Administrative Deans and Academic Advisers Explained

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Colgate provides layers of support for students and a variety of people to help them achieve their goals. Two of their primary contacts will be their faculty adviser and their administrative dean, and students are strongly encouraged to see them as a first point of contact, utilizing their expertise and experience. Incoming students are notified of their advisers when they receive their course schedule and Residential Commons assignment in August.

Academic Advising

Each student has an academic (faculty) adviser who serves as an important source of counsel and guidance through their decision making about courses, choice of major/minor, and other matters related to their progress toward their degree. Throughout the semester, the academic adviser provides information on course withdrawal and registration for spring term, and monitors the student’s midterm reports. Students are required to consult with their academic advisers prior to registering for each upcoming semester’s courses. 

Your student’s First-Year Seminar (FSEM) professor will typically serve as their academic adviser until they declare a major. Transfer students are assigned an academic adviser based on their area of interest. The first individual advising meeting takes place during New Student Orientation. 

Students declare their major during the spring semester of the sophomore year. At that time, they will choose a new academic adviser in that department or program. The major adviser is a mentor who will advise your student about requirements in the context of a sound, comprehensive academic program.

We encourage students to take the time to get to know their academic adviser, who can be an invaluable resource for them. Faculty advising can be essential to a student’s success and sense of satisfaction with their academic program. Effective advising develops when students take the responsibility of reading the Colgate University Catalog and the Colgate Student Handbook, and seek their adviser’s assistance early and often.

Administrative Deans

Each student is assigned an administrative dean to support them throughout their time at Colgate; their dean will be connected to their residential commons. The administrative deans are committed to developing meaningful relationships with their students and to assist them in taking ownership of their Colgate education. They provide support while promoting students’ intellectual, personal, and emotional development.

Students can seek their administrative dean’s advice on both personal and academic matters, including developing strong study skills, improving time management, and adjusting to the demands of college. They can ask for their help identifying support resources or for assistance in understanding administrative policies and procedures. 

Colgate works with students as adults who are taking responsibility for their academic and personal lives. That said, in the event that an administrative dean feels that a student’s Colgate career is in jeopardy due to health, academic, or disciplinary reasons, the administrative dean or another representative may contact the student’s parents or legal guardians.