Virginia Western is committed to student success.  As a student, it is your responsibility to monitor your academic progress and seek advising on a regular basis.  Here are some tips to help you prepare. 

How to stay informed

  • Check your email.  Most official college communication will be sent through email so it is important to check your VWCC email account on a regular basis. 
  • Research college policies and procedures.  Many routine questions can be answered by simply looking up the information on our college website. 
  • Know important academic dates. Be aware of deadlines listed on the academic calendar such as drop dates and graduation application deadlines.  You might want to incorporate important academic dates into your personal calendar. 
  • Research transfer schools.  If you are thinking about transferring to a four year institution, make a list of colleges and majors you are interested in. Search the VWCC website for information about guaranteed admissions and articulation agreements.
  • Bring information about transfer requirements, academic program plans, and graduation requirements to your advising session.  You can find most of this information on the transfer institution’s website

How to be prepared

  • Make an appointment early.  Advisors’ schedules fill up quickly, especially during peak registration times and at the beginning and end of a semester.
  • Review the Advising Syllabus (PDF).  Ensure that all appropriate checklist items are completed before your advising session. 
  • Know degree or certificate requirements.  You can find information about all degree and certificate programs on the VWCC website.  Remember that developmental classes do not count toward your major, but must be taken to advance in the subject matter.
  • Identify classes.  Look at the class schedule to see what classes are available and when they are being offered.  Use the college catalog to learn details about any pre- and co-requisites.  Your advisor can help you plan which classes to take, but it is your responsibility to enroll yourself in these in classes. 
  • Set an educational goal.  Write down what you want to achieve and specific steps concerning how you will go about achieving it.
  • Write down questions and concerns.  Make a list of questions and concerns that you want to discuss with your advisor so you won’t forget them.
  • Print an advising report.  You can obtain a current advising report through the Virginia Western SIS system.  Bring the report with you to your advising session so that you and your advisor can go over which degree requirements you have completed, and which ones you still need to fulfill.    

During the advising session

  • Be punctual.  Make sure you are on time for any meetings. If you cannot make a scheduled appointment, let your advisor know ahead of time either with a phone call or through email. 
  • Come prepared.  Always bring something to take notes with and any appropriate paperwork.  Take notes so you can remember what you and your advisor discussed. 
  • Ask questions.  Let your advisor know if you do not understand an issue or have a concern.  Your advisor can help you only if there is honest communication.
  • Remain open-minded.  Your advisor may suggest possible alternatives to consider.  Take these recommendations into consideration before dismissing them outright.  They may lead to new opportunities you never knew existed.   

After the advising session

  • Follow through.  Make sure to complete any tasks recommended by your advisor in a timely manner.  Your advisor may also suggest that you utilize other campus services in order to successfully complete your goals.  Take advantage of all the resources VWCC has to offer.
  • Accept responsibility.  As a college student, you are the only one responsible for your education.  Your advisor can assist you in making decisions, but ultimately you are in charge of your academic life and future.