The Environment & Sustainability Program offers extraordinarily flexible (and complex!) degrees that are best completed with active and regular advising. Current and prospective students in the Program should always communicate with the Program Director regarding advising.
Below are the basics to know about advising (what, who, when, how) followed by the important things each student must do to prepare for advising every semester.
WHAT: Advising is a one-on-one meeting between a student and a faculty member to assist the student in planning his or her academic trajectory at UNCG and beyond. In the short term, advising is necessary to help students choose classes for the coming semester(s). In the medium term, advising helps students achieve timely graduation. In the long term, advising provides insights regarding potential careers, life-long learning and engagement, and future studies. Advising is not a “one-way” conversation, in which an advisor tells a student what to do; rather, advising is very much a dialogue that is unique to each student. Given the flexibility and complexity of the Environment & Sustainability Program, quality advising is fundamentally important for each student.
WHO: Who gets advising, and who does advising? Students get advising, and faculty/staff do advising. In the Program, there are currently two advisors (the director and associate director); each student is assigned to one or the other. If a student’s primary major is Environmental Studies (ENVS) or Sustainability Studies (SUST) or Environmental & Sustainability Studies (ENSS), then you are required to meet with your Program advisor in order to receive an advising code that allows you to register for classes. If your secondary major is ENVS, SUST, or ENSS then you absolutely should meet with your Program advisor, even though your primary advisor can provide your advising code. (Students who are on leave or out of the country studying abroad may either request a phone or Skype meeting or correspond via email.) If you are a minor in ENV or SUS, then you will need to meet first with your major advisor or with CASA; you are welcome to request a meeting with a Program advisor as well, but, unless circumstances dictate otherwise, you will have to wait until all the majors have had a chance to sign up for a meeting.
WHEN: Advising meetings take place during the fall and spring advising periods. You should consult the official university calendars here, which always list the dates for advising for continuing students. Students are prioritized by registration access window as assigned by the Registrar based on the number of credits completed (and by GPA and/or other relevant factors). In other words, the more credits you have completed, the sooner your registration window opens, and therefore the earlier you will be able to meet with your advisor. You should expect to receive a message from your Program advisor about one week before the beginning of the advising period. The actual time when you sign up for an advising meeting will differ based on your registration access window, but it should be at least one week before that window opens for you.
HOW: Majors will receive an email that includes a web link to choose an appointment time. Groups of students (determined by registration access window) will be given a preferential period during which fewer students will be choosing meeting times. You must choose a meeting time that is before your registration access window opens. For instructions on UNCG registration procedures, including your “registration access window,” visit this page (to check your registration access window, go to UNCGenie/Student Services & Financial Aid/Registration/Check Your Registration Status).
5 Things You Absolutely Must Do to Prepare for your Advising Meeting:
2. Examine the available courses for the coming semester: go to this website to be connected to the course search; once there, select the relevant term (semester/year) and press continue; then in the “Categories & Attributes (GEC)” field, enter BOTH “Environ Studies Prog (ENV)” AND “Sustain Studies Prog (SUS)” (just one of those two will result in missed course opportunities, so make sure you enter both). You will then want to change the records “Per Page” to the maximum to have fewer pages to click through. (And, depending on your other requirements, you may need to do other options for “Categories & Attributes (GEC),” and you can do more detailed course for specific offerings on specific days, with other attributes, such as WI or SI, etc.) The course schedule for the coming semester is usually available just before the advising period begins.
3. Draft your own personal weekly calendar for the relevant semester. You should consider any employment, commuting, extracurricular activities, family obligations, etc., and come up with the times you have available for being in class.
4. Develop a prioritized list of courses that you would like to (or that you must) take in the coming semester. This list should be based on what interests you, your degree evaluation, the courses available, and your own calendar/schedule.
5. Sign up for an advising time. During this process (which will be emailed to you directly approximately 10 days before your registration window opens), you will be asked to confirm your preparation of items 1-4 above, so you should do them first.
Finally, after your advising meeting, you will receive a follow-up email that includes your registration PIN code, which allows you to register for classes. The registration window provided usually begins just after midnight on a given date — and you should prioritize registering at that very moment, and not later!