Academics >> Academic Advising

Academic Advising


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 here, 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

  • To plan your course schedule
  • To withdraw from all your classes
  • To change your major
  • To update your name, address, or phone number
  • To substitute a course for credit
  • To get some advice or help
  • To apply for graduation
  • Make your appointment during the early registration periods
  • Be on time
  • Review catalog and graduation check-sheet
  • Write down any questions you wish to ask your advisor.
  • Take appropriate materials to the advising appointment
  • Follow through on referrals and recommendations

You are assigned an advisor within your program of study. To find your assigned advisor, login to myWebAdvisor and view your profile.

New students (has never attended COA)

First you need to attend an orientation/registration session. Orientation will introduce you to your program of study and what courses you need to take during your first semester. Orientation can be completed in person or online. To sign up, contact your Student Success Coach or go to admissions

Your Academic Records

Access to your academic records is protected through a law known as Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 or FERPA. Advisors 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 Student Rights and Responsibilities (also listed in the current catalog.) A FERPA parent resource is available at College Parents of America.

Course Load

If you are enrolled in at least 12 hours you are considered a full-time student, but 16 semester hours is considered the normal course load. If you’re planning to take more than 18 hours, please see your advisor. The Vice President of Learning authorizes any advisor to approve a course load of up to 20 hours if you have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. If you have a GPA of less than 3.0 or if you want to take more than 20 hours, you need to 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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