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​​​Advising Frequently Asked Questions

Q​uestions​



What does an Academic Advisor do, and how can they help me?

Academic Advisors are go-to resources for students at Bridgewater State University.  If you have a question about college, you can check in with your advisor for help.  Even if they don't have the answer, they can point you in the right direction.  Some common things that advisors help students with include:

  • Selecting classes for next semester and clearing students for registration
  • Exploring different major options
  • Understanding how the DegreeWorks audit and Infobear work
  • Acclimating to the new responsibilities of college
  • Accessing different campus resources like Tutoring and Career Services

Your advisor should email you within the first few weeks of classes to introduce themselves, but you can also find out your advisor's name and email by checking the top of your DegreeWorks degree audit. 

Who is my advisor?  When will my advisor be assigned?

First Semester Freshmen
All first semester freshmen are advised by the AAC during their first semester and then move on to departmental advising in their second semester.  One exception: Education Teacher Licensure Majors, including all Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Elementary Education Dual Degree, and Special Education teacher licensure majors are advised by the AAC during their first two semesters (Early Education and Care, Birth-K, and Communication Sciences and Disorders programs are non-licensure programs and move on to departmental advising after their first semester).  All first-time freshmen will have an advisor assigned in the 2nd or 3rd week of classes.  Advisors will email their students as soon as they are assigned.

Undecided students
Undecided students stay with their AAC advisors until they declare a major.  All students must declare a major by the time they earn 60 credits (by the end of the sophomore year).  Please access your advisor and the Career Services office early and often to get on track in a major!  You can also explore different major options with your advisor and/or an AAC Peer Advisor.  Students without a declared major will have an advisor assigned in the 2nd or 3rd week of classes.  Advisors will email their students as soon as they are assigned.  

Emerging Scholars
  • Freshman Grade Point Recovery (FGPR) Students - All freshman (0-23 earned credits) on academic probation (cumulative GPA below 2.00) will continue to be advised in the Academic Achievement Center.  Freshmen on academic probation will be required to participate in the Freshman Grade Point Recovery (FGPR) program.  The program includes a mandatory group advising session and individual appointments with an assigned academic advisor and academic coach.  The goal of the FGPR program is to provide an academic support system for students that will enable them to achieve good academic standing (a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher).
  • Summit Students - All readmitted students or students with a GPA below 2.0 saved by the Academic Standards Committee appeal process are required to participate in the Summit program.  Summit students with a major will have a secondary advisor in the Academic Achievement Center; Undecided Summit students will have a primary advisor in the AAC.  These students will participate in mandatory individual appoingments with an assigned academic advisor and academic coach.
  • Advisors for FGPR and Summit students are assigned ahead of the start of the semester.  The advisors will reach out once they are assigned.  Many Summit students will also have a departmental faculty advisor; if so, please see that advisor for registration clearance.

How do I make an appointment with my advisor?

All advising appointments with AAC advisors are being held in Microsoft Teams and via phone at this time.  You may schedule an appointment with your AAC advisor by using our Accudemia scheduling system.  You can access Accudemia here: https://bridgew.accudemia.net

For full instructions on how to make an appointment and how to attend your remote appointment through Microsoft Teams, please visit our Appointment Instructions website

Please note: Accudemia is only used by AAC advisors.  If you have a faculty advisor, please email them to discuss scheduling an appointment.

How do I declare or change my major/minor? 
When do I have to declare my major?

To declare or change a major or minor, fill out the Program of Study declaration form.

  • First semester freshmen just need a signature from their assigned AAC advisor.
  • Students beyond the first semester will need the signature of the new academic department.  From there, the completed form goes to the Registrar's Office.
All students must declare a major by the time they reach 60 credits (before the end of sophomore year).  Do not wait to start exploring.  If you need help considering major options, make an appointment with a peer advisor and visit the Career Services office. 

How long will it take me to graduate?

Students who plan to graduate in four years should complete at least 30 credits per year (15 credits per semester).  Every student's path through college is different, however, and each major as different requirements, so there is no one answer to that question.  Students should meet with their academic advisor to go through their remaining requirements and educational goals to get a better idea of their path to graduation.  Please review your transcript and DegreeWorks audit before the appointment and come prepared with your questions.

What supports are in place for students who are struggling in a class?

There are a number of supports and resources available to BSU students.  First, if there is an issue with a class, talk to the professor as soon as possible.  Usually the course syllabus will include a professor's preferred method of outreach: email, phone, or office hours.  Reach out as soon as there is a concern to find out what your options are.

There are also plenty of resources in the AAC.  These resources are all still available online.  Below are a few brief examples of what might bring a student to the listed area.  Learn more about each at the AAC website.

  • Tutoring Central: Tutoring for an intro-level Core class.
  • Academic Coaching: Developing more effective study/time management/note-taking skills.
  • Math Services: Getting help with a Math problem set.
  • Accounting & Finance Lab: Completing homework for an ACFI class.
  • Writing Studio: Writing or editing a paper for a class.
  • Second Language Services: Strengthening English language skills.
  • Student Accessibility Services: Had an IEP/504 plan in high school and want to know what my options are in college.

When you Withdraw from a class, you receive a W grade, but it does not factor into your GPA. You do not receive credit for the course, however, and that can impact your graduation timeline, financial aid, housing, or health insurance.  Check the Registrar's website for information on WIthdrawal deadlines each semester.

Only you can make the decision whether to withdraw from a class, ut an advisor can help talk through your options.  There are many factors to consider: how poorly you believe you are doing and why, the possibility of bringing your grade up, the timing within the semester, the outcome of your conversation with your professor, the potential impact on financial aid and/or housing, etc.  Do not take the decision lightly.  Make sure you first talk to your professor and then meet with your academic advisor to discuss your situation and options.

What is the registration process at BSU?

In order to register for classes, your job as a student is to follow these steps:

  • Review your DegreeWorks degree audit to see what academic requirements you have left to complete after the current semester.
  • Review the schedule of classes for next semester on Infobear when it's available.
  • Create a complete draft schedule for next semester that includes classes that match your remaining Core and Major requiremens.  Write up your choices on the Schedule Worksheet.
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to review your draft schedule.
  • Make any necessary changes to your draft schedule suggested by your Acdaemic Advisor and follow up with them as needed to be cleared to register.
  • If needed, work with BSU campus offices to remove any registration holds you might have.
  • Login to Infobear at 6 a.m. on your registration date to register for classes.
If you need help with any of the above steps, feel free to make an appointment with a Peer Advisor by emailing AACPeerAdvisor@bridgew.edu.  You can also reach out to your assigned Academic Advisor for help.  You can also consider reviewing our Registration Resources website for additional instructions and video tutorials that cover the course search and registration process.

Students must check in with their advisors each semester to be cleared to register for the next semester.  During that process, students review the schedule and pick out classes for the upcoming term.  They then discuss their class choices with their advisors to make sure they've chosen wisely.  Advisors may or may not recommend changes during this discussion.  

When both student and advisor are satisfied with the schedule choices, the advisor will clear the student to register, and the student will be able to register for classes on their assigned registration date (provided all registration holds have been cleared).

I have a registration "hold" on my record - what does that mean?

If you have a "hold" on your record, you must clear that hold before you can register for classes and/or make any changes to your schedule.  Holds are placed on student records for many different reasons (financial, administrative, judicial, etc.).  You can check to see if you have a hold by looking at the top section of your DegreeWorks degree audit. 

If you do have a hold, the office that has assigned the hold will be listed there.  A phone extension should also be listed (i.e. the last 4 digits of the office's phone number - dial 508-531- then the extension).  You can contact the office for more information about the hold and how to resolve it.  If you're unclear about who to contact regarding a registration hold, reach out to your academic advisor for help.

What classes should I take next semester?

Students' schedules will vary uniquely depending on their major, their English and Math placement, and their progress through the curriculum.  In general, though, BSU students should compelte the following requirements in their first year:

  • ENGL101 and ENGL102
  • Mathematical Reasoning Core
  • First Year Seminar
  • Logical Reasoning Core
You can review your DegreeWorks degree audit to get a snapshot of where you stand within your academic requirements and see what you should concentrate on next.  If you need help understanding your degree audit, visit our Registration Resources website for assistance, or consider making an appointment with a Peer Advisor by emailing AACPeerAdvisor@bridgew.edu

Who should I talk to for help using DegreeWorks and/or Infobear?

If you want assistance understanding how to use your DegreeWorks degree audit and/or Infobear to search and register for classes, then consider meeting with a Peer Advisor.  Peer Advisors are students like you who use DegreeWorks and Infobear every semester to register for classes.  They can help walk you through the system so you can use it for yourself during the class search and registration process.  To make an appointment with a Peer Advisor, email them at AACPeerAdvisor@bridgew.edu with your availability. 

The AAC also has tutorial videos on how to use DegreeWorks and Infobear available on our Registration Resources website.  

Where can I find information about the First Year Seminar?

The First Year Seminar is a requirement that all BSU students must complete.  It is a writing-intensive course designed to hone your skills in academic writing to prepare you for the rest of your college career.  First Year Seminar courses all have 199 course numbers and are offered in a variety of different subjects and cover a diverse array of themes.  The First Year Seminar course you take does not have to match your major subject area. 

Offerings for First Year Seminars change from semester to semester.  For a list of the current/upcoming First Year Seminar classes, including detailed course descriptions, please visit the First Year Seminar website (click teh FYS for Students link for descriptions).

Can I change my schedule?

Students are able to change their schedules during the Add/Drop period each semester (usually the first week of classes).  These changes can be made online using Infobear.  First-semester students, however, may need approval from an AAC advisor before they can make changes.

After the Add/Drop period, students may no longer add classes, but they do still have the option to Withdraw from classes.  Students who withdraw get W grades (which do not affect the GPA). 

Information about Add/Drop and Withdrawal deadlines can be found on the Registrar's Office website.  If you have questions about a potential withdrawal, you can reach out to your advisor or email AcademicAchievement@bridgew.edu

During your time at BSU, you are likely going to need to fill out a number of different forms.  Where you find them depends on the form itself, but many of the forms you will need are available on the Registrar's Office website.  If you're looking for a form, that is a good place to start.

Scroll down the left-hand sidebar, and you will see links for Fillable PDFs and Printable forms.  Check those locations first.  If you still can't find what you're looking for, then reach out to your academic advisor for assistance.

Should I take Summer classes?

Summer classes are a great way to catch up or get ahead on your graduation timeline.  Bridgewater State University offers a variety of different Summer classes in Core and Major areas that students can choose from.  Summer classes tend to meet on an accelerated timeline, which often means students must work through the material faster than they would in a standard Fall/Spring semeseter.  

If you're thinking of taking Summer classes, it's a good idea to have a conversation with your academic advisor first to review your current progress toward graduation and make sure Summer classes are a good fit for you.  If you use Financial Aid, you should also check in with the Financial Aid office to see if aid is available to you for the Summer.

What does "insert confusing college term here" mean?

College sometimes seems like it has its own language that you need to learn in order to understand what's going on.  If you come across a word or phrase connected to your time at BSU that you don't understand, look through our BSU Academic Glossary to see if you can find a definition there.  If you search the glossary and still can't figure out what it means, feel free to check in with your academic advisor for help.