I take my responsibility as your advisor very seriously. All too often, faculty fail in their advising responsibilities which can result in students taking classes that do not contribute to degree completion, not aligning their coursework with career ambitions or, worse, not completing their degree in a timely manner resulting in additional costs on the student. This page outlines the procedures I utilize in my advising to help the advising be both efficient and as useful to you as possible. Please read this page carefully! For a general overview of political science advising, please visit this link. If you are a graduating senior, jump to the "Graduating? Read this!" section for important information.
Step 1: Am I Your Assigned Advisor?
The first step is to make sure that I am, in fact, your assigned advisor. To locate this information, log-in to ULink and click on the "academics" tab. There, you should be able to locate the name of your assigned faculty advisor. Importantly: I am unable to advise you if I am not your assigned advisor (I cannot lift your advising hold). Make sure to reach out to your assigned advisor to be advised.
Step 2: Complete an Advising Worksheet
If I am your assigned advisor, your next step is to complete an advising worksheet. You can download a fillable version of the worksheet here (PDF or Word). To complete your worksheet, you will need to access your DegreeWorks page to see which courses you still need to complete to finish your degree and compare those to the "schedule of classes" for the term for which you're being advised. DegreeWorks can be accessed through ULink by following these instructions. You can access the Registrar's "schedule of classes" here. For a sample schedule for first and second year, see here.
Importantly, not all classes (even those classes that are required) are offered every semester, which should be taken into consideration when planning your schedule. I realize that you might not know all of the information needed to complete the advising worksheet. Please complete it to the best of your ability and bring any questions that you might have to your advising appointment.
Step 3: Schedule an Advising Appointment
My default is to advise students in person in my office (Mouton Hall 120). In my experience, students find discussing their future face-to-face to be more fruitful than advising over email, Zoom, or phone. After you have completed your advising worksheet (to the best of your ability), you should click here to book an advising appointment. Importantly, send me your advising worksheet NO LESS than 24 hours before your advising appointment. If I do not receive your worksheet within 24 hours of your appointment, the appointment will be cancelled and will need to be re-booked.
Step 4: Advising Appointment
The final step in the advising process is your advising appointment. At this appointment, we will discuss the courses that you have chosen and how they contribute to your degree completion. I will also ask you questions about your career goals to make sure that you're on track for what you hope to achieve. Where necessary I will urge you to take certain classes over others when doing so will help further your goals or better align with your degree requirements. At the conclusion of the meeting I will release your advising hold which will allow you to register for classes once it is your turn (unless you have additional holds on your account, which we will also discuss at our meeting).
Summer and Winter Break Advising
As noted above, my default is to advise in person. However, all advising done during the summer months or during winter break is conducted over email. Please complete your advising worksheet and email it to me (along with any questions that you have) to begin the advising process. I will look over your worksheet, compare it to your DegreeWorks audit, offer comments and suggestions, lift your advising hold, and then email you back with my recommendations.
Graduating? Read this!
If you are graduating, congratulations!! We do not need to meet for you to be advised. Instead, you should download and complete this Graduation Check-Sheet the semester before you intend to graduate. For example, if you are planning to graduate Spring 2024, you will complete this form when advising begins in the Fall, 2023 semester. If you're planning to graduate over the summer, you will complete the form the spiring before. Those planning to graduate Fall, 2024 should complete the graduation form during the spring semester.
Complete the form to the best of your ability comparing it to your DegreeWorks audit and then send the form to me via email. If you would like to meet to discuss the form, you should schedule an advising appointment using the link above under Step 4. Please make sure the form is completely filled out and is filled out accurately. If the form is not correctly filled out, it will be returned for you to fix (as I am unable to edit the form once you have signed it).
Note: you MUST complete the Graduation Check-Sheet using Adobe Acrobat (AVAILABLE FOR FREE online) and you MUST set up a DigitalID to sign the document. For instructions on creating a digital signature, see these instructions provided by the Dean's office. Failure to sign the document using a digital signature will result in processing delays.
Important Information to Know!
All students should be aware of the following information as it relates to advising:
If you will no longer be a political science major, I should not be advising you. Instead, you will need to contact your new department and ask to be assigned a new advisor.
If you are graduating THIS semester, you do not need to be advised. ULink will show an advising hold but this can be ignored.
If you are planning to graduate in the fall 2023 and you have not already completed a graduation checksheet, please email me so that this can be done as soon as possible. If you are graduating in the spring or summer 2024, you should complete the graduation checksheet once advising for the spring semester begins.
Advising Frequently Asked Questions (section a work in progress)
When can I register for classes?
The University Registrar assigns each student a date and time that they can register beginning with graduate students, seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. You can find your assigned day and time on ULink. I will also provide you with this information at your advising appointment.
Do I have to take UNIV100?
Every student is required to take UNIV100 with two exceptions: 1) those students transferring into UL-Lafayette with more than 30 credit hours; or 2) those returning students with more than 30 credit hours. Students who fall into one of these categories do not have to take UNIV100 and can replace it with any 3-credit general education class.
Do I need a minor? How do I declare one?
All political science majors are required to declare a minor. For those with less than 60 credit hours, the minor is declared in Lee Hall. For those who have more than 60 credit hours, the minor is declared by contacting the College of Liberal Arts (email@example.com).
Can I get an override for [full political science course]?
As a general rule, no overrides are allowed into POLS courses unless the class is required for graduation AND the student requesting the override is graduating that semester. Overrides are not given when other sections or courses are available. To request an override, you must see the Political Science Department Head.
When is [POLS Course] offered again?
Course offerings can change from semester to semester. Even so, faculty often have a general idea of what courses are offered "on rotation" and offered every so often. You should reach out to the faculty member of the class you are interested in and inquire about when they might teach that class again.
Can I do an independent study/internship?
Both independent studies and internships allow a student to earn credit toward degree completion outside of a traditional classroom setting. Independent studies are when a student pairs with a faculty member for one-on-one study of a topic. During the course of the independent study, students are expected to complete readings, paper assignments, exams, or more, similar to a regular classroom (all of which is to be determined by the supervising faculty member). In an internship, students earn credit by doing hands-on work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, law firms, etc. For internships, students are supervised by an outside supervisor who reports back to a supervising faculty member.
Students interested in an independent study should reach out to the faculty member with an expertise in the topic that student hopes to explore. Students interested in earning internship credit should reach out to the POLS Department Internship Coordinator for additional information. Students should be aware that faculty do not earn any extra compensation for supervising internships or independent studies and, consequently, should not take it personally if a faculty member declines to take on the responsibility of supervising an independent study or internship.