Course & College Advising FAQs
Your academic life is dynamic. It evolves as you learn, and may need adjusting from time to time. The academic advising office is here to support your academic journey.
Below you will find the latest information and answers to important academic advising and curriculum processes for students and faculty, whether through face-to-face or remote advising options.
FAQs & Resources
Who advises me? And how?
Every matriculated student has a primary academic advisor. Those assignments are generally complete by the end of the first week of the semester. You may have additional advisors if you have a second major or minor, are a member of a special program (e.g., EOP, CAP, GEO), or are a student-athlete. The name(s) of your primary and other advisors is/are listed on both your MyPlattsburgh account and on your Degree Works audit report. Click below on “Who is my advisor?” to see these details and how to find their email address if you need to reach out.
Pay attention to communication from your academic advisor(s) about how to set up meetings or visit with them. Your notification will likely come through your Plattsburgh email or to your preferences as a Cardinal Star message. There are several options available to advisors for in-person or remote course advisement, such as telephone, email exchanges, Zoom and Google Meets. You and your advisor can determine which options are best suited for their/your circumstances.
COURSE ADVISEMENT Oct 25 – Nov 5 & PIN codes: What do I do?
Course Advisement Period
Course advisement for Winter and Spring 2022 runs Mon, Oct. 25 through Fri, Nov. 5, 2021. Each student must connect with their advisor during that time to discuss planned courses, review midterm grades and obtain a registration PIN. You use your registration PIN to enter priority registration at your assigned date/time of entry between Mon, Nov. 8 and Sun, Nov. 21.
- Email your primary academic advisor or respond to their outreach to you about the procedure for making an advising appointment.
- Look up courses that will be offered in the upcoming intersession and semester. From your MyPlattsburgh dashboard, locate the lowercase “b” for Banner self-service, or find Students tab > Registrar heading > Lookup Courses to Add. Go to Advanced Course Search [the term], and you may search by specific subject and number, or by General Education/Cardinal Core category in the “Attribute” field.
- At the conclusion of your advising appointment, be sure to obtain your registration PIN and the date/time you may first access Banner to register.
- Receiving advising and your PIN are necessary for priority registration.
Did you miss course advisement? Need a PIN to register?
- If you did not connect with your advisor, you must wait until the second week of priority registration to register. Starting Nov. 15, 2021, to obtain your PIN, you must email [email protected] from your Plattsburgh account, include your Banner ID (701......), first advisor’s name, and a list of first choice and alternate course sections that you looked up on Banner master schedule. In response, we will provide your PIN, and we will copy your advisor in on the email.
Late Registration (without a PIN)
- Students who miss priority registration (Nov. 8 – 21) will still be able to register, no PIN required, during course adjustment that runs from Mon, Nov. 22 through Sun, Dec. 19 and continues Mon, Jan. 3 through Sun, Feb. 6; a $40 late registration fee is added to your bill. Even if you missed priority registration, please reach out to your advisor for guidance — to see about discussing your future courses, how you are doing, and how you are progressing on your degree.
What if I need to drop a course?
You may freely add or drop a course online on Banner until Sunday 11:30 p.m. after the first week of courses.
Starting Monday of the second week of the full semester, you may officially withdraw from the course following the procedures outlined on the Office of the Registrar’s web page for course withdrawal policy, schedule and procedures for both face-to-face and remote/online courses. A fillable field form is available. The last day to withdraw from a full-semester course is Friday, Nov. 5.
How do I change my major or minor?
To declare or change your first major or minor, or add another major or minor:
- Send an email to the department chairperson of the major or minor you wish to add. (To learn who that is, visit our Explore Our Majors web page, choose your major department from the alphabetical list. The web page for each department has a “Contact Us” box with name and full contact info for the department chair or coordinator.)
- Emails must be from your Plattsburgh account, including your full name, your Banner ID (701......), and the specific major or minor you wish to add.
- Also include a working phone number in case your chair or the advising office needs clarification about your request in order for us to process it.
- The chairperson will determine your admissibility to their program, will reply to you with questions or confirmation and, if admitted, the name of your major or minor advisor. They will copy in, or forward to, the academic advising office for official processing.
To delete a major or minor, no authorization is necessary.
- From your Plattsburgh email account, send an email to [email protected].
- Include your name, Banner ID, the specific name of the major or minor you wish to delete, and whether you have applied to graduate at the end of this semester.
- Also include a phone number where you are reachable in case we have a question about your request before we are able to process it.
If you want to see the program requirements for any major or minor, you may also look at our Academic Catalog, link in the menu titled “Majors, Minors, & Certificates.”
You may opt to initiate a change of major/minor/advisor by completing the following fillable field form and forwarding to the respective department chairperson.
What if I’m thinking of withdrawing from college?
Personal circumstances can sometimes interfere with the academic focus needed to complete coursework and 2021 continues to be particularly challenging with added concerns about family health, safety, remote learning and finances.
We know that the decision to withdraw from college is a difficult one. If it would help to discuss your situation, please consider reaching out to your academic or program advisor(s), or to the academic advising office 518-564-2080. We encourage you to talk with someone; we might be able to resolve certain aspects of your circumstance or salvage some of your courses with available resources.
If you determine that college withdrawal is your best option, please do the following:
FOR PERSONAL, NON-MEDICAL WITHDRAWALS
The preferred option is to complete the online form here (authentication required).
If you are unable to complete the form, send an email to [email protected] from your Plattsburgh email account. Include the following required information:
- First and last name, Banner ID, major, cumulative GPA (unless you are a new student with no GPA yet)
- Full mailing address, phone number, and personal email address
- State whether you are withdrawing from this semester (the current term) OR if you are completing this term but wish to withdraw from a future term (state which term).
- Briefly explain the top three reasons, factors, or concerns that led to your decision to withdraw/transfer from SUNY Plattsburgh. If your reasons are related in any way to the pandemic, please elaborate, so that we can best understand and help with what our students are experiencing.
- State whether you intend to return to your studies at SUNY Plattsburgh and, if yes, estimate which semester.
If you receive financial aid, please consult with student financial services to discuss the impact of college withdrawal upon your current and future aid.
It is possible that the academic advising office, or another college staff member, may reach out to assist you as we work to process the college withdrawal you submit.
FOR MEDICAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL LEAVES OF ABSENCE
Advising Options: In Person & Remotely
Many students are residing locally or residentially, but some of your advisees may be studying remotely. Local and residential students may prefer, or occasionally need, remote advising. Know that you have much flexibility when it comes to interacting with your advisees. To that end, we offer the following for your consideration.
- New 2021 students, both residential and remote, experienced only virtual onboarding this summer. They might have had more assistance registering for courses, but they have had less “high touch” connection. Consider your first outreach to them, preferably in the first couple weeks of the semester, to focus primarily on how they are doing personally and academically, and not yet on long-term planning.
- Communicate early and often about the means by which your advisees should connect with you, e.g., scheduled appointments via Google, Cardinal Star, Doodle, Zoom, phone, email.
- It is of utmost importance that our individual advising practices and procedures allow for equitable access across the range of student circumstances. This involves having options set aside for those students with variable wifi signal strength, time zone, disabilities, availability of private environment for them to virtually meet, needs for synchronous vs. asynchronous communication, and so on.
- Please be aware that advising remotely may be more time consuming than face-to-face, and students might also have an increased need to talk about pedagogical or other concerns never present before.
Communicating Course Advisement Options to Advisees
Course advisement for Winter and Spring 2022 runs Mon, Oct. 25 through Fri, Nov. 5, 2021. Each student must connect with their advisor during that time to discuss planned courses, review midterm grades and obtain a registration PIN. Priority registration for main campus undergraduates occurs Mon, Nov. 8 through Sun, Nov. 21. See Registration Dates & Deadlines for complete registration access details.
Once you have determined how you will schedule your official course advising appointments, inform your advisees about how to make an appointment with you (email, call, Cardinal Star or Google calendar, etc.)
Be sure to let your advisees know how you want them to be prepared for your appointment, such as offering the following guidelines for “How to prepare for our meeting:”
- Review your midterm grades
- Review your Degree Works Report
- Highlight General Education and major requirements “Still needed”
- Review the course schedule on Banner (Look Up Courses to Add, under the Registrar header in the Students tab)
- Draft a tentative fall schedule to review
- Have a list of questions for us to discuss
- Remember to ask me for your Registration PIN and access date/time.
Accessing Advisee Contact Information, Grades, PINs
Just as always, you have much information in one place by using Argos.
- From MyPlattsburgh, click on the “Dashboards & Reports” tab
- Faculty-Advisee list; GO
- Choose the current term; Submit
- You may view your entire list of advisees (default “all” in the Type column, or filter those for whom you are 1st major, minor, program advisor, etc.)
- Click on an advisee, and you will see columns for (use scroll bar) Banner ID, email, registration PIN, registration dates/times, telephone number.
- To the right is your advisee’s photo if submitted, and below are the student’s current schedule and midterm grades
- At the conclusion of your advisee appointments, remember to release their registration PIN and access date/times.
To extract a spreadsheet of your advisees to track your course advisement (all or by type), click on the little gear icon above the student’s grades column. “Export to CSV,” and click “Apply,” and “Open with Excel.” (This is one method of communicating a mass email to your advisees, by copying/selecting the email addresses and pasting into the “bcc” field in your email.)
Cardinal Star provides this information as well. For a list of advisees in Cardinal Star:
- Start in MyPlattsburgh, click on the Cardinal Star icon
- In Cardinal Star, upper left corner, click the three line (hamburger) icon
- Select “Students”/"My Students”
- You may need to clear filters to see a complete list of advisees. Under “Additional Filters”, click “Edit Filters”, then “Clear All Filters”. Submit.
- Find the “Connection” dropdown and set it to "First Major Advisor”
- Click any student name to see their file
In each file, contact information is located under the student’s photo. In the “Courses” tab, midterm grades will be posted with each class. PINs, registration dates/times and other information are on the “Overview” tab. Additional Cardinal Star resources can be found in Moodle.
Student Priority Registration Access (with & without PINs)
Course advisement runs for two weeks. What happens to advisees who missed the course advisement deadline?
- Historically, the majority of students see advisors during the two weeks designated for course advisement. Our current situation continues to be atypical. Under continued pandemic circumstances, especially in the cases of COVID+ or quarantined/isolated students, if you want to extend your course advisement appointments into a third week, use your discretion to do so. Bear in mind the priority registration dates and order; if you extend course advisement beyond the second week of advisement, some junior- or senior-level advisees may lose their priority access into the registration during that first week.
- Students who received their PINs from you may access Banner registration at their assigned date/time during the first week of priority registration.
- Students who did not connect with you are able to register starting the second week of priority registration (starting Monday 11/15), but must email the advising office with a draft of their first choice and alternate courses. We will reply with their PIN and copy the first advisor. Please do not send an advisee to the advising office for a PIN prior to Nov 15.
- Students who neither receive nor request a PIN are able to register during the course adjustment phase of registration — no PIN required, $40 late registration fee. We encourage these students to reach out to you for guidance on their course selection, regardless of their timing. Continued outreach to advisees and encouraging registration activity gives us a better sense of our enrollment picture.
- Questions about advising, call the academic advising office at 518-564-2080 or email [email protected]. Questions about registration, call the registrar’s office, 518-564-2100, or email: [email protected].
Undergraduate (main campus) registration opens by class level accordingly:
- Senior (85+ cr.)
- Junior Upper Level (71–84.99 cr.)
- Junior Lower Level (57–70.99 cr)
- Sophomore Upper Level (43–56.99 cr.)
- Sophomore Lower Level (28–42.99 cr.)
- First Year Upper Level (14–27.99 cr)
- First Year Lower Level (0–13.99 cr)
Course & College Withdrawals
The college has done its best to accommodate widely varied student situations by offering both face-to-face and remote learning options. College staff and faculty also worked diligently over the summer and this fall to assist new students with making decisions about modality shifts and adjusting to some students’ quarantined status to accommodate their circumstances.
Despite these efforts and the hopes held by our students, some students may experience what is going on in, with, and around them, for the time being, as too distracting to their academic focus. They may remain enrolled but disengage, seek to withdraw from one or more courses, or ask about withdrawing from college. In many cases their struggles predate the start of the semester. In other cases, students may be feeling new challenges and looking for answers as to the best course of action.
Students may be looking to faculty and advisors for perspective on their academic or other concerns. They may have a higher need for realistic appraisals of chances for success in a course, especially if they don’t have face-to-face interactions with you. It is important for them to know if course withdrawal would be best under the circumstances (e.g., no reasonable way of passing the course) or if being offered latitude and flexibility wherever practicable would improve their outlook. As always, encourage the student to consult with the financial aid office to learn if withdrawing from a course or college might have an impact upon their current and future aid semesters.
IF A STUDENT WISHES TO WITHDRAW FROM A COURSE, in the student menu above, we provide the following simple process that has been put in place.
- Students will be able to withdraw from a course electronically using a fillable form, regardless of where they are located or learning modality
- Visit our registrar’s office web page for our Course Withdrawal Schedule & Procedures (linked below).
IF A STUDENT CONTEMPLATES COLLEGE WITHDRAWAL, we encourage them to reach out to their academic or program advisor to think through the decision.
- Refer them to the “What if I’m thinking of withdrawing from college?” item in student menu above. We will follow up with them as warranted, and process their personal withdrawal.
- You are always welcome to consult with the academic advising office if a student is having difficulty with the decision, or if you think that part or all of a student’s semester may be salvaged with some extra supports.
Change of Major/Minor Form & Other Advising Resources
- For simplified change of major/minor/advisor procedures by email, please refer to the “How do I change my major or minor?” item in the “STUDENTS” menu above. You may instead opt to initiate a curriculum change by completing and forwarding our Fillable Change of Major/Minor/Advisor Form.
- Section-by-section Degree Works User Guide
- Use Degree Works in tandem with the student’s transcript: MyPlattsburgh > Faculty > Student Information > Student Transcript
- Address questions about Degree Works to [email protected]
- Academic College Catalog
- The registrar’s office forms page, for credit overload, deviation requests, grade irregularity, permission for off-campus study, and more
- Career Development Center, if advisees need assistance with job search strategies, resume writing, interviewing, or exploration into majors