Academic Advising is one of the most important partnerships you will form while in college. Advising helps you understand education and graduation requirements, explore academic and career options, set goals, and make informed decisions on a regular basis – all reasons you should stay in touch with your advisor throughout your college career. Your advisor is available to help you navigate through your educational experience at COA, so feel free to contact him or her anytime you need assistance. All advisors post a schedule of office hours for your convenience. While your advisor is here to help, it is important to realize that you are in charge of your education and need to take an active role in planning your schedule with your advisor each semester. Take a few minutes to review the Advising Resources where you’ll learn how to plan out your schedule, ensuring you take the necessary classes to graduate and/or transfer to a four year college.
When to See Your Advisor
How to Prepare for an Advising Appointment
If you are taking 6 credit hours or more, you will be assigned a faculty advisor in your program of study within the first month of your first semester at COA. If you are taking less than 6 hours, you may see an advisor in Student Success and Enrollment Management (SSEM). To find your assigned advisor, login to myWebAdvisor and view your Profile.
Be sure to attend an orientation session! Orientation will introduce you to COA and equip you with the information you need about the campus you plan to attend. Orientation can be completed in person or online; contact a Student Success advisor in the Academic Advising office on your campus for more information. If you plan to take online courses, you must also complete the online Moodle Orientation and pass with a score of 90 or higher to be eligible to register for online courses.
Your Academic Records
As a college student, access to your academic records is protected through a law known as Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 or FERPA. The advisors at COA maintain strict adherence to FERPA and limit access to your academic records to you alone, unless you give written permission to do otherwise. For more information on FERPA, see the Student Rights and Responsibilities section in the COA Catalog. A FERPA parent resource is available at College Parents of America.
If you are enrolled in at least 12 hours of work you are considered a full-time student, but 16 semester hours of college work is considered the normal student load. If you’re planning to take more than 18 hours of work, please see your advisor. The Vice President of Learning authorizes any advisor to approve a course load of up to 20 hours if the student has an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. If a student has a GPA of less than 3.0 or if the student wishes to take more than 20 hours, they must get approval from the Vice President of Learning or the Vice President of Student Success and Enrollment Management. However, permission is not necessary when you are registering for the specific course load designated in your occupational program of study. To gain sophomore status at the college, you must earn a minimum of 32 credit hours.
Although you can take up to 18 hours, it is not advisable considering a number of factors like family responsibilities, extracurricular activities, work schedules, and study time. You should expect to study 2 hours for every hour of class time. For example, if you take a course with 3 lecture hours in a week, you would have to study for 6 hours a week outside of class. Your advisor can assist you with your course planning, but it is up to you to manage your time wisely.
The following course load is recommended for working students:
Work 2 hours per day take 16 -19 credit hours/semester
Work 4 hours per day take 12 -15 credit hours/semester
Work 6 hours per day take 6 - 11 credit hours/semester
Work 8 hours per day take 5 - 8 credit hours/semester
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