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Academic Advising Center

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  • Frequently Asked Questions


    Who is my academic advisor?

    You can find the name and contact information of your advisor in your WINGS student center, once the assignment is made.   Undeclared majors in the College of Liberal Studies and College of Science and Health are assigned to an advisor in the AAC.   Declared majors, undeclared majors in the College of Business Administration, and certain undeclared majors in Pre-professional health programs are assigned an advisor by their college or academic department. 

    When should I meet with my advisor?

    We recommend that you meet with your advisor at least once each semester prior to registration.  But, meeting more often will allow you to get to know your advisor and feel more comfortable asking questions.   You should meet with your advisor any time you have questions or concerns that may affect your academic progress at UWL.

    Can I change my advisor?

    You should contact your Colleges Dean's Office if you would like to be assigned to a different advisor.   If you are an undeclared major in the College of Liberal Studies or College of Science and Health, please contact the Academic Advising Center. 

    When should I declare a major?

    UWL does not have a deadline for students to declare a major.   However, a good rule of thumb is to have a major in mind to declare by the the end of your sophomore year as you will have, most likely, completed your General Education requirements by this time.   Meet with your advisor to start the discussion about majors/careers early during your time at UWL. 

    How do I declare or change my major?

    You will need to submit a competed a "Change of Program" form to the college that your major belongs to.   This form is available in any of the College Dean's Office and the Academic Advising Center.

    How often can I change my major? 

    There is not a limit to the number of times you may change your major.   However, it is important to understand that the more you change your major, the longer it may take you to complete requirements for graduation.   Additional costs associated with your education may also be incurred.

    What is my "Advisement Report"?

    WINGS features the Advisement Report, which outlines all of the specific requirements needed to complete a degree in your declared major.   Because the Advisement Report factors in your completed and in-progress coursework, it is also a good to way track the progress that you are making towards the completion of your degree.

    What's an "What If" Advisement Report?

    "What If" Advisement Reports are hypothetical reports that illustrate the academic requirements for any undergraduate academic program at UWL.   The "What If" allows students to see how their current courses would apply to a major or minor prior to declaring it.  Instructions for creating a What If Report are available.   Please see an advisor if you have questions about the report.

    I think I might have a disability, where can I go for assistance?

    Any student with a physical, sensory, diagnosed learning disability, AD/HD, a psychological disability, or is a veteran with wounded warrior status is eligible for accommodations through ACCESS Center.  Please contact their office for more information. 

    Do I have to take the UW Placement Tests for English, Math, or Foreign Language?

    To enroll in an initial English or Math course at UWL, in most cases you must first take the University of Wisconsin Placement Tests for English and Math.  The foreign language placement test may also be needed to enroll in Spanish, German, and French coursework as well.  The Admissions Office usually provides new freshman with information about test dates each spring after they have been accepted to the university.   For additional information about the UW Placement Tests, please contact the Counseling and Testing Center



    How do I register for classes?

    There are several online tutorials available that explain the registration process on WINGS.  Students should be familiar with the process prior to registration. 

    When do I register for classes?

    Your registration appointment can be found by going to the "Enrollment Dates" menu in WINGS and clicking on "Details".   Appointment times for registration are commonly determined by the number of credits that you have earned.

    I have a hold, how do I do I get it removed?

    There are multiple reasons why a hold may have been placed on WINGS.   Check WINGS to determine which campus office placed the hold and then contact them to see what needs to occur to have the hold removed. 

    When should I seek an override?

    If you find that a class is full, you can contact the instructor of the course to see if they are willing to allow an additional student into a course via an override.  Overrides will be at the instructor's discretion.   If the instructor is agreeable to giving you the override, they will use WINGS to enter the override and at that point you will be able to sign up for the course. 

    Some academic departments are using a wait list for courses rather than overrides. If this is the case, please contact the academic department join the wait list. 

    How many credits do I need to be a full-time student or half-time student?

    To be considered a full-time student, you must enroll in a minimum of 12 semester credits.   Half-time enrollment consists of at least 6 semester credits.

    How many credits should I register for during the Fall/Spring semester?

    The typical UWL student enrolls in 14-16 credits in the fall and spring semesters in order to graduate in a timely manner.   Depending on the student and their circumstances, some students may opt for a higher credit range (17-18) or lower credit range (12-14).

    Can I register for more than 18 credits?

    Credits loads of 19 or more constitute an "overload" and may be carried only if an application is made in writing and approved by the Dean of your College.   Override forms for this purpose are available in the College Dean's Office and are required at the time of registration.  Please bring the signed form to the Records and Registration Office. 

    Overloads will not be considered for first semester freshman or for any student with a cumulative G.P.A. or less than 3.25.

    How many credits can I enroll in during the Winter Intersession?

    Students can enroll in a maximum of three credits during the winter intersession.

    How many credits can I enroll in during the Summer semester?

    The maximum credits that can be earned during the summer session is 12.   In order to receive financial aid for summer school, you must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits).   Students who are Pell Grant eligible may be eligible for a Pell Grant in the summer eve if they are below half-time. 



    What's the difference between "dropping" a course and "withdrawing" from a course?

    When a student "drops" a course, the course is not recorded in their academic records and it is if they were never enrolled in the class.  For a full semester course, a drop can only occur in the first five days of of the semester.  For drop deadlines for a half semester course, see Records and Registraton's Dates and Deadlines

    When a student "withdraws" from a course, the class is recorded in their academic records with a "W" rather than a letter grade.  For full semester courses, students enrolled in a course after a the fifth day can withdraw from a course provided it is done by the deadline established by the Records and Registration Office. 

    I'm struggling in a class.  What are my options for help?

    First talk to the your course instructor. While you may have performed poorly on an exam, your instructor won't necessarily know that you're struggling unless you speak up.   All UWL faculty are required to hold office hours (commonly listed in the course syllabus), so use this time to talk about your progress in the class.  Sometimes things are not a bad as they seem to you.  Other times, things may be much worse than you realize.  Your instructor can provide you with a clearer picture of your situation and options for additional assistance such as tutoring or study tips.  In any event, communication with your instructors is essential to your success as a student.  So don't delay!

    I'm having issues with study skills, time management, etc.  Where can I get help?

    If you feel that studying, time management are affecting you academic performance.  Please consider working with the Counseling and Testing Center.  Their office has an Academic Skills Specialist that may be able to provide you with tips for issues such as study skills, time management, test anxiety, note taking, etc.  Their office also has self help materials for these topics as well as Academic Skills Groups that meet during the semester (Fall 2015).  Other resources would be self help materials from Student Academic Success Services (University of Minnesota) or Academic Success Center (Iowa State University)

    When should I consider withdrawing from a course?

    If you have met with your course instructor and received additional help, but your performance is not improving - perhaps it is time to consider whether a withdrawal from the course is in your best interests.   The decision to withdraw is yours to make and should be made only after you have consider all of the consequences.

    For example, will you go below full-time status if you withdraw?   Going below full-time status may affect housing, financial aid, athletic eligibility, and other benefits that you may be entitled to as a full-time student.  See you advisor for guidance if you're considering withdrawing from a course.

    What can I do if I'm placed on academic probation?

    Review the Policy: It is important for you to review the UWL Catalog for information about retention standards, probation, and suspension. As stated in the catalog, students who are on probation will have an academic probation registration restriction (negative service indicator) placed on their student record.  You must meet with the academic advisor of your primary major before registering for new semester in order to remove this restriction.  

    Complete "Plan for Success": Prior to meeting with your advisor, you should read through the Plan for Success form, as a starting point for reflecting on your academic experience. Complete the introductory portion of the form, including name, ID#, GPA and information about credits earned, as well as indicate your academic and personal concerns. You can then work with your advisor to complete the rest of the Plan for Success together. In your advising meeting, begin a dialogue with your advisor about the academic and personal issues contributing to your inability to be successful in classes, specifically discussing the your concerns and available resources for managing them. As reflected in the Plan for Success form, students are asked to identify strategies they plan to implement to achieve a higher level of academic success. Often, the factors leading to probation involve multiple academic and personal concerns that need to be addressed, and sometimes this takes more than one semester to get under control. 

    Class Scheduling: As part of the Plan for Success, you can work with your advisor to create a class schedule that reduces or eliminates the factors that are detrimental to the your academic success, improves your GPA, and advances your academic standing. The goal is to create a class schedule that you find engaging, but not overwhelming. 

    • Credit Load: Advisors should help students determine a reasonable credit load. Students with few, low-impact commitments outside of class might benefit from carrying 14-16 credits; but, a student who works 20 or more hours per week, for example, might be advised to enroll in 14 or fewer credits. However, some studies suggest that too few hours devoted to coursework may allow attention to be diverted to non-academic pursuits. Students and advisors should be familiar with the university schedule regarding advisingadd/drop deadlines, and withdrawal processes.
    • Repeating Courses: Repeating courses is the quickest way for students to raise their cumulative GPA. Students may consider repeating a course that is critical to their academic goals. However, if a course has already been repeated unsuccessfully, advisors and students should discuss whether to repeat a course again. 
    • Financial Aid: If financial aid or finances are a primary concern, plan ahead. You should work with the to the Financial Aid Office for answers to any questions about money management, financial aid policies, scholarships, or on-campus student employment.  

    Utilize academic & campus resources: It is important to utilize any and all campus resources that can help you improve your academic success. Some of these resources include tutoring at Murphy Learning CenterCounseling and Testing Center, the ACCESS Center, and the Student Success website.  

    Can I repeat a class to earn a better grade?

    Undergraduate students only have the option of repeating a course in which they earned a grade of "D" or "F".  Students that opt to repeat a course should note that the grades from the any previous attempt of a course is never deleted from their academic record.  However, it is only the the grade earned in the latest attempt of the course that will be used in the calculation of their cumulative G.P.A.   Therefore it is possible for a student to improve their cumulative G.P.A by repeating a course and earning a higher grade. 

    Please note that students may not go to another university to repeat a course in which a grade has been earned at UWL.

    Can I take a class on a Pass/Fail basis?

    There are specific classes at UWL that have been approved for pass/fail grading.  Students do not have the option to request to take a graded course on a pass/fail basis.

    Who do I contact if an illness or family emergency causes me to miss class for an extended period of time?

    You are responsible to your respective instructors for all absences.   If you are absent for an extended period of time (over one week) due to illness, family emergency, etc., please contact the Office of Student Life.  Their office will inform the instructors involved of your absence.   This serves as notification only, not necessarily a formal excuse.  It is your responsibility to contact each of your instructors for make up assignments and exams.



    What do I need to do to complete General Education?

    To complete General Education a student must satisfy the following requirements:  

    1. Earn a minimum of 48 credits of General Education courses
    2. Earn the minimum credits within each General Education category (totaling 39 credits)
    3. Earn the remaining credits from any combination of categories 

    For a list of General Education courses and categories, please consult your Undergraduate Catalog

    How many credits do I need to graduate?

    UWL requires a minimum of 120 credits to complete a Bachelor's degree.  Your Advisement Report will show the number of credits needed to earn a degree in your declared major.  For more help, see your academic advisor. 

    What is the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. degree?

    Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees have a prescribed set of requirements that is determined by the College that your major belongs to.  Though some majors allow students to choose between earning a B.A. or B.S., there are certain majors where the degree has been predetermined.  If you are given a choice, meet with your advisor to discuss your options and how this may affect your selection of classes.

    What is a "credit check"?

    Each College has an staff member called the Assistant to the Dean who coordinates advising in the college and also assists students with matters that need attention in the Dean's Office.  It is helpful if you schedule an appointment with an Assistant to the Dean in your college sometime during your last year of study at UWL.   They will complete a 'credit check' to ensure that you have completed all requirements for graduation in your degree.



    How do I obtain a copy of my official transcript?

    Official transcripts are issued by the Records and Registration Office and bear the university seal and registrar's signature.  There is a $10.00 fee for each official transcript. Requests for official transcripts will not be processed if a student has an outstanding obligation, financial or otherwise.  Third party request will not be accepted.   Official transcripts will be sent to the address that is indicated in the request. Please visit Records and Registration for Transcript Request Procedures

    What's the difference between an official and unofficial transcript?

    Students have access to their unofficial transcripts in WINGS, but these transcripts do not bear the university's seal and registrar's signature that official transcripts do.  Not all institutions (universities, employers, scholarships) that request a transcript will accept an unofficial transcript, therefore it is important to verify with the receiving institutions if an official transcript is required. 

    Where can I obtain verification that shows that I am a full-time student?

    Students that need enrollment verification for insurance (auto, health), scholarships, loan deferments, etc can print out a formal statement of attendance by clicking the "Enrollment Verification" tab found in the Enrollment Resources menu of WINGS.   This is a free service for students. 



    Can I take classes at another institution to transfer back to UWL?

    Students seeking to take a course (s) outside of UWL with the goal to transferring the credits back to the university can consult our Transfer of Credits webpage regarding this process. 

    I would like to transfer to UW-La Crosse, where do I start?

    Students seeking to apply to UW-La Crosse as a transfer student should consult with the Admissions Office.  They have very useful transfer information that will help you through this process.

    I haven't been assigned an advisor yet.  Who can help me with class registration?

    If you have a declared major, please work with the Assistant to the Dean of your assigned College.  If you are undeclared major, the Academic Advising Center will assist you. 

    Who can I speak to if my credits didn't transfer to UWL as I expected?

    If you disagree with how a course (s) transfers or how a course (s) is being applied towards your degree requirements, a formal appeal process is available. Consult with the Assistant to the Dean of your College.  They can review and explain the transfer of credits and the appeals process. 

    I am considering transferring to another school, who can help me?

    AAC advisors and the Assistant to the Dean of your current college may be able to answer general questions about the process of transferring to another institution.   That said, once you have identified your transfer institution, the admission staff and advisors of that institution should be your primary source of information for transfer questions as they are the experts of their institution.  If you are transferring to another UW System school you will have the UW Transfer Information System (Credit Transfer Wizard, Transfer Guides, Transfer Plans) as a resource as well.