting.

Your student will soon have their summer advising meeting with an academic advisor. The summer advisor will work with your student to craft a first semester schedule based on information your student has provided about their goals, interests, prior education and anticipated involvement on and off campus.

Here are a few things for you to know about academic advising at NWU.

  • There isn’t a standard “first semester schedule.”
    Your student’s schedule may look very different from the schedule of a friend or sibling. Their interests and goals will shape the advising process, so encourage your student to articulate their interests and express their uncertainties. Their advisor is there to help in both cases.
  • Your student’s first semester schedule opens more doors than it closes.
    Even students who come to college confident about their academic and professional path often adjust those plans as they go along. NWU’s curriculum has the flexibility necessary to help students toward a degree even if they try out a few options before settling on a major.
  • Trust them to take this first step on their own.
    The advising meeting will be between the student and the advisor. Your student can tell you all about it later. Self-advocacy in the advising meeting is part of a first-year student’s path to independent adulthood. You’ve worked hard to help your student get to this point. Now it’s time to step back and watch proudly as they continue forward on their own.
Sarah Kelen, Ph.D.



Sarah Kelen, Ph.D., vice president for student life