Montana State University

Sociology

Advising Goals

As a basic advising goal the Department of Sociology hopes to provide each student with reasonable access to a knowledgeable advisor who can provide the student with appropriate information with which to plan their academic curriculum and identify potential career opportunities upon graduation.

Advising Policy

Advisors are available to students for consultation throughout the academic year during the advisor's normal office hours (typically 6-9 hours/week) or by appointment. During the three-plus week registration period each term, advisors typically have an appointment calendar posted that allows students to arrange time for advising. During this interval faculty go out of their way to ensure that they are available to students.

All anthropology students have advisors who are anthropology faculty, all sociology students are advised by sociology faculty. Because of the large number of justice studies majors some of them are apportioned to anthropology and sociology faculty. Justice studies faculty advise only justice studies students with senior justice studies faculty devoted largely to upper division justice studies students.

Since we have no ability to force students to seek advising (they are after all adults), the only times when advising must take place are when a student declares a major, transfers from another school, or applies to graduate. The department recommends that students see their assigned advisor during each registration period or whenever they make a change in the courses for which they are registered (drop and add).

Recent Changes and Future Plans

To Improve Quality of Advising

We feel that the advising in our programs adequately meets the student's needs. Without the addition of new faculty we are sorely stressed to meet the current advising load. The sociology department has also developed a home page that provides curricular information as well as information on career opportunities. With further development of the homepage students should have the ability to keep themselves informed of curricular changes as they occur. The homepage may become a very important advising and information transmission tool.

To Improve Accessibility of Advisors

Accessibility of advisors has always been adequate. Since fall 1995 we have developed a database that includes student, option, year, and advisor. Students are now more consistently assigned advisors who have appropriate expertise for the student's academic career status.