Advisor Resources

Advisor Resources

At William Paterson University, we believe and invest in student success. Academic advising is an important service to achieve this goal. At WPU, the responsibility for advising students is shared among advisors, teaching faculty and student service personnel.

We believe that good advising is more than just helping students choose classes. We strive to assist students with transitions, setting academic goals and developing strategies to meet those goals. At its pinnacle, advisement is a developmental process in which students learn to make independent and informed decisions and take responsibility for their own success.

Goals of Academic Advising

  • Clarification of life and career goals
  • Development of suitable education plans
  • Selection of appropriate courses and other educational experiences
  • Help students interpret institutional requirements
  • Increase student awareness of available educational resources
  • Evaluation of student progress toward established goals
  • Development of decision-making skills
  • Reinforcement of student self-direction
  • Referral to institutional support services, where appropriate

Adapted from the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS)

Recommended Approaches to Advising Sessions

  • Establish the Student's Educational Goals
  • Review their Academic Program
  • Review their Academic Progress (check for early alerts, probation, previous dismissal)
  • Check and discuss holds
  • Selection of courses/pre-requisites, course sequencing
  • Review Time Management issues that may interfere with course sequencing and scheduling
  • Document recommendations in Advisor Notes.

The National Academic Advising Association serves as an excellent resource for many advising issues and retention. For information please

Advisor's Tool Kit

When conducting advising sessions, it's helpful to reference the following policies:

Common Questions

Q. Does the "total credits" column on the degree audit include Foundation courses?

A. Yes. Students must subtract their foundation credits from the total credits listed on the degree audit, since these credits count as credits earned, but not earned towards fulfilling degree requirements. Helpful Hint: Check to see if a student has a HOLD on their account.

Q. What procedures must students follow to enter a closed course, or to enroll in a course for which they do not have the prerequisites?

A. For both cases, students must obtain the permission of the department chair. Only a department chair is authorized to issue such permission, and it is to be used only for exceptional circumstances. In the case of the closed course, the chair enters a code on the SIS system which "opens" the course. This is called a "permit." The student must then go into the system and register for the course.


  1. After you have assisted your advisees, you should enter their choices on the "My Advisor Notes" link on the system. This provides you with an easily accessible record of your recommendations in case you need to refer to it at a later date.
  2. Transfer students frequently have questions about credit and course equivalencies on their transfer credit evaluations. It's sometimes best to go directly to the source - the transfer credit evaluator in the Undergraduate Admissions Office. You may contact Missy Lorah at If transfer students need additional help with acclimation, enrichment and general issues, you may refer them to the Transfer Student Experience Office, located in Student Center Room 301 or call x3720.