Advising & Student Services

Location: Theatre 120
Reception Hours: (closed on university holidays)
Academic Year (September–May) Mon–Fri: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Summer (June–August): Mon–Thur: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fri: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Contact: (414) 229-4763

Academic advising is an important aspect of long-term academic success. In the PSOA, we offer professional academic advising in the following undergraduate disciplines: art, dance, film, music, theatre and inter-arts.

PSOA advisors provide students with individualized advising appointments to assist them in areas such as: degree requirements, major options, course selection, campus resources, college success strategies, graduation assessment, academic policies and procedures, etc.

Please plan to meet with your advisor prior to each semester’s registration appointment time to avoid delays in scheduling. Registration begins in November for the Spring semester and in April for the Summer and Fall semesters.

Arts Elective Courses

To Meet with an Academic Advisor

Appointments are generally scheduled in ½ hour increments. (Walk-in advising is only offered during the first week of the fall and spring semesters on a first-come, first-served basis in 15-minute increments. Please check with the advising office at the beginning of the semester for available walk-in hours).

Current students may schedule an appointment in advance:

Newly admitted transfer and returning students may schedule an appointment by calling (414) 229-4763 during listed office hours to be scheduled with an Academic Advisor.

Prospective new students and prospective transfer students should visit the admission page to review information including audition/portfolio requirements. Additionally, you are encouraged to meet with Lori Sieckert, Recruitment Coordinator, to discuss our programs and opportunities further. Appointments maybe be scheduled by calling (414) 229-4763.

Meet Your Advisor
Rebecca Reece: rlolsen@uwm.edu Last Names A-G (Advisor)
Shelly Bednar: sbednar@uwm.edu Last Names H-N (Advisor)
Sarah Gallagher: smglaser@uwm.edu Last Names O-Z (Advisor)
Louis Molina: lmolina@uwm.edu 2nd undergraduate degree students & post-baccalaureate teaching certification candidates (Assistant Dean/Senior Academic Advisor)
What is Academic Advising?

Academic Advising is a process of educational collaboration that empowers students to realize their maximum educational potential. The goal of academic advising is that students will gain a clearer understanding of themselves as an individual and the experience of higher education. This goal is achieved through the challenge and support offered by Academic Advisors to engage students in critical thinking about academic decisions, meaningful discussion about personal values and goals, identification of strengths and challenges, and reflection about academic/social behaviors as they relate to the student’s overall success at the university.

Both UWM and the PSOA set high expectations for each student to act in ways that fulfill their potential as a scholar, artist, performer, and innovator, always in the context of a supportive environment. Therefore, the ultimate responsibility for making decisions about life goals and educational plans rests with the individual student.

Here are some suggestions for making the most of each academic advising meeting

  • Bring a list of questions or concerns you want to discuss.
  • Reflect on your successes and challenges from past semesters.
  • Spend some time thinking about your current and future goals.
  • Be open to your Academic Advisor’s feedback.
  • Be honest and forthright about yourself and your personal expectations.

Advisee Responsibilities

  • Accept responsibility for your academic plans and decisions.
  • Schedule and follow through on regular advising appointments.
  • Arrive at advising appointments on-time and ready to share information about progress and/or obstacles.
  • Make yourself aware of pertinent policies, procedures and requirements through use of PSOA website, the university website and/or visits with appropriate offices on campus.
  • Develop positive relationships with faculty, staff and fellow students.
  • Regularly read and respond in a timely manner to all university correspondence sent to you via U.S. mail or e-mail.
  • Take advantage of all resources that will improve and enhance your educational experience.
  • Challenge yourself by trying new academic experiences to further articulate values, goals, and interests.
  • Actively engage yourself in university activities to become a part of the UWM community.
  • Take time to reflect on both positive and challenging academic experiences to think about ways to better enhance your educational career.

Advisor Responsibilities

  • Provide accurate information about policies, procedures and requirements.
  • Appreciate and respect your uniqueness, demonstrated through positive and open dialogue.
  • Ask questions and seek information to glean information about your academic progress.
  • Engage you in conversation to find deeper meaning in your college experiences.
  • Support your decision-making process to guide you towards an academic path which enhances your overall capabilities for success.
  • Challenge you to find new ways of thinking about knowledge and how your personal goals and values align with your academic experiences.
  • Encourage you to find methods to become involved with the university beyond the classroom walls.
  • Assist you in understanding the purpose and potential of higher education.
  • Assist you in developing academic/career plans consistent with your goals, interests, and abilities.
  • Refer you to additional resources when necessary or appropriate.
When do I need Academic Advising?

All students are encouraged to meet with an Academic Advisor regularly throughout their academic careers, with a minimum of one meeting per semester.

The following groups of students will have mandatory academic advising:

  • New freshmen: Must meet with an Academic Advisor for a Mandatory New Student Conference during the mid-point of their first semester at UWM.
  • Academic Probation: All students on academic probation (cumulative GPA below 2.0) must meet with an advisor regularly (more than once per semester) to monitor their progress. If the student is within the first 4 semesters of enrollment at UWM, the student will also be assigned a First Year Probation hold. Prior to course registration the student must schedule an appointment with their advisor to remove the hold.
  • Re-entry after a one-semester or four-semester drop: Students who were academically dropped from the university but are now eligible for re-entry must meet with an Academic Advisor to remove academic holds preventing registration. Students who been dropped and have not attended UWM for one semester or more must also re-apply to UWM prior to meeting with their advisor.
Academic Advising Syllabus & Timeline

Peck School of the Arts Advising Philosophy

The mission of the PSOA Office of Student Services is to provide quality academic advising in an environment that fosters honesty and respect. We are committed to building partnerships with students, providing services/resources that enrich their college experience, and empowering them to develop and succeed in their educational goals.

As Academic Advisors in the Peck School of the Arts we value building partnerships with students that will foster their artistic and educational growth; we are also committed to providing quality academic advising through a collaborative environment where our interactions with students, faculty and staff foster a positive partnership.

Expected Learning Outcomes of Academic Advising

You will learn to… Upon Completion of…
Know your Academic Advisor and communicate concerns/questions effectively. Value academic advising in relation to successfully completing and navigating educational goals. Semester 1, and every semester thereafter
Know how and where to access accurate information about resources, policies, procedures and degree requirements/advising curriculum sheets. Value the benefit of how resources supplement the ability for educational potential and success. Year 1
Know what support services are available to utilize when appropriate and utilize in a timely fashion. Understand campus technology, including PAWS, Office 365 email, D2L, Schedule of Classes Timetable, Registrar’s Calendar, SSC Campus and Add/Drop calendar. Year 1
Identify and understand artistic field of study which is consistent with goals, interests and abilities. Discover the innate potential for creativity and innovation as an artistic member of the Milwaukee community. Year 1
Appreciate value of a liberal arts education and understand the importance of the selection of academic components (GER’s) in tandem with the study of the arts. Year 1
Learn to select and fully engage in academic curricular and extra-curricular activities (beyond the classroom walls) that enhance their educational experience. Year 2
Develop meaningful positive relationships with faculty, advisors, other staff, and fellow students; appreciate the value added to their educational experience as result of their own active and engaged efforts. Year 2
Seek guidance from campus authorities and other mentors, while simultaneously strengthening personal decision-making capacity to be the “pilot” of one’s own college career, both in regard to academic and social skills. Year 3
Value the importance of networking and work-related experience prior to graduation. Articulate and reflect upon meaningful collegiate experiences to effectively prepare for the job search after graduation. Year 3 and throughout Year 4
Respect differences among all students and members of society while learning to identify and develop one’s own personal values. Know how to work collaboratively with diverse populations. Year 4
New Student Orientation

What is NSO?

New Student Orientation (NSO) is a required experience for all incoming students to introduce you to the UWM campus, as well as to other new students and families. More information about the general university portion of orientation and requirements to attend, including registration in advance of the event at uwm.edu/studentorientation.

How do I attend NSO?

You must register for NSO in advance and complete the Admitted Students Checklist; when you attend the event your registration hold lifted will be lifted. To remove the credit agreement hold, please follow the steps listed in PAWS in the financial section.

Transfer Students

Students considering transferring into the PSOA should contact an Academic Advisor as early as possible. Early planning is key to ensure that your courses will not only transfer into our curriculum, but will also help towards the sequencing of classes for an on-time graduation. Some programs have specific requirements for the transferability of required major courses, and some universities do not offer the courses needed in the major. Therefore, to ensure timely completion of your degree, early communication with the PSOA is important.

We understand that some students may transfer to the PSOA for a variety of reasons, whether for financial reasons, personal/family reasons, or perhaps because you started at a different college/university that no longer fits your goals. The Academic Advisors want to help you with the transfer process to ensure the transition is smooth and you are well-prepared for your first semester on our campus.

Transfer Student FAQ’s

How do I gain admission into the PSOA?

Apply to UWM and explore the admission requirements of the PSOA program in which you are interested. Some programs have audition or portfolio requirements prior to entry at UWM. Other programs may require an audition or portfolio after completion of introductory courses in the major.

When should I transfer to the PSOA?

Many courses have specific sequencing; early transfer ensures you will stay on track with your graduation timeline, ideally after no more than 2 full-time semesters.

How do I have my courses evaluated for transferability?

Submit an official transcript to the Registrar’s Office from each university you have attended. Once your credits are evaluated, they will appear on your UWM transcript in PAWS.

How will I know if my credits will transfer?

Utilize the Transfer Equivalency Database (TED) to see transfer equivalencies that have been set-up for specific schools or visit the Transfer Information System (TIS) for more info.

  • For specific questions regarding transferability of courses not listed on these sites, contact the Registrar’s Office using their online form.
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to understand how your transfer credits will be utilized within the required curriculum of your program. Your advisor may in turn consult with the appropriate faculty to determine use of transfer credits within your track of study.
How does advising work?

You will be assigned an Academic Advisor based on the first letter of your last name. Call (414) 229-4763 or visit Theatre 120 to make an appointment.

  • Once your transfer credit is posted to PAWS, schedule an academic advising appointment to learn what courses in which you will need to enroll.
  • We recommend meeting with your advisor in the spring to plan for the Fall semester. It is not advisable to wait until the summer months to begin this conversation.
  • Some majors also assign a faculty advisor with whom you will consult for department specific courses (Dance, Theatre, and Musical Theatre).
I have applied to UWM and the PSOA. What’s next?

Complete the Admitted Students Checklist and attend the Transfer & Adult New Student Orientation (TASO). UWM is a large campus and learning how to best navigate your resources ahead of time is ideal. We also recommend you begin finding ways to get connected to the UWM community to enhance your education experience and make social connections with students in your program:

  • Living Learning Community (LLC)
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Inclusion & Diversity courses and offices
  • Service/Community learning courses
  • Internships
  • Student Involvement/Student Organizations
  • Study Abroad
  • Student Employment
  • Recreation & Fitness
  • Fall Welcome Activities
Advising FAQ's

Many common questions and concerns can be answered through One Stop Student Services, in addition to a full listing of campus resources. Below you will find answers to several common questions related to the PSOA Student Services office.

I am a new incoming freshman; how do I register for courses?

All incoming freshman must register for New Student Orientation and complete the Admitted Students Checklist. You will register for courses at orientation.

I am a transfer student; what’s next?

Plan to meet with your Academic Advisor as soon as possible. Please register for the Transfer & Adult Student Orientation (TASO). Visit our Transfer FAQ’s section on this webpage.

I am graduating next semester; what should I do?

Schedule a meeting with your Academic Advisor prior to the start of your final semester, and apply for graduation in PAWS. and visit the One Stop Student Services site for other important information.

What should I do if I missed the course add or drop deadline?

Schedule an appointment with your Academic Advisor to consult on the situation.

How do I declare a major?

Depending on the program that you wish to pursue, this may or may not be able to be changed by your PSOA Academic Advisor.

  • If you are interested in a major offered through the PSOA, research the degree programs online through the PSOA website and then schedule an appointment with a PSOA Academic Advisor. Please be aware that many PSOA majors require either a portfolio review or an audition to be declared in the major. Check the PSOA website under your area of interest to see specific portfolio or audition details.
  • If you are interested in a major offered through a different school/college at UWM, please contact that specific academic advising office to learn more about the degree requirements and how your credits will be utilized in the curriculum.
What can I do if I am having problems in class and need additional assistance?

First, schedule an appointment with your Academic Advisor to discuss the problem. You should immediately explore tutoring, which is available for many classes on campus, such as math. Visit the Student Success Center website for additional information about resources available to you. Additionally, the Writing Center is a resource that can be utilized for all stages of writing. Visit the One Stop Student Services site for further resources.

What happens if I am on academic probation or if I have been dropped from the university?

Visit the One Stop Student Services site for more information about academic probation. If you have been dropped from the university, schedule an appointment with your current Academic Advisor to discuss your status

Where can I find more information about UWM’s Academic Misconduct Policy?

Visit the Dean of Student’s site to learn more.

If I have concerns about a grade or a concern about a class, what should I do?

Discuss the concern with your Academic Advisor. Concerns relating to grades and classes will likely pertain to the Grievance Procedures Policy. Refer to the student resources page for more information.

Where do I go if I might need accommodations for a class (learning disabilities & ADHD services, blind/visually impaired services, etc.)?

Contact the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) right away at the start of the semester, even if you do not think you will plan to utilize the services.