Advising Syllabus

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Welcome to Pathway Advising! Your Pathway Advisor will be one of your initial academic partners and collaborators here at UW-Milwaukee (UWM). Whether you are new to college or have recently transferred to UWM, there are many opportunities and possibilities ahead of you. The first step is to establish a good working relationship between you and your academic advisor. This way, we can work together to explore your interests and develop a plan that includes both academics and activities that will shape your UWM experience.

About Advising 

UWM’s Academic Advisors are professional staff members who specialize in majors or programs. In our case, we assist undecided and undeclared students with course selections that satisfy university-wide requirements and with decisions on the selection of one or more of the many majors and degrees that UWM undergraduates can complete. Working closely with your advisor can help you set and achieve goals, connect with campus resources, and make responsible decisions consistent with your interests and future plans. 

  • You can find your advisor listed on your PAWS homepage or in Navigate, a tool that students and advisors use for appointments and communication. Your Navigate home page will list your advisor as a part of “Your Success Team,” which may also list peer mentors, student success coordinators, and your current course instructors. Consider your Advisor your primary academic resource. 

Appointments 

Your assigned advisor will contact you at least twice each semester with instructions on how to make an appointment. You do not have to wait for these instructions to reach out – you can contact us at any time, either by email or by scheduling through the Navigate tool. Your advisor will also let you know when they are available on a drop-in or walk-in basis.

Learning Outcomes 

Most students stay with Pathway Advising through their first academic year, and transition into a major offered by a UWM School or College by the end of second semester. Following that typical pattern, we have specific information that we seek to impart to you in each of your first two semesters. 

Fall 

  • Students will review university-wide requirements, including General Education Requirements (GERs), with advisor guidance.
    Some majors restrict or limit the kinds of courses utilized by GERs, so not following your advisor’s guidance increases the risk of taking courses that may later not count towards your intended major’s degree requirements. 
  • With the help of your advisor and online instructions, learn how to utilize registration tools and UWM timelines for semester enrollment.
    Learning UWM’s course registration processes will be helpful in later semesters. Acting on enrollment appointment dates, guidelines, and advisor recommendations in a timely manner make it more likely you will be able to select your favored courses and class times. 

Spring 

  • Participate in at least one major exploration exercise.
    While it is fine (or even advantageous!) to begin your college career undecided on your eventual major, you want to be taking active steps towards a decision in your first semesters. Putting off that process does not make that decision easier or clearer and could delay your progress towards graduation. 
  • Identify degree requirements for a chosen area of study.
    Degree requirements for all UWM’s majors can be viewed in our Academic Catalog; reviewing these with either a Pathway Advising advisor or an advisor in one of the Schools/Colleges can help you make the connection between university-wide requirements and those specific to an intended major. 

Our Expectations of Students 

  • Examine and attempt to clarify your interests, values, and abilities as you define your educational goals and develop your educational plan. 
  • Be willing to share what you discover. This does not mean all your questions or ideas must be perfectly formulated. We understand that this is an ongoing process. 
  • Develop an educational plan, including long-term and short-term goals, that considers your interests, values, and abilities while ensuring timely academic progress towards your UWM degree. 
  • Attend every class session. Review any attendance or participation requirements in your class syllabi. 
  • Take primary and increasing responsibility for your academic decisions. This means that if you skip a class or register for courses late, or if you miss established course deadlines, you must accept the outcomes of your decisions. 
  • Make continual progress towards a decision on a major through conversations with your advisor or participating in campus activities. Attend UWM’s Exploring Majors fair in the fall, check out student clubs and organizations through Student Involvement, take a career interest assessment through the Career Planning and Resource Center, or volunteer in the community. 
  • Meet with your Pathway advisor at least twice a semester, following the appointment invitations sent to your UWM email or by reaching out to us as needed.
  • Check your UWM email daily, and regularly check your PAWS and Navigate accounts. 

What You Can Expect from Your Academic Advisor 

  • I will be reasonably and predictably accessible to you via multiple channels of communication and will respond to your messages within two to three business days. 
  • I will be your first point of contact for any questions you have but do not know whom to ask. 
  • I will create a reflective, supportive, and welcoming environment for you to communicate, think aloud, and explore academic ideas. 
  • I will focus my questioning and inquiry on refining and improving your learning both about yourself and your opportunities at UWM, while respecting who you are and where you come from. 
  • I will respect your right to privacy regarding your educational records, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 
  • I will stay current with UWM degree requirements, academic programs and policies, and campus resources, making useful referrals to other departments and offices, as necessary. 
  • I will support the final decisions you make about your higher education even if those decisions are at odds with my professional opinion or judgment. 
  • I will advocate for your academic interests within the boundaries of federal, university, and departmental policies. 

Important Tools and Websites

These are sites you should know and use on a regular basis. 

Pathway Advising. Learn more about our office, our Metamajor approach with new undecided students, and our connections to UWM’s majors and programs. 

PAWS. Your official student record, including course registration, tuition and fees, financial aid, and to-do items related to your student status. Schedule Planner is linked within PAWS to build and optimize your schedule as you register for future semesters. 

Office 365. Students have access to a full suite of Microsoft Office applications, including Outlook (which we use for email) and Teams (which we use for online appointments).  

Navigate. Online appointment and communication tool connecting advisors, students, and instructors. Course progress reports and notes from your advisors appear here for your review. 

Canvas. Digital learning environment for in-person, online, and hybrid classes. 

One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services. Instructions, how-tos, and vital information about enrollment processes, college costs, and policy information.  

Academic Catalog. Lists entrance, degree, and course requirements for all UWM’s majors, minors, certificates, and graduate programs. The catalog’s Schedule of Classes page includes a searchable list of recent and upcoming semesters’ course offerings. 

Career Planning and Resource Center (CPaRC). Meet with a career advisor, take a career assessment, or find jobs and internships. 

Contact Us 

Questions or Feedback are always welcome at pathway-advising@uwm.edu or (414) 229-4696.