Academic Advising and Resources

Thinking about Academic Planning

At St. Lawrence University academic advising is about more than helping you pick courses each semester and fulfilling requirements. It is a four-year process of planning an academic career. Each of your four years of college will likely be different. In your first year, you will get to know St. Lawrence and explore possibilities. In your second year, you will clarify some of your particular goals: declare a major and possibly a minor, plan for off-campus study, a summer research fellowship, or an internship. In the third year, you will dig into your major area of study; and in the fourth year, you have the opportunity to pull your studies together in a senior project or piece of research and begin to think about and plan for life after graduation.

The key to taking full advantage of your four years at St. Lawrence University is exploring possibilities and charting a path through planning. Such planning will mean thinking about who you are and could be, reflecting on what interests and goals are important to you, and seeking out the intellectual and co-curricular opportunities that will enrich your academic work.

If you have questions over the summer about course choices, requirements, programs of study or anything else academic and are not sure whom to ask, drop an e-mail to or call 315-229-7397. An experienced academic advisor will respond to your questions or point you to the appropriate resources.

Academic Advising in Your First Year and Beyond
In your first year, your advisor is one of your First-Year Program (FYP) professors; you may also request a second advisor in your primary area of academic interest. You may continue with your FYP advisor for your sophomore year, or select a new one any time after your first semester. When you declare a major, normally during the second semester of your sophomore year, you then choose an advisor who is affiliated with your major.

Our goal in academic advising is that you have a comfortable working relationship with your advisor and that you have access to the support you need to be a successful student at St. Lawrence. As your interests and needs change over your time here, you may change advisors at any time after your first semester. The office of academic advising offers many resources to guide and assist you.

Academic Resources Available to You
Many of you will find that the college academic environment is quite different from secondary school, a transition that may require adjustments in how you approach your studies. Expectations are higher, but there is less structure and supervision. You may need to develop new or better skills in time management or test taking, for example. St. Lawrence offers a robust menu of academic support programs that both respond to student needs and track those who experience academic difficulties. They are:

Disability and Accessibility Services
Because each person's situation is unique, the Office of Disability and Accessibility Services asks that any student with a disability contact us during the summer. The Director or Assistant Director will have a conversation with you about your needs and the appropriate documentation required. Don't delay meeting with us out of concern for not having the appropriate paperwork as documentation requirements vary by situation. Based on the individual assessment of your needs, the Director or Assistant Director will determine the reasonable, academic accommodations are available to you. Please see the website for more detailed information.

Academic Support and Academic Development
St. Lawrence employs two full-time professional staff members who work daily with students who want to improve their academic performance. These services are both immediate and longer-term, providing students with help in their current classes and with academic skills development. If you seek to improve academically, you can request an individual meeting with the coordinator of academic support or of academic development. Additionally, students can request regular meetings with either person for ongoing academic support. If you and the staff member find it useful, the meeting may lead to connections with other supportive resources on campus, such as academic advisors, professors, course teaching assistants (TAs), peer tutors from academic advising, the WORD Studio, the Peterson Quantitative Resource Center and the counseling center.

Peer Tutoring Program
The academic advising office provides peer tutors in almost every subject, and for almost every introductory-level course. Peer tutors are St. Lawrence students who have distinguished themselves academically and have been selected and hired after an application process. All tutoring services are free. Requests are made online, with students and tutors matched accordingly.

Academic Skills Workshops
Any student, student organization, or faculty member can request workshops in academic skills such as goal-setting, time management, note-taking, syllabus mapping, reading strategies, test-taking strategies, stress management, and breaking down big papers. The academic services staff is prepared to respond very quickly to requests for workshops and works with faculty, staff, and students to expand continuously the kinds of workshops we offer.

For further information, call the office of academic advising programs at 315-229-5964 or visit our Web site.