Getting the Most Out of Advising
As a student, there are some important steps you need to take in order to get the most out of your advising appointments with your adviser. In order for your adviser to help you make good decisions, it is essential that you take the time to understand academic policies, procedures, and degree requirements. Utilize the online course catalog and other online resources below to help you get started. Your adviser can then help clarify information and answer any questions you have.
Online Advising Resources: Fall 2020 Registration
Reference the information below to help guide you in navigating online advising appointments and course registration.
How do I know what to register for?
In addition to using tools in your portal such as your transcript and degree audit, utilize the following to help you plan your schedule:
For all students:
- Class scheduling grid – NEW FILLABLE VERSION
- Long Term Course Planning Worksheet – NEW FILLABLE VERSION
- Undergraduate Majors and Minors (2019-2020 Catalog Link)
- Major Outlines/Paradigms
- Academic Advising Notes – Click this link to learn more about:
- Important dates and reminders
- How to withdraw from a class online
- How to declare your major, minor, and/or IGEP minor online
- Who to contact regarding transfer credits and summer classes
- Updates, Course Changes, and New Courses (within IGEP and Departments)
- Online course offerings for fall and summer
For students enrolled spring 2018 and prior (Legacy Program):
For students enrolled beginning fall 2018 and on (IGEP):
Who is my faculty adviser?
Your faculty advisor’s name is listed at the bottom of your portal homepage. Note: If you recently declared your major, you may still see your former adviser listed but you should be primarily working with your new major adviser.
How do I set up my advising appointment?
Look for communication from your faculty adviser. You can work with them via email or schedule a virtual meeting via zoom or google hangout.
I want to drop/withdraw from a class, what do I do?
- Email your adviser the name of the course you want to drop and any concerns or questions you have about dropping the class. If you and your adviser both agree that dropping the class is the best option, your adviser will notify the registrar’s office and take care of the rest.
- Keep the following in mind
- Wednesday, April 15th is the last day to withdraw from a class
- A final grade of a W will be entered which does not impact your GPA.
- If withdrawing from a course or courses will put you below 12 credits, you need to email the following office(s) (as applies) to see how this may impact you:
- Financial Aid: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Athletics: email@example.com
How do I declare my major, minor, and/or IGEP minor?
The declaration form has been moved online. You can declare your major, minor, and/or IGEP minor. You can also add or change/drop a major, minor, IGEP minor as well.
Email the following person to declare:
- Major or Academic Minor: Department Chair of that major or minor
- IGEP Minor: The Minor Coordinator of the IGEP Minor you want to declare
- Creativity and Inquiry: Dr. Patrick O’Shea firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I have a hold on my account?
I took or want to take a class outside of Saint Mary’s and want to know how it counts. What do I do?
Use the key below to determine who to contact based on the course you hope to take:
- Major or Minor course – Department Chair of the major or minor
- IGEP course – Coordinator of IGEP minor or Associate Dean for General Education
- Self, Society, and the Sacred: Dr. Erich Lippman email@example.com
- Environmental Sustainability: Dr. Ben Pauli firstname.lastname@example.org
- Global Diversity and Social Justice: Dr. Erin Mae Clark email@example.com
- Creativity and Inquiry: Dr. Patrick O’Shea firstname.lastname@example.org
- All other IGEP questions: Dr. Carolyn Ayers email@example.com
- Legacy General Education Program course – Dean of the College
- Dr. Mark Barber firstname.lastname@example.org
I still have questions. What do I do?
Stay calm and know we are here to help! Here are some options:
Course Registration Support: Fall 2020 Registration
Reminder: Registration is set to open according to Central Standard Time. Not sure what time that means for you? Check out this link.
Connect with us LIVE!
Hey cardinals! Wishing you could come to the HC Computer Labs during your registration time? We do too. Have no fear as you can still join us LIVE in a zoom meeting (but this time it is BYOD – bring your own donut!) Jump on the call anytime during your registration window and not only will Student Success and FGI advisers be available to help you but also your Peer Advisers!
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE ZOOM MEETING
Wondering what to expect when you jump on the zoom meeting? Here is what to know:
When you first join in, we will welcome you in and provide general information and guidance as you register. If you experience any issues with registration or have any specific questions, we will pop you in a breakout room from that same meeting to have a quieter space to help you troubleshoot. Have a more individualized or confidential question? Just let us know and we can do a 1-1 in a breakout room.
We can’t wait to see you!
- First and foremost, update the term in the portal (upper left-hand corner)
- FA20 for fall registration
- SU20 for summer registration
- Select ‘Registration’ under the ‘My Student Potral’ heading
- Register for your classes
- If registration does not open, verify the following:
- Your registration date and time
- Any holds on your account – holds will prevent registration
- If registration does not open, verify the following:
Study and Self-Care Tips During COVID-19
A Comprehensive Guide
A Comprehensive Guide Take a look at this comprehensive guide that aims to help you adjust your study habits during COVID-19.
A Kwik Break!
A Kwik BreakTake a “kwik” break and check out the Kwik Brain Podcast by Jim Kwik. Jim is a world expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, and optimal brain performance. His podcasts are short but engaging and he provides you tools and action steps to help you apply his teachings to your life in practical ways. His episodes can help you both inside and outside of the classroom with a range from how to read and study more efficiently to mental health to creating healthy habits. Take a listen!!
50 Ways to Take a Break
Need more ideas to take a little break? Take a look at this document which has many ideas that comply with social distancing!
Log Your Study & Wellness Progress
Need some accountability? Consider filling out this Study and Wellness Log on a weekly basis. It includes prompts to help keep you on track with studying and self-care with some helpful tips included as we navigate this time together.
Wellness Center Website
Check out the Wellness Center Website for more resources!
Who is my academic adviser?
You can find your adviser’s name listed on your student portal. If you are a first year student, your adviser will be your Anchor Course FYE101 (or LH1110 if in honors) professor. If you are a new transfer student not enrolled in an Anchor Course, you will work with the Department Chair of your intended major for advising until you formally declare your major.
When should I meet with my adviser?
We encourage students to meet with their advisor on a regular basis. Making this connection early is important as getting to know your advisor can help with your success at Saint Mary’s and also post Saint Mary’s as well. All students meet with their adviser each semester before course registration to discuss academic progress, goals, and a plan for the following semester classes. Students should check in with their adviser any time they have questions or concerns that may affect their academic progress at Saint Mary’s.
Can I change my adviser?
If your major is declared, you may contact the Department Chair if you would like to be assigned to a different adviser. If you are undeclared and would like to change advisers, please contact the Student Success Center.
When should I declare my major?
Students must declare their major by the end of their first year. We recommend that you meet with your adviser early on to begin discussing your interests and future goals as they relate to majors. If you would like additional resources to help you with this important decision, please feel free to contact us!
How do I declare or change my major?
The declaration form has been moved online. You can declare your major, minor, and/or IGEP minor. You can also add or change/drop a major, minor, IGEP minor as wel.
Meet with the following person to declare:
- Major or Minor: Department Chair of that major or minor
- IGEP Minor: The Minor Coordinator of the minor you want to declare
There is no limit to the number of times that you can change your major or minor, however, it is important to continually meet with your adviser to review your graduation timeline if you decide to make a change.
What is my Degree Audit Report?
Your Degree Audit Report outlines all of the specific requirements needed for graduation, including general education and major requirements. Your Degree Audit Report is an excellent tool to utilize as your track your progress toward graduation as it factors in your completed and in-progress coursework. You can view your Degree Audit via your student portal.
What is GPA (Grade Point Average) and how is it calculated?
Grade Points and Achievement Levels In order to evaluate the overall quality of course work, a system of grade points is used. The number of grade points earned in a given course is the number of credits for that course multiplied by the grade point corresponding to the grade earned in that course, as follows:
Grade Grade Pts. Achievement Level
A 4.000 Excellent
B 3.000 Very Good
C 2.000 Satisfactory
D 1.000 Minimal Pass
F 0.000 Failure
P Pass (A, AB, B, BC, C)
NC No Credit (CD, D, F)
The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted.
What are the requirements for graduation?
- Earn a minimum of 122 semester credits
- Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a 2.0 major GPA
- Complete a minimum of 45 credits in 300 or 400 level courses
- Complete all general education requirements
- Complete at least one major
- Earn at least 60 semester credits in academic residence at Saint Mary’s (transfer students)
- Spend the final year in academic residence unless enrolled in an approved off-campus program
- Apply no more than 4 semester hours of music ensemble credits toward the minimum graduation requirement of 122 semester credits
Exceptions or substitutions must be approved by the Dean of the College.
How do I know which classes to take for my major?
For further information regarding courses specific to your major, please reference the Major Paradigms.
The major paradigms are a helpful resource, as they can be used from semester to semester to guide you in a good path to follow to stay on track for your major.
In addition to the major paradigms, we encourage you to meet with your adviser to further discuss courses and the best plan for you.
Should I take the math, English, or Spanish placement tests?
English and Math
Students are placed into their first English and Math course based upon their ACT/SAT subscores in English and Math. To view your placement, login to your portal at student.smumn.edu. You will see your English and Math placement courses listed in the lower right-hand corner.
If you would like to try to place into a different course, it is recommended that you consider a placement test. Please note that E105: Writing Skills is the only English course you can take the placement test for to try to test out of.
For more information regarding the math placement test, please contact Dr. Kristin Sellke at email@example.com
For more information regarding the English placement test, please contact Dr. Brook Lenz at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have taken Spanish courses in high school and/or are a native speaker considering a major or minor in Spanish or are interested in taking Spanish classes in general, we recommend that you speak with a faculty member to determine the best starting course for you.
For more information regarding Spanish placement, please contact Dr. John Reed at email@example.com
What is the difference between "dropping" a course and "withdrawing" from a course?
At the beginning of each semester, students have 1 week from the first day of classes to make adjustments to their schedule. This means that you can add and/or drop courses without penalty. Additionally, changes made during this first week will not appear on your academic record. During this window, you can make changes to your schedule via the student portal. After this first week, you will need to complete a course withdraw form in order to be withdrawn form the course. You will no longer be able to drop the course on your own via the student portal. Before withdrawing from a course, it is important that you speak with the professor of the course, your adviser, your coach if you are an athlete, residence life if you will drop below 12 credits, and also financial aid to ensure withdrawing will not impact any financial aid you may have. Additionally, it is important to note that when you withdraw from a course, a “W” will be recorded for that course on your academic record rather than a letter grade.
I'm struggling in a class, how can I get help?
Talk to Your Professor Talking to your professor is key. While you may have performed poorly on an exam, your professor won’t necessarily know that you’re struggling unless you speak up. Find out your professors office hours and utilize this time to talk with them about your progress in class. Sometimes things are not a bad as they seem to you. Other times, things may be much worse than you realize. Your professor can provide you with a clearer picture of your situation and options for additional assistance such as tutoring or study tips.
Consider Tutoring Tutoring is a free service to you as a student, so definitely take advantage of this great resource! Tutoring is peer-to-peer and all tutors are recommended by departments and are students who have been successful in the class. Sign up for a tutor. For more information regarding tutoring, please contact Joe Dulak at firstname.lastname@example.org
Consider Withdrawing from the Course If you feel that you have explored all of your options and have given advice from your professor and/or tutoring some time, you may consider withdrawing from the course. The decision to withdraw is yours to make and should be made only after you have considered all options and consequences. For instance, will you go below full-time status (less than 12 credits)? If so, this can affect housing, financial aid, athletic eligibility and so forth, so be sure to speak with individuals in these areas. Additionally, always seek out your adviser before withdrawing from a course to come up with a plan to retake the course if it is on needed for graduation.
Can I repeat a class to earn a better grade?
Students are encouraged to repeat courses in which they received a final grade of “F” or “D”. Students choosing to repeat a course should note that the grades from any previous attempt of a course are never deleted from their academic record. However, it is only the the grade earned in the latest attempt of the course that will be used in the calculation of their cumulative GPA. Therefore it is possible for a student to improve their cumulative GPA by repeating a course and earning a higher grade. Please note that students may not replace a grade earned at Saint Mary’s by taking a similar course at another university.
I want to take a class at a different school and transfer it back to Saint Mary's. What should I do?
Course Substitution and Pre-approval Process
Have you transferred in a course(s) that you think will count toward a specific requirement? Are you thinking about taking a class outside of Saint Mary’s that you are hoping can fulfill a specific requirement?
What you need to do:
Using the key below, send the following information to the appropriate person (hard copies or e-mail):
– Name of accredited institution/college
– Official course description and/or syllabus
– Credit amount of course
– Name of course and course code/level
– The name of the Saint Mary’s course or area you hope to have fulfilled
This information will be reviewed generally within 3-5 business days.
- Major or Minor Requirements – Department Chair of the major or minor
- Prerequisites for course – Department Chair in which the course is housed
- IGEP Requirements – Coordinator of IGEP minor or Associate Dean for General Education
- Lasallian Honors requirements – Director of Lasallian Honors Program
- Legacy General Education Program Requirements – Dean of the College
– If the course is one you have already transferred in, the course will then be substituted in.
– If the course is one you are planning to take in the future, you must receive a final grade of a C or higher for the course to officially transfer in. Additionally, you will need to have your official transcripts sent to the Registrar’s Office:
Office of the Registrar
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #37
Winona, MN 55987-1399
Courses Not Approved:
– If the course is one you have already transferred in, the course will be counted as elective credits toward graduation.
– If the course is one you are planning to take in the future, you may ask why the course was not approved to help you understand what to look for if you wish to search for another class to be considered.
Will my AP, CLEP and/or IBP credits transfer?
I'm thinking about withdrawing from Saint Mary's. What do I do?
If you are unsure if withdrawing from Saint Mary’s is the right decision for you, you can meet with an academic adviser in the Student Success Center to help. You can set up a time to meet by e-mailing email@example.com or by stopping by the office.
If you have decided that withdrawing from Saint Mary’s is in your best interest, you will need to complete the University Withdraw survey. If you have any questions about the withdraw process, please set up a time to meet with an academic advisor in the Student Success Center.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Academic Advising Office
700 Terrace Heights #6
Winona, MN 55987-1399
70 Griffin Hall
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.