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Student Advising FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Advising and Your Advisor

Registration

Degree Requirements

Degree Works

Financial Aid and Scholarship

Graduating

Getting Assistance- Academic, Career and Personal Counseling

How to:

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How do I find out who my Faculty Advisor is?

To determine who your advisor is, log into DegreeWorks (accessed through Banner) and your advisor's name will be listed in one of the top boxes on the page. 

You may see more than one name listed in DegreeWorks in the Advisor box.  If this is the case, one name is your registration advisor that can help you with registration issues, and the other name is your faculty advisor/mentor that you can visit for career-related or degree-specific advice.

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What is a Professional Advisor?

Each school has one or more professional advisors to assist the faculty advisors.  Professional Advisors assist students with a variety of tasks, such as developing a 2-year academic plan or providing guidance with major or USG Core requirements.  Please consult the Professional Advisors page to learn the role of your school's professional advisor.

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How can my Faculty Advisor or Professional Advisor help me?

Advising is an on-going partnership between a student and his or her advisors that empowers the student to plan for academic success. Advisors help students with the "here & now," as well as with future coursework and career planning. Among other things, advisors:
  • Empower students to develop their 2-year educational plan
  • Discuss appropriate courses & additional educational experiences, such as internships
  • Evaluate progress toward established goals and degree requirements
  • Discuss career options and opportunities
  • Interpret & clarify university policies and procedures
  • Enhance awareness of educational resources, such as the Career & Counseling Center or the ATTIC
  • Have the knowledge to appropriately refer students to other important departments on campus, such as the Registrar's Office or Financial Aid
  • Help to develop decision-making skills
  • Understand and help to resolve transfer issues

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When should I see my Advisor?

All Schools and departments at SPSU have specific requirements for meeting with your Faculty and/or Professional Advisor.  Most departments require that you update your 2-year plan and see your advisor every semester before registration.  Feel free to stop by and ask your advisor for an explanation of the process, or visit the Professional Advisor's Website for your School for an outline of their role.

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What courses should I take next term?

Use the DegreeWorks web-based tool to know what courses you have left to complete your degree program. For instructions on how to use DegreeWorks, see heading “How can I access my worksheet in DegreeWorks?”

Please be aware that some courses require a prerequisite(s). A prerequisite is a course you must successfully complete before registering for another. Please check the current Catalog for prerequisite information. You can also click on the specific class in DegreeWorks for this information. A pop-up window will display prerequisite info.

Remember that not all courses are offered every semester and some alternate being offered in the daytime and in the evening. Each department will have a tentative list posted on their website regarding their course offerings each semester.

If you are uncertain about your major, you will probably want to take courses from the CORE or consider taking an orientation course in an area you are considering to major in.

For further assistance with choosing classes, please seek your assigned Professional or Faculty Advisor for help.

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How many classes should I take?

As you plan your schedule, keep in mind time needed for class preparation, tests, papers, and projects. It is recommended that for every hour you spend in class, you should devote at least two hours to studying. For example, if you spend 3 hours per week in a class, lab, or studio you can expect to spend 6 hours devoted to studying for that one class. So, time spent dedicated to this class will equal approximately 9 hours. The more hours you take, the amount of time devoted to studying will increase.

As you plan your schedule, take into consideration your non-school responsibilities, such as family, work, and other personal commitments.


                            Recommended Work/School Loads

Work hours per week

Recommended credits for the semester

0-20

12-15

30

6-9

40

3-6

* It is strongly suggested that students majoring in Architecture work no more than 10-15 hours per week.

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What is cross registration?

SPSU is a participating member of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE) cross registration program. The ARCHE cross registration system provides students at member institutions an opportunity for an enriched experience in a different campus environment and access to classes not offered at their home institution. Students permitted to cross registrar must have met the prerequisite before enrolling in a class. Registration is handled though the students home institution.

Applications and additional information can be found at the Registrar’s Office webpage.
/registrar/registration/cross_registration/index.htm

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How do I figure out what classes will transfer from other institutions?

Please consult the current Undergraduate Catalog under Academic Policies and Procedures regarding the policy for acceptance of transfer credit.  You can also use the articulation tool found on our registrar's site.

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How do I figure out my GPA?

SPSU currently recognizes two GPAs:  the cumulative GPA and the institutional GPA. To figure out your cumulative GPA, please consult the detailed instructions found here on the registrar's website.  In short, you divide your total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours you have accumulated.  An "A" is worth 4 quality points, a "B" is worth 3 quality points, a "C" is worth 2 quality points, a "D" is worth 1 quality point, and an "F" is worth 0 quality points.  You must multiply the number of quality points you received by the number of credit hours for the course.  (For example, if you get a "B" in a 4-credit course, you have accumulated 12 quality points.  If you get a "C" in a 3-credit course, you have accumulated 9 quality points.)  After doing this calculation for each course, you add up your total quality points and divide that number by the total number of credit hours you have taken.  (For a more detailed explanation, visit the Registrar's site on GPA calculations.)

The cumulative GPA is the only GPA recognized by the Board of Regents.  It is the GPA that employers, graduate schools, and other USG schools are most apt to recognize. Keep in mind that some courses do not count in your cumulative GPA.  Remedial courses, for instance, do not count in your cumulative GPA.

The institutional GPA is used to determine standing and graduation. To calculate the institutional GPA, use only the grade you received on your LAST attempt at any course you have repeated (even if you end up with a lower grade than your previous attempt in the course).  Note that in order for a repeated course to be counted towards your enrollment status for federal financial aid purposes, you may only repeat a previously passed course once (a total of two attempts). If you enroll in a previously repeated and passed course for a third time, this course will not count towards your enrollment for financial aid purposes.

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How do I withdraw from a class?

The simplest way to withdraw is through Banner Web. When you log in, you proceed to add/drop classes. Carefully click on the course you wish to withdraw from and select "Withdraw via web" from the drop down menu. Once this is selected move the cursor down and click on submit changes. You will then see that the change has been processed and a W will be placed next to the course. Another way to withdraw is by accessing the withdrawal form located under the forms section on the Registrar’s page. A grade of "W" will be assigned for the course. Please remember you must withdraw from a course before the midpoint of the term ("Last Day to Withdraw").  This date changes every semester, and is listed on the academic calendar.

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How do I know when it’s time to register each semester?

The best way to plan ahead is to access the phased registration dates on the Registrar’s page. If these are not up to date, you can also click on the academic calendar to view many important dates for the University including the beginning and ending of each phase of registration. The first available time for you to registrar can be found by logging into Banner Web.

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Where can I go to see a preview of classes that are offered before registration opens?

On the SPSU homepage there is a link to the Schedule of Classes,” which is the Dynamic Bulletin.  This shows the classes for the current term and also the classes for the upcoming term as they become available.  Each department should also have a 3-year schedule of upcoming classes on its website so you can see what courses are planned in future semesters.

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What happens if I miss the last day to withdraw? Do I automatically receive an F?

Students who withdraw after the midpoint of the term are not eligible for a grade of "W” except in cases of hardship or extenuating circumstances, as approved by the faculty. Students withdrawing after the withdrawal deadline date receive a grade of "WF" for the course(s), which counts the same as an "F" for GPA purposes. Please consult the Financial Aid Office for the impact of withdrawing from classes.

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What is eCore?


eCore is a group of online classes that are offered to students from every University System of Georgia School. You can access more information at the following link: http:// www.spsu.edu/ecore/index.htm

PLEASE SEE THE NEXT QUESTION BEFORE PROCEEDING IF YOU HAVE NEVER TAKEN AN eCore CLASS.

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How do I register for an eCore class?

In order to take an eCore class, you have to complete the eCore online orientation and a short quiz.

If you have not done this in the past, please go to the following website - http://ecore.usg.edu/ prospective/orientation/spsu/ and take the orientation and quiz. You will need your SPSU student ID number. You will receive an email with registration instructions within 24 hours. Once SPSU registration is opened, you will be able to register in the SPSU Banner System in accordance with the instructions sent to you.

If you have taken the orientation/quiz in the past, you can register (during open registration) in the SPSU Banner System.

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What is the Math Assessment Test (MAT)?

Please click here (/math/mat/index.htm) for detailed information regarding the Math Assessment Test.

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What is the US/GA Constitution Legislative Requirement?

As required by Georgia law, all students must demonstrate knowledge of the history and Constitution of the United States and of Georgia. To demonstrate this knowledge at SPSU, students must pass HIST 2111, HIST 2112, or POLS 1101, or have previously completed these courses at a University System of Georgia (USG) institution.

Students who transfer in American History or Government courses from a non-University System of Georgia school will be required to take HIST 2911 to meet this requirement.

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What are CPC requirements?

The College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) requirements are based on courses taken in high school. They apply to all entering freshmen who graduated from high school after spring of 1988. Some students have a deficiency in one or more of five areas. These areas are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Foreign Language

Students who have a deficiency in the areas of English and/or mathematics satisfy the deficiency by taking the CPC exam prior to enrolling in the University. If they pass this exam, the deficiency is satisfied. If they do not pass the exam, they are not admitted to SPSU.

Students with deficiencies in the other three areas are required to take one course at the college level to satisfy the deficiency. These courses will not count toward degree credit, but will be included in the computation of the grade point average. A grade of a C or better is needed to satisfy the CPC requirement. Please see the current Undergraduate Academic Catalog for more information.

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How do I choose a major if I am undecided?

If you have not yet made a decision about your major when you begin taking classes at SPSU, your major will be declared as “General Studies.” You will be assigned to the Professional Advisor who is responsible for students in the School of Arts and Sciences. Be sure to make an appointment in advance to assure time is available for your meeting.

Students who have not selected a major are also welcome to utilize the services of the Career and Counseling Center located in the Student Center. Trained counselors can help you explore career options and choose a major that is right for you.

If you do decide to change majors, a “Change of Major” form can be obtained from the Registrar's Office (Building B). This form is also available in the offices of the Professional Advisors. Once the form is completed, signed and processed, you will be assigned to a Faculty and Professional Advisor for your newly selected major.

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How do I change my major?

Once you begin taking classes at SPSU, you will be exposed to a wide variety of academic options. You will also take an orientation class related to your initial major. These experiences may result in you considering a change to your academic path. If you wish to change majors, it is best to first talk with your Faculty Advisor, Professional Advisor, and/or a Counselor at the Career and Counseling Center. You can then go to the Registrar's Office (Building B) and ask for a "Change of Major" form.  Once the form is completed, signed, and processed, you will be assigned a Faculty Advisor and Professional Advisor for your newly-declared major.

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What is the CORE?

CORE classes are those which are required by the state of Georgia to graduate from a university or college in the University System of Georgia (USG). All students are required to take a group of courses that provide a broad basis of education and context to support studies in their major discipline. These courses provide essential skills such as English Composition and Mathematics (Area A), knowledge of humanities and fine arts (Area C), science and additional mathematics skills (Area D), and a solid social sciences basis (Area E). Basic courses related by your major can be found in the CORE Area F. Area F therefore differs by major.

Each university also requires courses that emphasize the university mission. These courses are located in Area B. At SPSU, two such courses are required, i.e., Public Speaking (COMM 2400) and Science, Technology, and Society (STS 2400).

All schools in the University System of Georgia are required to ensure its students develop an understanding of the history, political system, and culture of the United States ("U.S. Perspective"); are able to describe and compare how political, social, economic, religious, and historical factors affect various people, cultures, and societies, primarily outside of the U.S. ("Global Perspective"); and have the ability to evaluate and synthesize information to support ideas and solve problems ("Critical Thinking").

For more information about CORE requirements, visit the University Catalog. You can also obtain more information by consulting your Advisor and/or your program requirements.

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What classes satisfy each CORE area?

Please see the CORE University Catalog section in the University Catalog to determine which classes satisfy each CORE area. Basic courses related to your major are also in the CORE (Area F), and will be different for each major. Please consult your Advisor and/or your program requirements for the specific Area F CORE requirements of your major.

CORE classes vary somewhat from School to School. If you are a transfer student and believe you have completed a given Area, (i.e., Area A, B, C, D, and/or E), at a previous institution in the University System of Georgia, it is important to bring that to the attention of your Professional Advisor.

Please see the University System of Georgia (USG) website for a list of USG schools.

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Can I exempt CORE courses?

In general, the answer is no. All students must satisfy CORE requirements.

If you took AP or IB exams in high school, you may be eligible for credit for related CORE courses. AP and IB scores must be submitted to SPSU by the College Board. An official copy of your high school transcript must be submitted to the SPSU Admissions Office as well.

If you are transferring to SPSU after having taken college level courses at another university, you must submit an official transcript to the Admissions Office. If you are taking classes at the time your transcript is submitted, an updated transcript will be required when you complete the semester.

Transcripts, AP, and IB scores are evaluated by the Admissions Office when you register for orientation at SPSU. Once the evaluation is complete, you will be able to determine how classes have been credited by reviewing your DegreeWorks record in Banner Web.

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What classes are required for my major?

Each major has a specific list of required classes for graduation. Current SPSU students should check DegreeWorks for this list.

DegreeWorks is a web-based tool through Banner Web that provides real-time information on degree progression. DegreeWorks lists the courses you are required to take to complete your degree at SPSU. This is available to you 24/7.

Login toBanner Web (enter your SPSU ID & Pin) Select the Student menu. Select DegreeWorks – Degree Audit.

Your declared major worksheet will automatically load. There is also a “WHAT-IF” tab that gives you an unofficial view of how your credits will apply to a different major. (NOTE: If you officially change your major, you will be moved to the most recent Catalog regardless of when you started classes at SPSU.)

DegreeWorks does not replace face to face advising. You should continue to meet with your advisor to discuss degree-related concerns. Prospective students should contact the major department of interest for degree information.

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I’m interested in doing a minor.  Is this possible?

A minor is generally a set of classes that consist of 15-18 hours of course work in a particular discipline. Please note that some minors may require more than 18 hours. According to the SPSU Undergraduate Catalog at least 6 hours of upper division course work is required for a minor.

Please consult the current Undergraduate Catalog for minor information.

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What is DegreeWorks?

DegreeWorks is an electronic degree audit program. It is your up-to-date source for tracking courses needed to fulfill your degree requirements.

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How Can I Access My DegreeWorks Worksheet?

  • Start by logging into Banner Web
  • Select Student Services and Financial Aid from the Main Menu
  • From the Student Services and Financial Aid Menu, select DegreeWorks-Degree Audit
  • Click on the DegreeWorks button
  • This will take you to the “Student View” of your DegreeWorks worksheet

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How Do I Submit a Course Plan for Approval in DegreeWorks?

YOU MUST BE IN INTERNET EXPLORER TO SUBMIT YOUR PLAN

  • Start by logging into Banner Web
  • Select Student Services and Financial Aid from the Main Menu
  • From the Student Services and Financial Aid Menu select DegreeWorks-Degree Audit
  • Click on the DegreeWorks button
  • You are now in the “Student View” of your DegreeWorks worksheet
  • Once you are in your Worksheet, click on the ‘Planner’ tab located at the top of your Worksheet
  • Your worksheet is now split in half. One half is your worksheet (left side) and the other half is the Planner (right side).
  • At the top of the ‘Planner’ side, is a ‘Description’ field. You must type in a title for your Plan.
  • You are now ready to start planning your course schedules.

To save your completed plan, click the ‘Save Plan’ button at the bottom of the screen on the ‘Planner’ side. A screen will appear, click “yes’ to submit your Plan for approval by your faculty or professional academic advisor. Note: you will need to send your advisor an email notification that the Plan was submitted for approval.

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How Do I View An Unofficial Copy of My SPSU transcript in DegreeWorks?

  • Start by logging into Banner Web
  • Select Student Services and Financial Aid from the Main Menu
  • From the Student Services and Financial Aid Menu, select DegreeWorks-Degree Audit
  • Click on the DegreeWorks button
  • You are now in the “Student View” of your DegreeWorks worksheet
  • Click on the “Class History” link located in the top center of your DegreeWorks Worksheet

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How do I find out about financial aid?

Information on financial aid, including loans, FAFSA, Hope, and work-study opportunities, can be found online at the SPSU Financial Aid site.

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How do I find out about scholarship opportunities?

/financialaid/typesofaid/scholarship.htm

Your department may be aware of additional scholarships related to your field of study, in addition, the SPSU library maintains books with information with various scholarships and grants.

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How do I petition to graduate?

Prior to petitioning to graduate, you should verify with your Professional or Faculty Advisor that your DegreeWorks audit is correct and up to date. Additional information and instructions on petitioning to graduate can be found below.

Information on Graduation and Commencement:

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How do I order a transcript?

All transcripts will include the entire academic record; no partial or incomplete record will be issued as a transcript. Though transcripts are normally issued promptly, requests should be made several business days before the document is required, particularly at the beginning or end of a semester. A transcript will not be issued when a student's record shows financial indebtedness to the institution. Transcripts may be ordered online at getmytranscript.com

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Is there someone I can talk to about different career options?

Students are welcome to utilize the Career and Counseling Center located in the Student Center (Building A). Trained counselors can help you explore career and major options. The goal of career counseling is to help students evaluate their abilities, interests, talents, and personality characteristics to develop realistic academic and career goals. With the use of individualized assessment tests and counseling sessions, counselors are able to assist students with the major/career exploration process.

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Are there services available to help me become a better student?

The Career and Counseling Center offers individual and group counseling designed to assist students in eliminating barriers to academic success. Common topics include study skills, test taking skills, test anxiety, time management, and stress management. More information can be found at the Career and Counseling Center website.

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Is there someone I can talk to about personal issues?

The Career and Counseling Center  at SPSU is staffed by counselors trained to listen, understand, and facilitate change. Services are free and confidential.

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Is tutoring available at SPSU?

Yes, tutoring is available in English (Composition), Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Computer Science. Tutoring for other majors are also available; please check the Advising, Tutoring, Testing, International Center’s (ATTIC) website for additional information. The ATTIC is located in the lower level of the Student Center Building. Tutoring hours are posted each semester  on the ATTIC’s website.

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What if I have a question that isn't covered here?

If you have a question that isn't covered here, begin by talking to your School’s Professional Academic Advisor.

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How do I set up my campus email account?

/iet/documents/HowtoSetupCampusEmail.pdf

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How do I get my parking tag?

/universitytransportation/parking_1/parkingdecals.htm

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How do I get my student ID?

/hornetcard/index.htm

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How do I get more involved in campus activities and know what my options are?

/studentlife/studentorgs.htm

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How do I apply as a transient student?

Current SPSU students wishing to take courses at another institution for one semester should complete a transient letter authorization form. A student must be in good standing to receive such authorization. Should you have further questions about this process you should see your assigned advisor.

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