There’s so much to think about when you first enroll at a new college: what classes to take, what careers you’d like to explore, how to achieve your goals, and much more. An academic advisor can help you navigate all of these decisions and more.

Here at FRCC, we call these folks Pathways Advisors—because they help you find your individual path to your specific goals. Advisors guide students through a lot more than just class selection. Here’s a rundown of what Pathways Advising can do for you:

Exploring Your Academic and Career Goals

At the top of the list of a Pathways Advisor’s job duties is helping students get into the mindset of why they’re at FRCC. What’s your purpose for going to college?

Advisors talk with students about potential majors and careers—and refer students to the Career Success Center when they need more personalized assistance about identifying career interests.

Planning a Career

Speaking of careers… While the Pathways Advising office is a great place to start that discussion, at a certain point, students will join one of six Career and Academic Communities as part of the advising process. These communities bring together students in similar fields of study with faculty and advisors who are experts in those areas. These folks are focused specifically on your learning community—so they can help you define your goals and create a clear plan to reach them.

Assessing Your Progress

Whether students are planning to complete just a few courses—or an academic degree or a professional certificate—they’re encouraged to meet regularly with their Pathways Advisor. The advisor can help verify that a student is taking the right classes and steps to reach their goals (without getting sidetracked or delayed). They can help students keep track of all the “to do” items that need to be completed—from submitting an application on time to taking the right classes to stay on track to transfer to a four-year school.

A Source for Information, Support and Guidance

Every student needs guidance from time to time. Pathways Advisors can answer a wide range of questions about majors, college requirements, academic suspension and probation, credit completion and more. Bottom line: Advisors help students figure out what they need to do and when—and put them in contact with various support services and resources when they need them.

Advice on Degree and Certificate Completion

If completion of a degree or certificate at FRCC is the goal, Pathways Advisors make sure students are fulfilling all graduation requirements. If the goal is to transfer out of FRCC, they advise students on the importance of connecting with their transfer institutions to have accurate information.

Admissions and curriculum information for four-year colleges changes periodically, so it’s a great idea to begin building relationships with faculty, advisors and others at the institution where you ultimately plan to complete your bachelor’s degrees. Your FRCC advisor can help you get started on this.

Connecting You with Other Resources

Somestudents need specialized advice, such as veteran and military students. Pathways Advisors can help you get connected with the FRCC Veteran Services team so that you’re covering all the necessary bases when it comes to educational benefits and other support.

Get to Know Your Advisor

How often should you meet with your Pathways Advisor? It’s important to schedule a meeting with them right after you apply. This can really help you get off to a strong start. After that, ideally you’ll want to touch base with them once a semester to confirm that you’re still on the right track.

Meeting with your advisor regularly ensures that you get the support you need. “Self-advising” can be risky—you might miss an important requirement or step in the process, take the wrong classes, or do something that could make it take longer to reach your goal.

Learn more about Pathways Advising by visiting the FRCC advising team online. Make sure you take advantage of all that they can do for you during your time as an FRCC student! 

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