Montana State University

Health and Human Development

Advising Goals

Advising Goals for undergraduate students:

  • To assign students to a faculty member familiar with their chosen option in the Department of Health and Human Development
  • To inform the students of the various options, necessary requirements, other services of support at MSU, career options, and graduate school opportunities
  • To assist students in the selection and sequence of courses appropriate to their option each semester during the preregistration period
  • To provide students with accurate, timely advising to ensure progress toward a degree

Advising Policy

Undergraduate Students

The Coordinators of the two Units (Family Studies, Consumer Science and Counseling and Health, Nutrition, and Movement Science) develop and oversee advising policies within the department. New and transfer students coming into the department for the first time meet with the Unit Coordinators during the Freshman and Transfer Orientation Sessions and are oriented to the department and options, and assigned a permanent advisor.

Students coming into the department from another department are generally assigned a faculty advisor familiar with their chosen option by the departmental secretary. Occasionally a student will request to work with a certain faculty member, and the request is generally granted. In addition, students can request a change in advisor to another faculty member.

Students are strongly urged to meet with their advisor each semester during the three week preregistration advising period. During this period advisors generally put appointment sheets outside their door listing several times in order to meet the meeds of their students' varied schedules. Students are required to pick up their personal data form from the departmental secretary, keep their option sheets updated, and develop a tentative schedule which they are encouraged to review with their advisor. Advisors are encouraged to keep track of those advisees that they see each semester, and to keep documentation in the student's file on course substitutions or waivers, and notes that will assist them in developing a relationship with the student. During the first advising meeting students in options to which it applies are informed that they must purchase a copy of the departmental student handbook which contains their option sheets, option policies, and internship policies and procedures.

In addition to the formal advising period, faculty are available to students during their regularly scheduled office hours, and encourage students to communicate with them through e-mail.

Graduate Students

The Graduate Coordinator provides general orientation to new incoming graduate students each fall semester. Graduate students are temporarily assigned to the program leader of their respective program, until such time that student forms a permanent committee and selects a major advisor. The Graduate Coordinator is also available to graduate students to clarify scheduling concerns and serve as an ombudsman. Issues that are identified are then brought to graduate faculty meetings for full discussion. A Graduate Handbook is available to students in the Unit of Family Studies, Consumer Science and Counseling. Numerous policies of the College of Graduate Studies are delineated. In addition information is included on selecting a graduate committee, the role of the major professor, and procedures for the comprehensive exam. The Graduate Handbook is generally revised to coincide with the new university bulletin.

Recent Changes and Future Plans

To Improve Quality of Advising

In general, advising within the department appears to be meeting the needs of the students. Currently, most faculty are advising 35-40 students each semester and encourage/require students to keep their option sheets current, and to consult the handbooks (where applicable) for option requirements, policies, and procedures. Routine option information is also available on the departmental WWW Home Page.

The Department has provided access to online advising information in the offices of all advisors. Plans are under way to provide periodic workshops for advisors to assist them in using the facilities and services. In addition, the Department Head and Unit Coordinators are available as resource persons for faculty who may have questions regarding any aspect of advising. The Coordinators generally maintain contact with the Registrar's Office in order to keep informed about advising policies, deadline dates, new forms, repeat courses, articulation agreements, and graduation forms.

Beginning in the Fall 1996 semester the department developed a freshman seminar required of all entering students (HHD 172). The purpose of the seminar is to introduce students to various strategies for being successful at the university including knowing the university's function and services, learning to study effectively, recognizing and overcoming common obstacles to success, and knowing the rights and responsibilities of being a student. The course includes career decision making and introduces students to career option in the fields of study in Health and Human Development.

To Improve Accessibility of Advisors

Faculty have always been accessible to students during their office hours, through e-mail, and during the three week advising period. During the advising period, faculty set aside several hours per week for appointments in order to meet with students.