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How Your Academic Advisor Can Help You Earn Your Degree

How Your Academic Advisor Can Help You Earn Your Degree

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By Emily Ludeman
Senior Academic Advisor, American Public University

A degree serves as a foundational piece of your professional and personal life. When we help you map out your educational and career goals, we encourage you to use all available resources at the university. These resources help you establish a smart and achievable path to educational success.

Whether you’re planning for the short or long term, academic advisors have an insider’s perspective. We can assist you in tailoring how you build your future through goal setting, access to career services, academic resources, and much more.

Learn Ways to Succeed in School from Your Advisor

Advisors are driven by the same goal you have: your academic success and degree completion. Connecting with your advisor is a way to ensure you lay the groundwork to achieve that goal.

When you work with an advisor and communicate frequently with that advisor during your educational journey, your college experience will be enriched. Your academic advisor will ensure you have access to all the resources, both academic and co-curricular, necessary to be successful in the online learning environment.

Regardless of where you are in your program, your academic advisor is here to help create a plan and to prepare you for the remainder of your academic journey. There are ways to encourage quality advisor-student interactions through personal connections and communication throughout your college career.

Establish a Personal Connection with Your Academic Advisor

In an online environment, it is easy to feel isolated from other students, faculty and university staff. But you are not alone. An academic advisor is waiting to connect you to the university.

Whether you’re at the beginning of a program or at a senior level, we want to hear about your experience. We’ll offer assistance with any concerns, help you avoid pitfalls and celebrate your victories.

The relationship starts with something as simple as an email, call or live chat. Don’t hesitate to reach out because there is an entire department of advisors eager to be your advocate.

Meeting Your Advisor? Come Prepared

Advisors aim to provide a friendly and resourceful network at the university. We also want to have valuable conversations with students, and that requires critical thinking.

If you’re unsure about your academic path and degree plan, come to the table ready for an honest, hard-hitting discussion. You need to be ready to ask and answer in-depth questions.

Advisors Tell You about University Resources

Do you know when there are live webinars about navigating the online library? Are you familiar with the professional organizations that have student chapters available to you? Advisors do their best to set up and prepare students for the learning in an online environment.

When we work together on your registration, advisors will provide a heads-up on course materials and availability. Perhaps your GPA could use a boost? We can go over the probation policy and discuss tutoring resources.

Advisors are here to share exciting university events. We’ll also tell you about opportunities that will make you more successful and engaged in your field of study.

Your Ties to Your Advisor Can Keep You Motivated for Success

You are responsible for registering, writing papers and submitting forms on time, while you balance the countless other demands of daily life. But sometimes you might forget to submit your graduation application or need an extended break from classes.

Your relationship with your advisor can be a source of motivation. When you’re re-enrolling or focusing on that final paper for your last class, call your advisor to make sure you’re on track for graduation. At the very least, we’d like to say, “Congrats! See you at commencement!”

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

Contact your academic advisor anytime throughout your academic program. Email us at counseling@apus.edu or call us at 877-755-2787. You can even chat with us live. We are available Monday — Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

About the Author

Emily Ludeman has worked in the Academic Advising Department at APUS since 2010. Prior to APUS, Emily was an advisor within the Residential and Commuter Life Office at Longwood University in Farmville, VA. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and leadership from Longwood and is currently in the public administration master’s program here at APU.

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