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A LSFY advisor helping a student in her office.

“I love LSFY because it helped me succeed as a student and grow as a leader! As a freshman in the program, it introduced me to valuable campus resources, fellow classmates, and amazing advisors who helped me begin to plan the course of my four years at NC State. As a Class Assistant (CA), I was able to advise and make friends with so many great students and become further acquainted with several advisors through class and various social events, while also challenging myself by participating in a leadership role. It was my pleasure to be involved with the LSFY program every year that I’ve been at State. This program is full of unique, talented students and caring advisors and this is another reason why I love LSFY!”
Savannah Gurganus, Class of 2020

Academic Advising

You have primary responsibility for your education, but your LSFY advisor looks forward to helping you navigate through the transition to college and a successful first year.  Our advising philosophy focuses on your development in three areas: growing your mind, shaping your life, and building your community.  These are obviously lifelong endeavors, but your first year in college is a critical time to establish a strong foundation in all of these areas.

You can expect to meet with your advisor several times each semester during your first year and to be in communication with them via email as well.  You receive your advisor assignment based on the section of 103 in which you are enrolled, so you will also see your advisor in class each week.  When you move into a degree-granting program, you will be assigned to a new advisor in that discipline.

Advising Syllabus

LSFY Academic Advising Mission Statement

Academic advising in the Life Sciences First Year Program is a teaching and learning partnership between advisors and students designed to support them as they explore opportunities in the Life Sciences.  Through this partnership, advisors will challenge students to develop autonomy and build skills necessary for success as they embark on a journey of academic, personal, and professional growth.

Learning Outcomes for First Year Advising in LSFY

We believe that you will find your greatest success and satisfaction as a student if you create a solid foundation during your first year. To build this foundation, our first year advising practices focus on helping you develop in three areas.

Open Your Mind

During the first semester, you will explore your academic possibilities by relating your interests, goals, skills, and values to majors, careers and the purpose of higher education. You will know where to locate and how to leverage tools and resources that help you clarify your intended path. By the end of the first year, you will identify at least one academic major consistent with your life goals and will understand the matriculation requirements to enter your intended degree program.

Shape Your Life

By the end of the first year, you will recognize the link between co-curricular activities and academic experiences. You will be able to identify multiple resources and organizations that complement formal classwork and can enrich your undergraduate experience. You will understand how participation in selected activities helps you to explore and refine your learning and career goals.

Build Your Community

By the end of your first year, you will have transitioned into the NC State community. You will understand the expectations of you as a scholar at NC State, and you will understand how relationships with faculty, other students, and organizations on campus offer ways for you to grow and give back.

The Student-Advisor Partnership

Advisor Responsibilities

We will:

  • treat you respectfully and maintain confidentiality.
  • be adequately accessible via email, office hours, and scheduled appointments.
  • understand and effectively communicate about the life sciences curricula, matriculation requirements, and university policies and procedures.
  • encourage and guide you as you gain the skills to develop clear, attainable educational plans, and help you monitor your progress toward meeting your goals.
  • encourage you to engage in activities outside of your coursework.
  • assist you with the early stages of career planning by connecting you to various resources.
  • provide you with information about, and strategies for, using campus resources and services.

Student Responsibilities

We expect you to:

  • maintain professionalism in your relationship with your advisor at all times.
  • keep scheduled appointments and arrive on time and prepared with questions or materials for discussion.
  • maintain an advising folder for all advising materials and to read and save all emails from your advisor.
  • set realistic goals, create plans to achieve those goals, and monitor your progress.
  • communicate with your advisor if situations arise that impede your progress or success.
  • become knowledgeable about university policies and procedures.
  • be able to seek out, and make use of, appropriate resources available around campus.
  • accept responsibility for your decisions and ask questions if you have concerns or do not understand an issue.

The Role of the LSFY University Academic Advisor

Your Academic Advisor is trained to help you maximize your academic potential while here at NC State. Other centers on campus focus on student health (both physical and mental), disability services, and career counseling. You may be most comfortable initially addressing these non-academic issues with your Advisor, but do not be surprised if they refer you to another office with staff who are trained in your particular area. See the chart below for a quick list of things your academic advisor can/will do to help you and things your Advisor cannot do.

Your Academic Advisor Can:

  • Provide advice on what classes count towards your graduation requirements and help you check prerequisites.
  • Advise on academic deadlines.
  • Clarify university policies and procedures.
  • Refer you to academic support services (such as Tutorial Centers).
  • Refer you to specialized campus resources (such as the Counseling Center, the Women’s Center, Career Services, etc.).
  • Review admission requirements for professional and graduate schools.
  • Follow up (usually via email) on concerning Progress Reports and other issues of concern.
  • Help you advocate for yourself.
  • Provide letters of recommendation and references, upon request and when appropriate.

Your Academic Advisor Cannot:

  • Enroll you in courses.
  • Provide you with special accommodations.
  • Counsel you on personal matters (but we can walk with you to the Counseling Center, if needed).
  • Tell you the “best” professors and courses to take.
  • Help you understand financial aid, housing, parking, etc. (but we can help you find the appropriate resource).
  • Make sure you are attending class, and call you (or your parents) if you are not attending.
  • Remind you of scheduled meetings.
  • Talk to professors for you.
  • Share FERPA-protected information with people who do not have FERPA access – including your parents.

After the First Year

The Life Sciences First Year Program is a one year program for new incoming first year students.  After the first year, students are expected to matriculate into a major and will be assigned a new advisor specific to their declared major.  Students are welcome to continue a professional relationship with their former advisor but should direct all advising and academic concerns to their new advisor who will be better equipped to assist them beyond the first year.