Advisor Help Page
We have developed this special web page to help academic advisors. Below is a list of common items for which we receive questions. Click on the link for more information. If there is something that you would like for us to add here, please let us know.
- Advising Holds
- Class Rolls -- What is the Importance?
- Core Curriculum - New 2014-2016
- Degree Plans and Catalog Requirements
- Distance Education Questions
- Drop/Add forms: When do we switch from using the big, blue drop/add forms to using the small drop slips?
- FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
- Financial Aid: What Faculty and Advisors should know
- Honors Students and Courses
- How do students drop courses (on-campus vs. distance education)?
- Learning Community Courses
- Meningitis Immunization Requirement
- NCBO (Non-Course Based Option for TSI)
- PAA (Pre-Assessment Activity for TSI Assessment)
- Personal Identification Number (PIN)
- PREQ Test Score -- What is this?
- Spirit Days/MORE Orientation
- Student Information System (Banner) access and/or training
- Student Privacy
- TSI - Texas Success Initiative
- Transfer Courses and Equivalencies
- Unofficial transcript - how to get a copy for advising
- What is College Connections?
- What is Skills for Success?
- What is Supplemental Instruction (SI)?
- What is the First Year Probation Program?
- What is Leadership MSU?
- What is Military Science - Air Force ROTC?
- Who is a student's advisor?
All undergraduate (and some graduate) students will have an advising hold on the Student Information System to prevent them from registering without first seeing an advisor. Depending on the procedure set up in your department, the advisor may be clearing these holds, or it may be the department secretary. The hold must be cleared before the student will be allowed to register.
Please note that the hold form is not term specific -- meaning that in the Spring, once the hold is cleared, the student will be able to enroll for Summer I, Summer II, and Fall. Holds will be reset each October and February.
Class Rolls -- What is the Importance?
In Fall and Spring semesters you will receive 1st, 4th, and 12th day class rolls. Twelfth day is the official enrollment date. In Summer terms you will receive 1st and 4th day rolls. Fourth day is the official enrollment date. Verifying your class rolls at the beginning of each term is one of the most important things you can do.
If it is not your policy to take roll regularly, at least on the above days when a new class roll is sent, please physically take roll and note any problems on the actual roll sheet such as:
- If a student has never been to class by 4th or 12th day (mark them both).
- If an extra student who is not on the roll is in the class. (Ask if there is anyone whose name has not been called after you check roll and document it.)
- If a student who was coming suddenly quits attending by 4th or 12th day and you do not know if they dropped the class or withdrew from school.
Sign the roll sheet and return to the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible!
Please don't wait until a month or two into the semester to drop someone who has never attended -- report it early, and if you're going to drop them, do so.
Students must be paid in full or at least on a payment plan with a 1/3 paid by the 12th class day or they are voided. If they reinstate with payment by the 20th day (15th in summer) we can count them for funding, if not or if they register after the official census, we lose the funding -- this is why we need you to check roll and correct enrollment errors early! Students voided for non-payment will be subject to reinstatement fees.
This is important for many reasons:
- Financial Aid status may be affected.
- Athletic status may be affected.
- Veterans status may be affected.
- Official enrollment reports must be correct for reporting to state - errors need to be found as early as possible.
Core changes for Fall 2015 were approved -- see the online catalog for updates.
Current Fall 2014 New Core Curriculum -- click here to see the latest core and special notes for advising.
An advising workshop was held on March 26 where the new core for Fall 2014 was discussed. Attached are other documents for your reference:
Degree Plans and Catalog Requirements:
The degree plan is prepared by the student's advisor and approved by the heads of the major and minor program areas. The degree plan should be prepared as soon as the student's degree, major, and minor objectives have been determined, but no later than the semester in which the student reaches 45 total semester credit hours. The original signed degree plan should be sent to the Office of the Registrar when it is prepared.
Any course substitutions should be prepared at this time also. (Reminder: Core exceptions require the approval of the dean of the college of the course concerned.)
Bachelor of Arts requirements are often misunderstood. Only humanities or literature can be used to meet that part of the BA requirement. This is different from the core requirements.
Electives: Any course can be used as an elective, EXCEPT exercise physiology activities or developmental courses. If degree program specifies upper level electives, they must be filled by courses numbered 3000-4000's.
How to total up hours for the degree minimum of 120?
- Take their earned hours (from the Student Information System),
- subtract developmentals and extra EXPH activities (anything over two activities, regardless of the hours), and
- add currently enrolled hours. If any of the currently enrolled hours are repeats of C or D, make sure they are only being counted once, and
- add hours for required courses to be completed. The result will show if elective hours are needed.
Some students think if they complete the core and their major and minor, that they have completed the degree, but this is not so in most cases. Questions can be directed to Barbara Lunce, Kim Long, or Bricelle Satterfield in the Registrar's Office.
- Advising questions such as what course to take, CRN, advising holds, etc. should be directed to the department (BAAS, Radiologic Sciences, Nursing, Public Administration, etc.)
- Distance Education Questions - Desire2Learn questions or problems should be directed to the Distance Education Office (http://distance.mwsu.edu/).
- Registration questions should be directed to the Office of the Registrar (940-397-4321).
Drop/Add forms: When do we switch from using the big, blue drop/add forms to using the small drop slips?
The big, blue drop/add forms are to be used during regular and late registration only for students who are adding, dropping, or both. Students can complete their changes on the web -- except for overrides, overloads, and other special situations which must be done in person at the Office of the Registrar. (Remember in summer there is no late registration.)
Once late registration is over, the student should only be able to choose to drop, not add. This is when we switch to using the small drop slips that the student must pick up at the Registrar Office's windows.
Financial aid recipients are awarded grants, loans and other types of assistance based on information provided to the Financial Aid Office which includes, but is not limited to, enrollment status (full-time, half-time, etc), classification (undergraduate, graduate, etc) and types of aid requested (loans, college work-study, etc.).
While it is important to understand that the student’s financial aid is based on the aforementioned criteria, it is equally important to understand that the student’s prior academic performance can directly affect his/her eligibility for future financial aid. The student has a responsibility to attend class and satisfactorily progress towards his/her degree. For example, if a student enrolls full-time and fails to complete any coursework (or, receives ‘all F’s’), this should be taken into consideration and the student carefully advised before being allowed to enroll for a full-time course load in a subsequent semester(s).
Additionally, failure to attend class should result in the following action being taken by the instructor:
- if a student has NEVER ATTENDED class(es), an ‘Instructor Drop’ form (available from the College Dean or from the MSU Print Shop) should be submitted and noted with the Last Date of Attendance as ‘Never Attended’.
- if a student simply stops attending class(es), the Dean of Students Office should be contacted to initiate a ‘Conduct and Attendance Referral’ form – OR the Referral can be submitted online at http://www.mwsu.edu/student-life/dean (click on ‘Conduct and Attendance Referral’). If the instructor does not receive any response from the student after the Referral has been issued (i.e., the student still fails to attend class(es)), the instructor is encouraged to submit an ‘Instructor Drop’ form – and note the student’s Last Date of Attendance.
- also if an instructor signs a ‘Drop Slip’ for a student, the student’s Last Date of Attendance must be noted in the upper right hand corner of the Drop Slip.
Removing students from class rolls who never attend OR who cease attendance is critical. Federal law prohibits the university from retaining Title IV Student Financial Assistance funds (such as Pell Grant, student loans, etc…) for a student who never attends or stops attending class. Inappropriately keeping someone on class rolls will create a potential financial liability for the university.
Honors Students and Courses
The Redwine Honors Program is an academic program for high achieving students. Honors students must complete eight required courses, including Leadership MSU, a research methods course, and two Senior Seminars. Most honors courses are limited enrollment sections of core curriculum courses. Honors courses are limited to 20 students. Non-honors students with a GPA of at least 3.25 may enroll in honors courses, on a space-available basis, and with permission of the Honors Director.
To identify students in the Banner Student Information System who are in the Honors Program each term, a student attribute of "HONR" is added to their record each term he/she is an honors student. Then these attributes are tied to the honors courses for allowing registration. If a student receives a "prerequisite or test score not met" or "student attribute missing" message when they web register, or if they have any questions regarding the Redwine Honors Program, they would need to contact the Honors Program Coordinator at (940) 397-4534. Click here to go to the Honors Program website.
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How do students drop courses (on-campus vs. distance education)?
On-campus: Students who live in the local area and/or students who attend any classes on campus may drop a class by picking up a drop slip in the Registrar's Office, then take it to be signed by their advisor, instructor, and Financial Aid (athletes must also have the signature of the Athletic Compliance Officer). When all is completed, the student must return the drop slip to the Registrar's Office prior to the last day to drop with a W (see schedule of classes). If a student is dropping all classes, this is considered a withdrawal and the student must contact the Dean of Students Office instead of completing a drop slip.
Distance education: Students who do NOT live locally and are only enrolled in distance education courses may complete an online drop slip by going to the Registrar webpage (http://www.mwsu.edu/registrar) and clicking on "Course Drop Petition - Distance Ed. Only." After completing the information, they click Submit and it sends an e-mail notification to the Registrar's Office. (Drops must be submitted prior to the last day to drop with a W - see schedule of classes.) We confirm approvals of the advisor, instructor and Financial Aid and then process the drop. If a student is dropping all classes, this is considered a withdrawal and the student must contact the Dean of Students Office instead of completing the online drop slip. Note: If you are an instructor of a distance education course, this information should appear on all syllabi of distance education courses.
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This is where two courses are linked together so that the same group of students are enrolled in both courses. They are normally freshman-level courses taught on the same days with back-to-back times. These are offered to promote additional connection with other students and unique teaching opportunities for faculty who can collaborate with the curriculum being taught. Learning Community Courses have section numbers that begin with an "L" (for example, POLS 1333-L10). They are listed in the schedule of classes for each term in which they are offered.
The Non-Course Based Options are available for certain students who have failed the TSI Assessment. Please click here for details regarding the program and which students are eligible to participate.
Orientation is sponsored by the Office of Student Development and Orientation (940-397-4500). All new undergraduate students are required to attend a session of orientation prior to their first enrollment at MSU. Please refer students to the current Schedule of Classes for specific days and times. (Summer Guest students are not required to attend orientation.) Undergraduate distance education students must complete an online orientation which can be found on the Student Development webpage.
PAA (Pre-Assessment Activity for TSI Assessment):
Students who must take the TSI Assessment are first required to complete the online Pre-Assessment Activity. The PAA gives information about the TSI Assessment, what to expect, sample questions, and resources which MSU offers. Before taking the PAA, students should make sure and know their TSI statuses and if they are required to test and for which sections. When ready to take the PAA, they will open either a Firefox or Google Chrome browser and go to: https://secure.mwsu.edu/registrar/paa/slides.asp (For formatting purposes, it is important to only use the web browser of Firefox or Google Chrome.) The PAA is required prior to taking the TSI Assessment.
Personal Identification Number (PIN):
The PIN is a six digit number that students have used in the WebWorld system -- which is our web registration system, but also where they can pay online, check financial aid, check grades, change their address, and even change their PIN, plus more. However, with the new MSU Portal, all current and newly admitted students have a different login and can gain access there now to WebWorld.
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PREQ Test Score -- What is this?
When looking at test score screen in the Student Information System you may see test scores labeled PRRD, PRWR, PRMA, PRMB. The only scores you should ever see are 0, 50 (on PRMB only), or 100.
These are not actual tests that the student took, but a prerequisite indicator for meeting our developmental-level courses (ENGL 1014, MATH 0003, and MATH 1003). If the score is zero, the requirement is not met, if it is a 100, the requirement has been met. (On PRMB only, if the score is 50, that means the student made a D in Math 1003 and he/she is only eligible to go on to MATH 1053.)
There are many ways in which the requirement can be met: certain scores on the ACT, SAT, TAKS, STAAR, TSI Assessment, THEA, Accuplacer, etc., by passing the actual developmental courses, and also by taking/transferring in college-level courses in these areas. Meeting TSI requirements is a separate issue. If they have failed a section of a TSI test, even if a 50 or 100 is on any of the PREQ scores, developmental work may still be required. Do not assume 50/100 means TSI is passed. Click here to see more information on the Texas Success Initiative.
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This is a comprehensive orientation program through which students not only receive vital information and become eligible to register early for classes, but also interact with a number of students (both new and returning) as well as faculty and staff. Students receive comprehensive information about MSU and its services and also participate in a variety of socially stimulating, intellectually challenging, and spirit-driven workshops designed specifically to enhance the new student experience. For more information, visit the MORE website.
Student Information System (Banner) access and/or training:
If you need a sign-on for the Student Information System (Banner), for academic information, please send an e-mail to the Registrar, Darla Inglish. Training is required before any logon will be distributed. Various training sessions are held throughout the year.
Please visit the TSI website for exemptions and other details. If you have any other questions, please contact Jamie Wilson in the Registrar's Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-397-4320.
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Transfer Courses and Equivalencies:
New transfer student evaluations are completed by the Admissions Office when the student submits an application for admission and all transcripts have arrived. These are available for you to view on Banner.
American Government from out-of-state schools often transfers in as POLS 1433, not 1333. Advisors should check Banner and be very careful which political science they advise a transfer student to take.
Unofficial transcript - how to get a copy for advising:
Advisors can use the Student Information System (Banner) to view the student's MSU transcript (since Summer 1986) and transfer credit accepted. If you need a copy of MSU work prior to 1986, advisors/secretaries may call the Registrar's Office and ask that we campus-mail you an unofficial transcript for the student. There is no need to have the student come to our office to request this.
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What is College Connections?
MWSU 1233 - College Connections: This course assists new students in their transition to the college environment and focuses on the cognitive and behavioral dimensions of learning. Emphasis is placed on the disciplines of written and oral communication. A career exploration project is required. It is highly recommended that students enroll in this course. Limited to new students. Click here for the College Connections website.
(Note: Students who are admitted under "Admission By Review" are required to enroll in this course their first term. These students are also limited to no more than 15 hours each long term. They will be released from this status upon successful completion of 24 semester hours. The Academic Success Center monitors these students.
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What is Skills for Success?
MWSU 1003 - Skills for Success: This course is designed for students with previous college experience to assist them in improving learning strategies and enhancing their success in college and in life. It is highly recommended for students who have experienced difficulties in studying, reading or writing strategies, or are returning to an academic environment. Opportunities are provided for students to understand, develop and maximize individualized learning strategies. Students on scholastic probation or who are returning from academic suspension may be required to enroll in this course. Click here for the Skills for Success website.
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What is Supplemental Instruction (SI)?
Supplemental Instruction is an academic enrichment program that targets historically difficult academic courses and offers free, peer-assisted study sessions to all enrolled students in a designated section of selected courses.
An SI leader will present information about this program during the first class meeting. Students who enroll in an "SI" section may choose to attend free study sessions which are regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions held each week of the semester.
Research indicates that students earn one-half to one full letter grade higher if they attend "SI" sessions regularly during the semester. To see which SI classes are being offered, call the Academic Success Center at (940) 397-4684, or click here for the SI website.
What is the First Year Probation Program?
In an effort to provide early intervention for freshmen who are placed on probation, the First Year Probation Program was developed in Fall 2002. Students in the program are new freshmen who have less than 30 hours, and a grade point average (gpa) of less than 1.70.
A probation hold is placed on SIS for each of these students and they are sent a letter listing their requirements for the next semester. They are required to enroll for MWSU 1003 - Skills for Success, repeat two classes in which grades of D or F were earned, and can choose to take one exercise physiology activity and one other course - limiting their hours to no more than 14. These students must clear their schedules with the Academic Success Center.
At the end of each Fall and Spring term, a new cohort will be selected. We are hopeful that this early intervention will direct the student's academic studies toward success.
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What is Leadership MSU?
MWSU 1333 - Leadership MSU. This course is designed to introduce students to leadership concepts and develop an increased awareness of individual interests and abilities. The course relies heavily on student involvement and is designed to encourage challenging and stimulating interaction. It is required for President's Leadership Scholars. This course requires the instructor's signature for enrollment. (See the current schedule of classes for offerings.)
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What is Military Science - Air Force ROTC?
MSU students are given the opportunity to participate in the Air Force ROTC program as crosstown students at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Students are required to attend an academic class, leadership laboratory and physical training at UNT once a week during the fall and spring academic semesters.
The AFROTC mission is to develop quality leaders to serve our country as officers in the United States Air Force. As a part of the program, students will prepare themselves to become an Air Force Officer while completing their degrees as college students. Students enroll in AFROTC classes at the same time and in the same manner as other university courses. Students may participate in the four-year or three-year programs.