The Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences (PSES) provides specialized programs in Crop Science, Horticulture and Soils in the junior and senior years built from a solid foundation in the biological and natural sciences in the freshman and sophomore years. This involves individual student advice on career objectives and areas of special interest, course requirements and selection and assessing transfer credits. PSES also provides opportunities for student awards, internships, special projects, undergraduate research, discipline-related employment during their program, letters of recommendation and assistance in securing a professional position or continuing their education through graduates studies.
The student selects a PSES major either as a freshman or transfer student. One of the three Certifying Officers meets with each student. Depending on the selected degree program, student career goals, faculty expertise within the profession and the number of current advisees assigned to a faculty member, a match is made. If needed, a substitute faculty member and/or certifying officer will be found for immediate advising needs. Individual advising is required throughout the student's course of study at a minimum of twice per year. Consultations are encouraged throughout the year as needed.
Recent Changes and Future Plans
To Improve Quality of Advising
The Department Head interaction with students in PSES 400 and informal group (Horticulture and Soils) meetings at a faculty member's home are the two new innovations to assess advising quality. The informal group meetings allow for more interaction with students and faculty on a personal level which will lead to more knowledge and comfort between both the student and faculty member during advising sessions.
To Improve Accessibility of Advisors
All instructional PSES faculty post office hours (particularly during key advising periods), have hours posted for advising or have scheduled written sign-ups for student appointments. Advisors are available for consultations during office hours as posted. Where possible, we have tried to spread the number of advisees across a number of faculty.